It’s one of the most heavily trafficked holiday weekends on the planet. It’s Labor Day weekend. A time that is typically filled with family BBQ’s, camping adventures, last-ditch beach getaways, road trips with the kiddos, and all things Americana.
In my “past life”, meaning my pre-kid days, I usually used my Labor Day weekend as an excuse to jet-set off to a fun place I’d never been before.
Come on people…it’s a three day weekend! Make it count! Right?
In one such journey, some friends and I traveled from Wisconsin to Boston for just one day. Because hey – why not? In another epic trip, we packed a suburban full of food and drove across the country to Niagara Falls just to see those majestic waters for a couple of hours. The common theme for Labor Day during those times was that no matter where we were going, or what we were doing, it was always BIG! We very much lived in the moment and seized the day.
In my new Tiny Traveler days, I’ve traveled some 75,000 miles with my toddler in tow. Traveling is still super fun and exciting but in all new ways. My travel life looks a bit more like this now:
Because I have both the “pre-kid” and “post-kid” experiences under my “Expert Traveler” belt, folks are always interested in where I’ll be going and what new shenanigans I’ll be up to next. So without further ado, I’m excited to share with you the revolutionary Labor Day weekend plans that I have concocted.
I’m staying home.
That’s right….read it again.
I’m. Staying. HOME.
It’s true, we have had many opportunities for adventures this weekend. Offers to go away to a lake house in the Northwoods, invitations to go visit friends in neighboring states, threats from mother nature that it’s the last time we’ll ever get a moment to go camping, chances to check out new festivals and activities across the country, pleading family members, that we don’t see often, begged us to come visit, and many other intriguing options were available.
But here is the hard truth.
We’ve been hustling all over the world this year, racking up frequent flier miles, packing countless suitcases, eating absolute garbage travel food, sleeping on rock-hard mattresses (sometimes no mattress at all) and having an absolute BLAST doing it all. But, it can be downright exhausting to live at 100mph all the time. So this weekend I’m giving myself permission to say, I’m tired and I’m staying home.
Now who knows, this mood may be fleeting. In true Tiny Traveler spirit, I may wake up tomorrow with renewed energy to doing something exciting. But I’ve made a pact with myself that if that happens, my “something exciting” must be in my own backyard.
I’m going to spend this weekend cleaning my house, napping when my kid takes naps, playing outside, cooking really great homemade meals (like Cheerios), catching up on TV, snuggling with my dog, decorating my house for fall, calling old friends and IF I feel like it….sitting on the curb near my childhood home and watching the 20 minute Labor Day Parade go by. I’m going to spend this notorious travel weekend recharging so I can hit the road ahead with great gusto.
In the wise words of my sister, “Just like a bow and arrow, you have to pull back to go forward.”
No matter what phase you’re in, no matter what you have planned, no matter where you are (or are not) going, take time to appreciate the journey. Know when you need a break, know when you need to speed up, and listen to yourself to find the right adventure for you and your family this weekend. Above all else, have fun!
Happy Labor Day, from one lucky (and tired) traveler!
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