Growing up, our family went on a vacation just about every summer. We packed up the car and headed out, usually with other family members like my aunt, uncle, and cousins. It was always a great time and something I looked forward to.
On our road trips, we often skipped the fast-food and roadside diners. Instead, we packed picnic baskets. Along the way to our destination, we’d stop for a picnic lunch. It really added to making those trips special to my younger self.
May is the most popular month for road trips, and May 22 is National Road Trip Day. I imagine this year, a lot of people are thinking about getting out of town and taking a road trip to somewhere great, whether it’s the beach, the mountains, a theme park, or across the country.
Of course, as much as I loved those road trips as a kid, the older you get, the less those trips seem to happen. Even as I started a family of my own, they didn’t happen as often as I would have liked. But those things happen. The bills are rolling in, you get busy with work, and road trips and extended vacations take a back seat.
Thankfully, we’ve been able to make up for it a little bit later in life. I remember back in 2015, my wife and I took a trip down to Cancun, Mexico. While it wasn’t a road trip, it was certainly a memorable trip. It was a business trip/vacation that turned into a nightmare!
Shortly after we arrived in Cancun, Hurricane Wilma hit. The hurricane was forecasted to miss Mexico, but Cancun sits on the very tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. Wilma hit Cancun head on, and the strongest part of the storm passed right over our heads. It was unbelievable. The winds even blew off the top of the hotel where we were supposed to have stayed.
We were bussed into town and evacuated to a small school with no windows. We stayed there for three days. I was in survival mode the whole time. We didn’t have food or running water, and we had to work hard to track anything down. Thankfully, the military made it in by the second day with food and water, but there was a lot of uncertainty.
At the height of the storm, the wind was blowing nearly 200 miles per hour. It poured a good 50 inches of rain on top of the extreme wind. As we waited in the school with no food or water, it really put things into perspective. You don’t know how lucky we are in America until you’re outside of the country and you have zero basic necessities.
After about five days, we were able to get home and we put that trip behind us. As scary as that was, I still look forward to traveling more. Whether it’s a road trip or flight, it’s important to take time off for a family vacation.
This summer, I hope you get a chance to go somewhere fun and make a few great memories with your loved ones (and hopefully no hurricanes will be involved). Who knows, maybe I’ll even make it out to Pebble Beach!