I have always considered my mom and sisters some of my best friends. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family who loved camping together, celebrating holidays together, and spending time together. Although my sisters and I have grown up and moved to our own places, we still make an effort to get together quite often.
So, why was taking a family vacation this summer so important for us?
To be honest, it caught me off guard that spending time with my family on a vacation felt so much different than just being at home together. While we were traveling, we were away from distractions like our cell phones, work, or other relationships.
Without the distraction of being engrossed in our phones, I got to know who my almost 18-year-old little sister has become as an adult. I was able to see her navigate us around cities she had never been to and be a witness to her first every international adventure. I heard about her friends back home, be the victim of her quick wit, and learn about her dreams for the future.
Without the distraction of work, I talked with my mom about something other than her coworkers or whether she would get out of work early enough to go to the grocery store and watch “The Bachelor.” I heard stories from when she was my age and told her all about the exciting things happening in my life right now.
Without the distraction of other relationships, I was able to spend time with my older sister alone instead of on our usual double dates with our significant others. We could talk about anything we wanted and keep secrets just between the two of us.
On the last night of our two-week trip, we decided to take part in a pasta-making class at a small restaurant along the street in Rome. We kneaded together just two ingredients to make undoubtedly the best dinner I have ever created. As we sweated out our wine, working 5 feet away from the pizza oven, it just hit me how lucky I am to have experienced some of the most beautiful cities in the world with my family. From rolling Christmas cookie dough at home to rolling pasta dough in Italy, time with family should always be treasured.
Travel is undoubtedly an experience where we learn and change the most. So why not share that with the people who are closest to us, and maybe learn a little bit about them along the way, too?