How Our Family Started a Tradition of Sunday Drives


Travel awakens new joys.  I am going to dispel some common myths about travel to help you start your own travel traditions and set them as a life priority.  

Here are examples of 5 common myths that keep people from traveling more:  

1. You need to plan carefully.  I am not a strict planner when it comes to vacations.  I think vacation from start to finish should be a somewhat relaxing in concept, at least in theory. We don't do planning on our drives, we just get in the car and go.  Yet, these trips often ending up being the most memorable and interesting, as we find places off the beaten path.  

2.It's too expensive.  Try visiting local historic sites, most of which are free. Our family absolutely loves the National Park System and specifically, the National Registrar of Historic Places.  Most of these sites are free or charge a nominal free.  These diverse sites contain a wealth of information about our country's history, environmental preservation, and natural beauty.  Best of all, they provide great learning opportunities!  Our kids have completed the Junior Ranger program in different states.  We collect stamps of all the different states we have traveled.  Our tradition has become to do at least one family drive per month on weekends.  Sometimes they are longer, but for the most part they are short drives. 

2. You already know everything in your neighborhood.  Just the other day, I went into an Antique shop and found a first edition copy of Robert Frost’s collected poems.  It had been awhile since I read, “Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening”, and I wanted to read it to my girls.  I had been thinking about the poem for quite some time, and had not gotten around to ordering a copy. And there on the shelf, haphazardly, was something I had been searching for.  Travel is quite the same.  We find things we cherish in the most unexpected places.  

4. You have to go far-away.  There are a great number of local places to visit in each state.  We are big enthusiasts of agricultural tourism and love farmers markets. Some of our most memorable drives included local places that often fall off the radar of tourist hot spots.  

5.You have to start in warmer months of Spring or Summer.  Actually our family, started these drives when it lived in Hopewell Junction, New York.  It was freezing and we had a new baby!  Yet, we realized that life is short and we needed to get out more and see the world.  We have learned to take short drives to get out of the house, even if the laundry is piling up, or any other excuse, we just go.  

I challenge you to live more fully and travel a bit more!  Just start the car or grab a bike, and go see some nearby places, maybe alone or maybe with your whole family. I believe you will find one thing:  the secret places right near us are sometimes the most interesting and inspiring of all.

Each week on this blog, I’ll share my experience of our family Sunday drives.  My idea is to write something that captivates the emotions I felt and my observations of our kids experiencing new places.  The hidden charm of some of these nearby places are at times the most inspiring of all.

Please feel free to post questions, comments, insights or ideas for future travel ideas for our family.  The blog will also serve as a running record of sorts, or a virtual scrapbook of our adventure. If you would like us to visit a particular site, we’d be happy to.  You can reach me @miriamoclifford.  Happy travels!