How I broke our “travel rut” at first and am working on doing it again and again.

Do you find yourself doing the same thing and not enjoying yourself as much while on vacation? 

When my son was around 8 I realized that we had not gone on a real vacation. I mean we got away for a day or went to visit family in other states but I mean a REAL vacation. Then I realized that that was basically how I was raised, the time you had off you used to go visit family and friends and while that is great and I highly recommend that you do this getting away to some place new is also very important. 

Day-cations are a great way to break up your normal routine. It’s also a way to try something without making a full on commitment until you know you like it. 

These trips can be a day trip or a half day. You don’t always have to go far to experience new things. 
I decided that we should venture beyond our state boarders. 

This made me nervous as a mom of a child n a wheelchair venturing out into the great beyond was just something that I was very unsure of.  I mean we were staying in the US and I knew that the ADA laws were in effect but I also knew that many small mountain towns just were not able to supply what we might need. I did know one thing; National Parks normally have wheelchair activities and we just happened to live within driving distance of many National Parks and monuments. 

I was not ready to hop on a plane and explore somewhere too far from home, but I wanted an adventure. 

So during summer vacation, I loaded up our minivan and told my husband my “plan” (he was working and I was on a mission), and I pointed the van north, which is how we went. 

I had decided the north would be cooler than the south; I gave my son an idea of what was ahead, and he picked where he wanted to go.

Now I used to do this with friends when I was a teen. Do you know the game “Left or Right?” at intersections? It was always great fun. And when we lived in Florida, I would play it too. Even though he was a baby and I would decide we found some great beaches and hole-in-the-wall places to eat. Sometimes I will tell you the story of when we got lost and ended up in Naples because I decided to explore before picking my husband up from work. Needless to say, I was late!

I have always had the travel bug but not the means to afford to travel far. The significant part about that is that I taught myself how to go places on a whim and a dime. 

This trip was an experience I don’t think I will ever forget because it was the first time that I pushed my comfort zone on not just traveling but traveling with a child and, on top of that, a child in a wheelchair. I learned many things on that trip; like don’t judge a book by its cover; we found a hotel that was wheelchair accessible in a small town in the middle of Montana, and it was one of the most excellent hotel rooms ever, and the outside said “RUN!!” but I was so tired. 

We ended up planning a trip to Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, Wy, from this trip. This time my husband came with us; I did prepare for this one more and was pleasantly surprised by the offerings. We did a safari at the Grand Tetons, a float down the Snake River, and the normal Yellowstone activities.  

And then we were off…next up a Disney Cruise. We had a blast on this cruise which was great, it was so accessible, and my son loved the kids club. The bonus was that I could step away and have some me time, something I don’t let myself do enough. 

We also snuck in a quick trip to Branson, it was a lovely time, and we got to check off another National Park and added to the junior ranger pin collection my son had started. 

After that, we realized how much we enjoyed Disney Cruises that we started cruising more with them. We tried to mix up our ports of call, but all the ports out of Florida & Texas seemed very similar and limited on excursions we could do as a family. Also, I found we were getting way too comfortable and a bit board about these cruises. The “WOW!” was just not as significant for the ports, and we were opting to stay on the ships instead of exploring; while this is fine once in a while, it’s not always what we wanted from an escape. 

Being stuck in a rut makes you look around and decide what you would like to do; I had not been to California in many years and never to Southern California. Off to San Diego for us!



By this time, I had caught the bug, the travel bug that is, and added a few other trips before we headed out on our next cruise to Alaska.

The Great Frontier, now that should mix it up a bit; and we loved it. The icebergs, eagles, and views were everything we needed to break up our rut and light a fire under me to research more trips like that.

After Alaska, I knew I had to leave our Caribbean Cruise rut. And that trip gave me the courage to start planning my dream trip; Europe. I have always wanted to travel overseas and explore places I had only seen on TV or read about in books. But I was not ready to let go of my Disney Cruise line security blanket. So when I booked our cruise for the Northern Fjords, I knew we would be ok because we would be doing the exploring but still be on a DCL. And let me tell you, this was all I needed to start feeling like we could travel anywhere and make it work.

Now that I have broken the Caribbean cruise rut, I am working on venturing beyond Disney Cruise Line. Don’t get me wrong, I love DCL and all things Disney, but I also love traveling, and sometimes you need to change things up to get what you want. So, besides the fact that I am always planning our next adventure by land or sea, I am preparing to break the chain and try Royal Caribbean. 

 Am I nervous? Yes, but also excited to see new ports and help my family see parts of the world that we have not seen. It’s ok to stay comfortable, but if you want to go ahead and

Make a change
Venture beyond 
Go right when you know what’s left
Don’t listen to what they say; find out
Educate others by being an example

There is no time to be board in a world as beautiful as this. 

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