Every holiday brings great excitement to our home, as we look forward to gathering with our extended family living in Massachusetts. The questions from my kids begin: how long will we get to our cousins? Are we going to Mimi's or Grandma's first? What day are we playing with our cousins? When are we leaving??! It is pure joy to experience their excitement, and sharing their admiration and love they have for their extended family. The one factor they omit, which is a relief on my behalf, yet physically exhausting to my husband and myself, is the time we spend traveling.
Holidays carve out an entire new definition of travel for us. It has become a part of our lives, as we are the family that lives far away enough but close enough to everyone else to share the holidays and extended weekends by driving to Massachusetts to see friends and family. On Christmas day, we load up the car with a suitcase usually over packed with clothes, (80% of which we never wear), gifts for loved ones, movies and food for the ride, and extra boots and outer gear just in case it snows. We are usually set an ambitious embarking time, that ends up begin delayed by last minute preparations, or the kids just at the critical stage of hunger (my son's new description of his state of hunger) and we have to pull over to get something to eat. I refuse to hit a fast food joint, much to my kids dismay, and after some resistance, we will journey off our route a bit to find a healthier option.
When we arrive to our destination, Aliyah and Robbie are sometimes asleep from the trip. But this never seems to be an issue, no matter what time of day or night we arrive. They are easily roused, and quickly awake, jump out of the car and run to grandma's door to a warm reception of hugs, food and smiling faces. As my husband and I drag in the stuffed suitcase and gifts, the beginning of the migration from house to house begins. Sleep in one house one night, another the next. Just call us the happy nomads.
The highlight of the traveling is spending some quality time with family and the appreciation they have for our journey. Sitting and reminiscing, sharing good food, laughter and stories. Not only does the family time hold a special place in my heart, but these travels offer a time to rejuvenate my practice by delving into innovative yoga classes offered in and neighboring areas our families' home towns. Northampton, Massachusetts, home to Smith College is abound with artistic, eclectic and organic shops, and various yoga studios cram packed within a 5 mile radius. My hometown is just 30 minutes from Boston, Massachusetts, where the famous Patricia Walden, Baron Baptist among others have studios.
But I think the best part about traveling is waking up, finding breakfast already made, the kids are happily entertained, and I don't have to worry about cooking all week.
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Elisha Fernandes Simpson CKYT, RYT, aka laughing hearts yoga teaches mommy and me, kids (ages 7 -18) yoga and organizes free bi-weekly yoga classes for people with breast cancer. Become a friend on Facebook's laughing hearts yoga page.