All About Let’s Just Go

“The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories.” -Og Mandino

Once upon a time, a girl traveled with her family… 

One day when I was visiting with my parents, I asked my mom if I could look through our old family photos.  She had piles of them and as I browsed the yellowing pages and flipped through stacks of loose, printed photos, I noticed that there were no fabulous pictures of foreign lands, no campy cruise photos like the ones photographers insist you pose for as you board a cruise ship, no old boarding passes, and no travel postcards like the ones we collect when we travel. Knowing my parents, this wasn’t a surprise and I wasn’t expecting those types of photos anyway. 

Instead, as I sorted through the pictures, I looked for something else; memories!  As I examined the photos, I realized that my Mom and Dad are to blame for my love of travel! 

My Dad worked hard to support his young family and my Mom made it her priority to ensure that my brother and I had a secure and memorable childhood. Looking through all those photos, I realized how truly blessed I was to have had such a great childhood, full of adventure and imagination, for which I am eternally grateful.  And while I know that worldwide travel wasn’t in the budget back then, what I do know is that my parents didn’t hesitate to load us kids into the car for endless road trips. 

My parents took my brother and me up and down the East Coast from Canada to Florida and as far west as Texas and we have so many cherished memories.  The most memorable include the perennial apple that my Mom packed as a snack for every road trip–never a cookie to be found!  Then there was the adventure to Florida & Walt Disney World around my 13th birthday. Instead of memories of Mickey, for me, the lasting memory of the trip was of four very tall people (and our luggage) packed into a two-door hatchback Ford Pinto with no air-conditioning in the late June/early July Southern heat and humidity.  It was hotter than I can express and when my little brother started touching me, the typical teenage mayhem ensued. Hot and annoyed, my Dad stopped the car with traffic whizzing by along the interstate. Seats were exchanged and the touching definitely stopped! It wasn’t funny then, but it is a hysterical recollection now, years later. Isn’t it funny that after all the planning to go to Florida, the one memory that stands out the most is that part of the trip?

From other family trips, I love the memories of watching my Dad valiantly attempt to fish in beautiful mountain lakes with only little nibbles or tiny fish not fit for eating as his prize, horseback riding,  watching my Mom eat lobster in Maine with a bib around her neck, observing while my Dad packed our cars with military precision, making use of every inch, visiting the ducks at The Peabody Hotel, and an endless afternoon in a hotel pool in Nashville with my brother while my parents ventured off to the Grand Ole Opry (everyone was happy).  I also have vivid memories of a very hot summer evening when my Dad and one of our dear family friends hand-cranked ice cream on the porch of a State Park cabin while sweat poured down their faces. 

Then there are the sweet memories of our favorite family activity, camping.  It is amazing to me that we loved it after our very first camping trip.  Just after setting up, the rain that Noah must have experienced came down leaving us stranded inside with nothing to do.  As teenagers, it was torture!  Eventually, even my steadfast Dad gave up and we took the contraption down and went home.  Damp but not discouraged, we went out again and again.  Over time we graduated to newer and bigger campers and disappeared as a family into what my husband calls the “deep dark woods,” as often as possible, sometimes for weeks at a time. 

As I got older, travel also included the addition of Mission trips with my church youth group and summer camps as a counselor. That meant that our summers were lived out of suitcases with quick turnarounds at home for laundry and reset for the next week. The summers of my teenage years were busy, glorious, and some of the most formative of my life. In fact, as a camp counselor, I worked with a woman named Rose Mary, helping her as she cooked in the camp kitchen and worked on craft projects with the campers. Little did I know that she would one day be my Mother in Love!

I have to confess that as I looked through the photos with my Mom, I was a little disappointed that there are no photos of most of these sweet memories.  On the other hand, I am equally relieved to have grown up during a time when we didn’t have a camera or electronic device readily available to expose all of our shenanigans! 

I cherish my childhood memories and credit them with my love of fun, adventure, and exploration. My love of travel is an affliction for which my parents are to blame and from which I never wish to be cured. It is also a condition that I still love to share with my parents when we are able and as an adult, I am so very blessed to be able to go to places that I never thought I would see.

Thanks, Mom & Dad!  I love you both!

As adults, my husband and I enjoy dreaming, researching, and planning our travels. This blog was born out of one specific trip that launched us into travel as a married couple. One afternoon, my husband informed me that it was cheaper (at the time) to go to London than it was to go to Las Vegas. He asked me which I preferred. (Never give me that kind of choice!) My response? “Let’s just go!” and we took our first trip to England!

“Let’s Just Go” has turned into the philosophy that my husband and I have since adopted for all of our travel. We understand that life is precious and if there are places we want to go, we need to JUST GO! We have enjoyed traveling internationally, relaxing on cruise ships, taking endless road trips, and we bought an RV to explore beautiful places while having some comforts of home.

My travel blog, Let’s Just Go, was born to share our travel tips, tricks, experiences, and all things travel.

Thanks for joining me! I look forward to sharing my travels with you.

If you’re ready, Let’s Just Go!

4 responses to “All About Let’s Just Go”

  1. This is a wonderful post! I can relate to much of it – growing up in a family of six. We didn’t have a lot of funds, but we did have a lot of fun. Lots of road trips, day trips, and an annual trip to Michigan. We have some pictures from those times. But even today, I like to focus on the fun rather than on taking pictures. We can still see so many things in our mind’s eye. Yes, I am ready to go!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful article about the importance of happy memories and the role they play in shaping our love for adventure and exploration. It’s a reminder to cherish the moments we have with our loved ones and to create new memories that will last a lifetime.
    John White

    Liked by 1 person

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