How often do you juggle difficult and unanticipated circumstances in your life while asking yourself, “When did I sign up for THIS?"
Years ago my husband and I painstakingly planned a little family vacation, something we didn’t really have funding for, but we were always up for a challenge—which usually meant . . . CAMPING.
Having very little money for a ‘vacation’ meant ‘roughing it’ in a tent, which, for me, is no picnic.
We like to joke about my un-extensive knowledge of the Hebrew language—I know of only one word:
the word for ‘tent’ is ‘OH-HELL’.
Easy for me to remember.
Anyway, we planned our trip from Colorado to the Black Hills of South Dakota, a place we had never explored. We even called ahead to a reportedly nice campground and paid for reservations, so we would not have to hunt for a spot when we arrived after a long drive.
Car loaded with kids and gear, we were halfway to our destination when we realized we had a potential problem.
The highways were swarming with massive packs of Harley Davidson motorcyclists—on their way to Sturgis for their 51st
annual national gathering. Unsuspecting, clueless family propels smack dab into Motorcycle mayhem.
My husband, at the time, sported an attitude about bikers on highways. It intensified when we wearily arrived at our campground in Sturgis--in our family station wagon—to find every inch of camping turf covered with tents, bikes, drinking bikers, and biker babes! We inquired about our campground ‘reservation’ and were told we could set up anywhere we could find a spot among the thousands of ‘Harley Huts’. All other campgrounds nearby were similarly filled…no vacancy.
We had planned for a quiet family vacation, didn't have money to change plans, and we had to wonder if we could possibly enjoy our week with 400,000 (no joke) black leather-clad strangers on their very noisy motorcycles. What to do?
Get angry and fuss, or adjust and turn it into an adventure.
We ended up discovering the most beautiful, secluded, large campground, a little further drive away…with tall pine trees and a creek and only one biker, a drunk, angry one, but he left after only a day.
We bought Harley Davidson T-shirts and bandanas so we would better ‘fit in’ (ha), and tried to make the best of it.
We even made some friends, and discovered that most of the scary-looking people were actually quite friendly.
My husband changed his attitude and we enjoyed one of the best cheap trips ever.
Life is full of the unexpected—you never know what is just around the corner.
Sometimes the things we try to control in life get out of control.
Usually these things can turn into priceless treasures, if we take it all in stride and use the opportunity to stretch, learn, and change.
We get to discover beautiful ‘back road scenery’, build strong bonds with our loved ones, and make new friends and memories that bring smiles and laughs for years to come.
Question: What situation/s in your life are you trying to make the best of right now? What steps can you take to embrace the change and enjoy the detour, instead of letting it devastate your preferred plans?