6 Struggles Of A Family Vacation

6 Struggles Of A Family Vacation

I look forward to them each year, but I am fully aware that family vacations are rarely perfect.
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I love going on trips with my family. Just as many others do, we usually plan some sort of a family vacation during the summer. I am hesitant about using the word “vacation,” though, because the trips that my family takes rarely fit the image of relaxing on the beach at a tropical destination. They are busy and packed trips, and as much as I look forward to the fun of them each year, I am fully aware that family vacations are far from perfect. Here are some of the biggest struggles that happen every year:

1. Choosing a destination

It’s a rare occasion that the entire family immediately agrees on where to go. The final result is sure to be a great place, but deciding to go there is the hard part.

2. Finding a place to stay

Having high expectations for hotels is something I try to avoid because it’s impossible to satisfy everyone. Queen sized beds, a perfect location, and a nice pool are all decent requests. What about finding a place that has all of that at a cheap price? It’s probably not going to happen.

3. The drive

Getting everyone in the car on time is a struggle, but keeping everyone in the car content is even more of a challenge. Plus, there’s always that one person who slows down the trip because he needs to go to the bathroom when nobody else does or needs to go and stretch.

4. Choosing what to do

My family typically tries to plan ahead and make sure that the trip has something for everyone. It sounds simple in theory, but making that happen is not as easy at is seems.

5. Deciding where to eat


He wants Italian. She wants Chinese. I want pizza, but after over 30 minutes of finding a place to go, I’ll take just about anything.

6. Not having space

Staying in a hotel room can mean getting pretty cramped, and it's safe to say that we all appreciate some time and space for ourselves. Nevertheless, a family vacation is a family vacation. We stick together and make great memories that we will never forget.
Cover Image Credit: Petya McNeal

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Dear Mom, From Your Daughter In College

Here are all the things our phone calls aren't long enough to say.
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Dear Mom,

Do you remember when I was three and we would play together? It was the age of princesses and carpet that was actually lava, and you were the prettiest woman in the whole wide world. Do you remember when I was in high school and the world seemed too big and scary? You would know exactly when to take me on a mother-daughter date and have me laughing about anything and everything, and you were the smartest woman in the whole wide world. Now, I'm buried in homework and deadlines hours away from you and we don't get to talk as much you want, but you're still the prettiest, smartest woman in the whole wide world.

I'm sorry that I don't call you as much as I should, and you know a lot of what goes on in my world via posts and pictures. Our schedules just seem to never line up so we can have the three-hour conversations about everything like I want to. I know we don't agree on absolutely everything, but I cherish every piece of advice you give me, even though it probably seems like I'm hardly listening. I know that sometimes we get on each other's nerves, but thank you for putting up with me for all of these years. Thank you for listening to me cry, complain, question things and go on and on about how everything in college is. I know I don't come home as much as I used to, but I think about you all the time. After all, you're my first friend, and therefore, my best friend.

Thank you for celebrating my successes with me, and not downing me too hard for my failures. Thank you for knowing what mistakes I shouldn't make, but letting me make them anyway because you want me to live my life and be my own person. Thank you for knowing when to ask about the boy I've been talking about, and when to stop without any questions. Thank you for letting me be my crazy, weird, sometimes know-it-all self.

Thank you for sitting back and watching me spread my wings and fly. There is no way I could have known how to grow into the woman I am today if I hadn't watched you while I was growing up so I would know what kind of person I should aspire to be. Thank you for being the first (and the best) role model I ever had. You continue to inspire and amaze me every day with all that you do, and all that you are.

I don't know how I got so lucky to have a person in my life like you, but I thank the Lord every night for blessing me with the smartest, prettiest person to be my best friend, my role model, my confidant, my person and most importantly, my mother.

Love,

Your daughter

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My Grandpa Is The Person Who Motivates Me To Achieve My Aspirations

He's just the best.

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From an early age, I was forced to explore my passions independently as my mother was never satisfied with anything I wanted to pursue. I had always wanted to enroll into taekwondo, but my mom thought it was not suitable for a girl of my age, so she chose ballet for me instead. I had always enjoyed watching other kids play soccer, so I wanted to experience the team. However, my mom thought that it was too rough of a sport for a girl and chose swim for me instead. I had always wanted to play an instrument and cello was what caught my ear with its soothing deep melody. However, my mom deemed the position in which we play the instrument as "unladylike." Utterly absorbed in her traditional values, my mom refused to let me pursue my own interests.

The one thing she forced me into that grew into a passion was swimming. But even as I started, it was hard to continue because all she ever did was bark at me to swim laps, even though she did not know how to swim herself. However, I pushed through years of criticism and started coaching kids as a job experience. I am careful when instructing the kids at swim because I want them to come to lessons, ready and eager to enjoy swim, not dread it.

After years of her disapproving of my interests, her objections only made me want to pursue more. Every time I'd learn a new interest, my grandpa was supportive. I wasn't the best ballet dancer since I had no balance, but he was patient and held my hand as I walked the beam. I wasn't the fastest swimmer and had just learned how, but he offered to help me float even though he couldn't swim. I wasn't the strongest kicker on the field, but he'd take me out to the park to kick around a beach ball. Sometimes, I'd play nonsense on the piano because I was bored, but he'd still praise me, whereas my mom only scolded my incompetency with frustration. She could never let herself allow me to be happy with my own interests.

My grandpa plays a significant role in my life. He stands as a role model and his life motivates me to achieve my aspirations. Despite our language barrier, I have the strongest connection with him. Ever since I was little, my grandparents were the ones who watched over me rather than my parents. I am glad I got to make so many memories with my grandpa. For as long as I can remember, I'd always pull him to take me on this 2-mile walk to the mall, and since he has never seen an escalator before, we'd go up and down for hours. Then, on the way back, I'd always get tired, and he'd carry me all the way home. When I got through middle school, he was so happy for me for it was rare back in his hometown for kids to even make it to middle school. When I got into college, he cried with joy even though he had no clue where and what University of Michigan or Emory was. When I graduated from high school, he asked me to use my phone and wanted to call every one of his friends even though he couldn't remember most of their numbers.

When I was in 8th grade, he started fainting spontaneously and was hospitalized frequently. The scariest times were when the doctors notified us that he had to have surgery. Helplessly, I waited for further notice from the doctors who worked hard to heal him. Even though I was not a particularly religious person, I always prayed for a smooth operation. After all that he has done for me, I could only wish for him to get better. These doctors saved my grandpa's life countless times and granted him more time with our family. My grandpa sees so much substance in creativity and love and values it much more than money or any material. Seeing this positivity radiate from my hapless grandpa motivates me. His strength through every surgery inspires me. Thanks to him, I was able to explore my interests and be inspired to reach for success.

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