What A Two-Week Road Trip With My Grandparents Taught Me
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What A Two-Week Road Trip With My Grandparents Taught Me

Put your phone down and enjoy the moment.

What A Two-Week Road Trip With My Grandparents Taught Me
Marissa Kornatowski

I spent the first two weeks of summer on a road trip with my grandparents and cousin. We traveled through Utah, Arizona, and Nevada and although the views we saw were absolutely incredible, the time I spent with my family ended up meaning the most to me.

My grandparents are remarkable. They kept up with us through the crowded, summer airport. They kept up with us through the stressful car rental process in Las Vegas. Through the four mile hikes through Zion National Park and the literal mountain climbing that we did at Capitol Reef National Park, they just kept on going. From packing up and heading to a different hotel each night, driving upwards of six hours each day - they never slowed down. Waiting for them never got old. Each time my cousin and I inched ahead of them, we looked back to see our grandparents inching closer, pushing their fragile bodies to keep up with our young souls. They never once told us to wait for them and they never held us back from seeing the amazing views we wanted to see. They saw a hike as a challenge and were willing to give their all in order to give us the experience of a lifetime.

Our entire lives were the same way. My grandparents always opened the doors for us to explore the world and try new things. Going to Grandma and Grandpa's over the weekend meant a time full of surprises. A weekend open to doing whatever we chose to do as Grandma and Grandpa watched from behind. They always supported us and were the first people to drive 2 hours just to watch our team lose on a Sunday morning. They made holidays more than just getting together with family and found ways to make the memories long-lasting. They saw things in life that could challenge us, and encouraged us to shoot for the moon. They taught us that the journey would always mean more than the destination.

Looking back, traveling through seven national parks with my grandparents gave me the utmost appreciation for the land we live in. And while the views were exceptional, the time I spent in a small mini-van, sharing stories with my grandma and grandpa was even more special. The late nights we spent wide awake gazing at the stars in the middle of Utah, hearing stories about the funny things that I do that remind them of my mom when she was my age were the moments I'll never forget. The mornings we woke up at 5:00 a.m. to see the sunrise over Horseshoe Bend, wondering why in our right minds we would attempt such a daring hike. As the trip came to an end, it finally dawned on me how much this trip would change the person I am today.

Cameras can capture the views that we saw and pictures can depict how beautiful our planet is. But even more beautiful are the memories I have as we walked along a cliff, forming the rim of Bryce Canyon. The times when picture taking was prohibited, or quite frankly the times when we put the cameras down because a little slip would send you plummeting hundreds of feet into a canyon. Pictures can capture the views, but nothing can capture those small moments with my grandparents.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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