Three valuable tips for your next outing, getaway or grand vacation | By Josh Clements
You don’t have to be a superhero to have epic adventures with your loved ones but after following the tips in this blog, you’ll probably be mistaken for one.
When asked about epic summer adventures in July, in San Diego, I was drawn to a comic book analogy like like Superman is drawn to shouts of “help!”, like Tony Stark is drawn to a mirror and like Stan Lee is drawn to, well draw anything…(things just got a wee bit nerdy, I’m sorry, please hang in there). However, what I’m really saying here is that when I hear the word “epic” I immediately think of heroes, quests and the exciting things that happen and the memories that are made as a result.
A wise man once gave Peter Parker some sage advice: “with great power comes great responsibility.” This is very true. However, when thinking about “summer time” I thought of a phrase that contains the essence of this advice combined with my own philosophy: “with great amounts of time, comes great opportunity.” The question you may have is “opportunity for what?” All of us have an opportunity to have an “epic summer adventure,” however, just because it is summer, and it’s a vacation, doesn’t automatically make it “epic.”
It is on an epic quest that our heroes; find their purpose, overcome challenges and finally achieve their goal.
For anyone planning an outing, getaway or grand vacation remember to do these three things that epic heroes have done before us in literature and film:
- Define the purpose.
- Identify and prepare for challenges.
- Achieve something great for our family and friends.
I believe that all of us do a great job of the first two.
We make a plan: “This summer we are going to Disneyland so we can go on the rides and meet the characters.”
We prepare for challenges: “We will pack a backpack full of snacks and water so that ‘little Johnny’ doesn’t have a tantrum while waiting for Dumbo.”
However, we can look to our hero for advice on how to shift our summer outings from mere vacations to epic adventures by achieving something great:
After his third year at Hogwarts, Harry routinely visits the neighboring village of Hogsmeade to partake in warm and tasty drinks at The Three Broomsticks and pick up some candy at Honeyduke’s Candy Shop. Does he go alone? No, he travels with his best friends Hermoine and Ron. While there, they enjoy their time. However, they also take the time to connect with each other. They share the experience of partaking in everything that Hogsmeade has to offer, but they also talk about many things, are transparent, and, as a result, become better friends because of these conversations.
Does Harry plan his travel? Yes. Does he take in the sights and sounds “the foreign land? Yes. Does he rush off to “check something off” his itinerary? No.
This is essential.
He spends time with his best friends. He talks with them about what is on his mind. He shares the experience with
them. They sit. They bond. They develop their relationship. This is what we sometimes miss while on vacation; focusing on using the time we are given to build relationships with the people whom we care about.
It’s easy to think “oh man, I spend $300 on tickets, $1,000 on airfare, and have only five days to experience it all. Sooooooooo we only have 15 minutes to sit on this beach before we “have to” move on to the next thing.” Another wise bearded man (no, not Dumbledore) said “All you have to do is decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.”
No matter how much money you spend ($5 or $5,000), it is essential to focus on what is most important; who you involve, the words you speak and the relationships you build. No matter what, you will take pictures of the sights and of your fellow adventurers. Later, when you and your travelling companions look at these photos, what will they remember? Will they remember you pulling them along to look at an exact replica of a Nimbus 2000 or will they remember the conversation you had before you ate a handful of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans and the face you made when you tried a lawn clippings flavor?
Different locales are amazing; various beaches, different countries, even hidden parts of our own city are perfect settings for your adventure because they allow us to create shared experiences. What will you share? What will you do to make your time epic?”
The time will go by like The Flash (sorry, I couldn’t resist), how will you make the most of it?
Josh Clements is an excellent planner of fun family outings, day trips and long, eight hour dates with his wife, Hannah. As an Eagle Scout, he knows how to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Together Josh and Hannah help raise Adam (15), Gracie (11) and Aidan (8). Josh has been a professional educator for 12 years and is currently working at San Marcos High School where he teaches 9th grade English and is the yearbook advisor. Josh and Hannah own the “little green house on the corner” in historic Escondido from which they often “adventure” to buy donuts from Peterson’s Donut Corner.