3 Lessons from the Road

highway sign, knoxville, atlanta, road trip, I75Road trips are my favorite way to travel. I love to see new things and visit new places and I always learn something from every adventure.  My recent road trip to Florida was no exception.  Besides seeing a whole lot of new country and getting to spend some quality time with my son, I learned a few things that translate well into other areas of my life.  Here are the first three:

  • Always have a plan.

Know where you are going and don’t rely on someone (or something else) to plan your course for you.  We used a GPS, but planned the route out ahead of time so I was familiar with where I should be going. This turned out to be a good thing since my GPS was apparently possessed. She got lost a couple of times and began spouting out random rapid-fire directions that made no sense including one to make a right turn into a big ditch, tried to get us to make a U-Turn in the middle of the Kansas Turnpike and rerouted us through Kentucky onto Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. In spite of Ms. Beta’s best efforts (try and tell me your GPS doesn’t have a name), we made it to our destination–and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride actually turned out to be pretty fun and not really any longer than the “safe” route.

  • No matter what your unique talent, you can find a way to use it.

We spent a few days at Disney World and saw a lot of different shows while we were there.  One thing that I saw over and over was that people with very diverse skills and talents were incorporated into both the Disney shows and into different jobs in the parks.  Musicians, gymnasts, jugglers and stilt walkers all found spots in Disney shows along with the more traditional singers and dancers.  And beyond the traditional jobs you’d expect to see in an amusement park, there are also computer professionals, engineers, botanists, food scientists and researchers of all types employed there.  If you have a skill or talent that isn’t necessarily “traditional” you are likely to find a way to work it into your career.  It may take some creativity and effort, but you can always find or make a place doing what you really want.

  • Be selective.

epcot center, disneyworldIt simply isn’t possible to do everything all at once and, if you are trying to be all things to all people, you’ll only succeed in making yourself miserable.  There were so many things to do and so many places to see as I traveled across country; sidetrips & stops were a constant temptation.  But I had a goal and that was to deliver my daughter’s household belongings to FLorida.  Even after I got to Florida there was an endless list of choices for spending my time.  I only had five days so I had to choose the activities that best fit in with our schedule and our plans.  As a result of not overplanning, every day was enjoyable and I came home with lots of great memories (and photos) of our trip.  I also came home with a list of activities I’m looking forward to on our next visit.

Being selective also applies to blog posts.  I gained lots of great insights on this trip, but including them all today would make for a ridiculously long blog post, so I’ve picked three of my favorites.  Stop by again for more Lessons from the Road.


What have you learned from your travels through life?  Please share your comments, questions and observations below.

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  1. I would add, “Have a plan, but be willing to be flexible when that plan goes to sh**”. I’ve learned things rarely go the way we planned, but having a plan means that you will be on the right path.

  2. I loved this post and the reminder, Marie! When we went on our first ever family vacation and selected Disney, with three special needs kids, I knew we had to plan carefully so that we would not only have a great time, but would lead the kids, all of whom are autistic, into meltdowns and a fear of future vacations.

    Careful planning ensured that while we still had a few meltdowns, the kids were looking forward to the next vacation as much as we were … and we made some wonderful memories!

    Excellent post!

    1. Thanks, Katrina. I thought of you and your boys while I was there and wondered how you would make it work–I cannot imagine a childhood without at least one visit to Disney. I’m glad it was great for you guys, too.

  3. Betty Nelson says:

    I loved what it said about if you have a passion we can always find a way to market it…great article!

  4. love lessons from the road! i have always wanted to go on a real “road trip” so much to see and do across this great country of ours… loved your lessons!
    shelley 🙂

    1. Thanks, Shelley. This one just made me want more–maybe a little slower next time, though–12 states in 12 days is a fast-moving trip.

  5. Plan – be open to change of plans – let God direct your days… that’s my philosophy and I’m sticking to it! (-_-)
    Norma Doiron @The LEARNED Preneur ╰☆╮

  6. Love your tip of not over-planning! I think this principle is true in all areas. A well-planned life leaves room for improvisation too!

  7. thanks for this post. I get so sidetracked that I never seem to be able to get the see anything that I intended to LOL I am doing to apply these principals to my next adventure..;)

  8. Your right!, being all things to everyone is setting yourself up for disaster…we have to “niche” it down…I have gone through this many times and I’m still learning..Its so very hard to choose when one loves to chase rabbits 😉

  9. Marie, great article. I love how you applied your trip to real life lessons. I had an experience yesterday and learned from it. Never walk around flowers fast as they will make viewer dizzy.

  10. I love Lessons from the Road and how they relate to other areas of your life. That is so true.