My default with my limited travel resources (time and money) is to try new places. My husband’s default is, if he finds something he likes, he wants to keep doing it. And he loves Moab, Utah.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Moab, too. So do our kids. What’s not to love? Beautiful scenery, two amazing national parks, warm desert weather (a big plus for us midwesterners), and tons of things to do and see. And I will admit that there is something reassuring about going back to a place where we know where things are and to have some sense of “tradition” in a place. We are going back to Moab in a couple months, and I’m very excited. This will be my and my husband’s fourth trip there, and our kids’ third. It’s been four years since our last trip.
However, I happen to love travel planning, so I’ve felt a little lost leading up to this trip. Our accommodations are booked, in an area of town we’ve stayed in before. I already know the general selection of offerings in the greater Moab area. The “planning,” in terms of seeing all the cool things a place has to offer, is a little lacking for me.
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But we have plenty of decisions to make as a family. The biggest quandaries are around how much “repeating” of places we should do. Of course, you have to go to Arches National Park when in Moab. That’s a given for us. And if you go to Arches, you really shouldn’t miss Delicate Arch, right? But we’ve done Delicate Arch, so is it OK to skip it this time? Or should that be a “tradition” to go to that arch every time?
Last time in Moab, our family went on a horse ride. One child had the time of her life and wants to return, the other not so much. So do we do it again as a family? Divide and conquer to let the other child do something he wants? Let our horsey child bask in her blissful memories of the last trip and skip it this time?
And what about the hiking trail we tried (and failed) three times to do with our dog last time? Should we try to do it again, even though our dog is four years older, arthritic, and has two torn ACL’s?
One thing we are doing on this trip to make it “different” is shaking up our drive to Utah by driving through a couple states that the kids haven’t yet been through, so they can cross them off their list. We’ll see such scintillating sites as the geographic center of the United States (near Lebanon, Kansas) and “Mount” Sunflower, the highest point in Kansas. (I live in Minnesota, which is also not mountainous, so I’m allowed to use the quotation marks around Mount. 🙂 ) But on the way home it’s the fast lane all the way.
I may update this post with how we end up balancing the repeating of sites with trying new things.