When I was in college, my sister and I went on a weekend trip to Charleston, South Carolina.
Neither of us had been so we drove up for a weekend from Georgia and spent a few days exploring – checking out farmer's markets in the mornings, grabbing lunch at rooftop cafes, and taking slow dinners at Charleston's many wine bars and restaurants.
I loved that trip and still so clearly remember the B&B room we shared – it was totally Instagram-worthy, if only Instagram existed then. In thinking about this trip the other day, I realized one of the things that made it so special: it was just me and my sister.
Have you ever done that, traveled with just one member of your family? If you have, then you know the magic that is a trip dedicated to learning more about a loved one than you ever could at home or on a group trip. And if you haven't? Well, you should try it.
When you travel with just one member of your family, the trip is entirely different than it would be if you traveled with your whole family, or even with your partner or spouse. With a partner, you're used to spending time alone together. Unless you're in a long distance relationship, it happens every day.
But how often do you spend quality time with a single member of your family? And I'm not talking about going out to dinner or to Target – though both of those experiences can be very quality in their own right.
I'm talking about being in a situation out of the ordinary, particularly one in a new place, that will give you a different experience with the chosen family member than you've ever had before. And having such a new, different, and personal experience with this person will help you to see them in a more clearly and get to know them a little better.
In my family we have somewhat of a history of taking these trips. Aside from the Charleston jaunt I took with my sister:
•My mom and I spent a Thanksgiving together in Key West, Florida when I was about 9. (The rest of the family was in Italy, ho hum). We later spent a lot of time alone together both when I was living in New York, and in London.
•Before I moved to New York, I used to tag along with my dad on business trips to the big city where we would stay in fancy hotel rooms and explore the city together.
All of these times spent with the people that I love doing new and different things were so important, and I think back on all of them and truly appreciate the experiences.
Now that my sister has a wee one, we're planning on doing the same thing when her daughter gets a little older (i.e. more than 2 months old).
And you know what? I can't wait to share that time with her again – to explore another new city with her and now, plus one more.
More from parenting