Lessons from the Road

We had a National Lampoon Family Vacation kind of beginning to our cross country trip. Of course, it would have been more fun for us if Chevy Chase had actually come along.

Here's our RV on Day 3:

Yep. We broke down on day 2. After more than a day of waiting to find out what the rental company was going to do, it was finally towed to another Cruise America location and we were given a replacement RV. That was after spending more than 3 hours sitting in a truck repair shop with our kids and 24 hours of really poor customer service. I won't go into the details because they'll bore you--and the company still has a chance to make it right with us. 

I'll just say that I understand things go wrong with vehicles. I'm not unreasonable. But the least the company could have done was tell us what they were doing to resolve the problem. Instead, they dodged our calls and left us and the truck repair company waiting....waiting...waiting...

So... the first (reminder) lesson: roll with it when problems arise while traveling because what else can you do? We made the best of a lousy situation and now we're on our way to our destination, albeit behind schedule. 

The second, perhaps more important, lesson: be thankful for what you have.

When the RV made a terrifying noise on the highway, I was certain we were going to break down right there with no real shoulder to safely hold us, on an interstate with tractor trailers racing by. I was scared for my family's safety. 

But that didn't happen. We managed to exit the highway and get to a truck stop. Honestly, I was thrilled my family was safe. I tried to focus on that when customer service was frustrating me the next day. (And truth be told, I failed some of the time... it was a hard day and I'm far from perfect). 

I'm thankful my family is safe.

After 2 hours at the truck stop, with no response from Cruise America in sight, my husband was able to get online and find a campground nearby. A quick phone call later and we found out they had a site for us. We limped into the campground, parked the RV and went straight to the pool to cool off. 

I'm thankful for technology that allowed us to easily find a place to stay that night.

Everyone we met in person was friendly and helpful-from the Hejamada Campground where we stayed, to Pullen's Truck Repair who did their best to get us on the road, to Mark's Service Center, Inc. who provided us with a replacement RV. And there were some lovely people at the KOA in Erie, OH who refunded our money (against policy) when we missed or reservation because we broke down.

I'm thankful for the kindness of strangers.

Through all of it, our kids showed us (AGAIN!) how resilient and patient they can be, even when we start to get frustrated. 

I'm thankful for my patient, resilient children

Maybe you're traveling this summer or maybe your not. Either way these are lessons for all of us, everyday. When you start to get annoyed, I hope you'll remember this post and "roll with the punches" and be thankful for what you have.

What lessons have you learned while traveling?

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