There’s really no excuse not to travel, and I was out of excuses as to why my buddy John and I had never done a road trip together.
My buddy John and I did an epic road trip last summer with the “main event” being the Indianapolis 500. While the Indy 500 was the destination, the trip was definitely about more than just about a race. This trip represented a lot of firsts for me: my first road trip with my best friend of nearly 20 years, my first trip to the Indy 500, my first trip to a professional racing event, my first IndyCar race and my first vacation that didn’t involve my wife or sons.
As a dad and as a husband, I think it’s important to take time away sometimes. Heck, I think it’s important as a mom, too! I’m not saying you should run away from your problems and obligations. Not at all. What I am saying is that I have felt guilty in the past for wanting to do things that didn’t necessarily include my family. But where do we draw the line? Are we, as parents supposed to revolve our lives around our spouse / significant other and our children?
I do spend time with them, but one thing I, personally, have tried not to lose (as a father and husband) is my “me” time. This trip was exactly what I needed, as a dad, as best friends with John and as a guy that needed some time away.
Best friend road trips & all the excuses in the world not to.
There’s really no excuse not to travel, and I was out of excuses as to why my buddy John and I had never done a road trip together. John and I met in 1997. He and I both worked for a Target store in Orlando while we were attending school. John’s a cool dude back then and we pretty much clicked right away. Much has changed since we first met, but he and I have been there for each other through a lot of major milestones in each other’s lives. He was there after my divorce and also for my wedding. I was there for his wedding (I was the photographer) and for the birth of his two children most recently.
John and I had known each other longer than many people have been alive, and yet, we had never taken a road trip together. We had traveled together, mostly before we were both married. We did a 5-night guys cruise together on Carnival once – that was awesome. We even did a trip to Hawai’i for my 31st birthday.
We’ve had some great experiences but we’ve always wanted to have a “guys-only” road trip. So, we stopped making excuses and we planned one around the 99th running of the Indy 500 in 2015. John is a pretty big Formula 1 fan, but there aren’t many races in our hemisphere. So we decided to take a shot at Indy, instead (Monaco is still on the list, by the way).
From a best friends road trip perspective, the trip from Orlando to Indianapolis, Indiana was awesome. We got a unique chance to bond, this time as dads and in a new phase of our lives. We barely listened to the radio at all (although, we did take time to jam out a few times). We spent most of our time talking about the past 20 years, what it’s like to be a dad, the trials and tribulations of family life and how awesome it was to be on the open road together for the first time.
If you haven’t, I strongly recommend booking a trip with your best friend right now. I’ll never forget ours. In fact, we’re thinking about planning another road trip to the 100th running of the Indy 500!
“Me” time and false obligations in parenting.
Do you feel guilty for even thinking about taking time away from your family? I know I did in the past. But I had a realization (hopefully not a a mid-life crisis) that it’s okay to take time away, as long as there’s time together, too. Most of my trips, vacations and down time has been spent with my family. We travel as much as possible because I want my boys to know there’s life outside of Florida (and out of the U.S., eventually). When John first brought up the idea of traveling, just he and I, to Indy, I thought it was nuts.
My wife will never go for it.
Five days? I’ll miss my family.
If I’m going to spend the money to travel, shouldn’t it be with them?
I came up with all kinds of guilty feelings and questions, but I wanted to go and I just didn’t think my wife would be into it. She’d go, if I asked her to, but racing is definitely not her thing. So, we pitched it to the wives and they agreed it would be a good idea. In fact, we agreed that they would be able to do a girls’ trip as well!
I think what it came down to for us is that we are happy as a couple and as a family. I didn’t ask my wife if it would be okay to do a guys trip because I wanted to get away from her or from the boys. She knew that I wasn’t running away, but that I was just stretching my travel legs a bit.
I hope the Indy 500 road trip was the first of what will be regular trips without my family. I know there will always be family vacations, too. Heck, I may even try traveling solo at some point!