Flexibility, Expectations, and Travel

We went! We did the thing. We took our first cruise. Also, we included our special needs daughter, who has been on limited travel with us for the last few years.

It started with a hopeful question, “Could we take her on a cruise?” Unlike other travel, we would not be closed in on an airplane or car for hours, we wouldn’t be changing hotels or environments multiple times, and we would have a room for taking breaks as often as needed. Also, we knew all fun activities on a cruise are optional. We could choose what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it, and pair up, some of us doing some things together while others rested.

Speaking of rest, that was a big one. We knew our daughter could sleep in each morning and go to bed early each evening. Other family members were free to keep their fun going early or late. The flexibility in schedule allowed her to rest more than on our previous type of travel and increased the odds of a better outcome for everyone.

Before we left, we also discussed our expectations. Would everything go perfectly? Would she never get frustrated or overstimulated? Would we have to make adjustments along the way?

With those questions answered honestly, we booked the cruise. Like with any travel, the anticipation and planning are half the fun. As a special needs family, a little apprehension too, but we chose to keep our eyes forward on all the possible fun and family time.

And it all worked. No, not perfectly every moment, but as wonderful as we had hoped. Our expectations were not that everything would go perfectly but new ways of making memories together as a family.

After getting home from the cruise, the afterglow has been sweet. We still laugh when one of us mentions a funny or silly thing that happened on our trip. The imperfect moments have their own way of adding to the memories that last beyond a few vacation days.

May our family and yours always be willing to try something new: a new way, plan, or idea. Don’t forget to be flexible and keep expectations reasonable. If one way doesn’t work, try another. Anyone up for camping?