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When does the trip begin? When does it end?

The kernel of a trip idea begins the adventure for me, as planning and packing have me visualizing myself in my happy place.

When I lived on the South Shore of Tahoe the trip really began with a cued up "On the Road Again" by Willie cranking loud right when we hit the pass leaving the basin.

That signaled time to stop griping about life and fall into appreciation for life. "I can't wait to get on the road again."

For some of my companions their trip seemed to end on the morning of the last day to walk out. I walked less with those companions.

I choose to travel more with people who continue a good feeling of being on vacation all the way until the day you go back to work. They didn't complain about unpacking all the gear, or if you can't figure out what to do first: eat, shower or sleep.

The less I let thoughts of the confusing civilized world invade my mental space while I am outside in the sanctuary the more my thoughts seem to link together into a continuous stream of me being held in the gentle arms of Eden.

How about for you? 

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12 Replies

This is a fun topic!

It is always good to know your companions 'travel style'! Some people aren't on vacation until they are sunburned on a far-away beach, while others are on vacation as soon as they get in the car to go to their destination! Some people even have a flexible travel style depending on what they are doing while away! 

Like @Former community member I begin my vacation as soon as I am driving and vacation doesn't end until my sunburn has healed! 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Fun question!

For years (since my kids were 5 & 3) we had this silly little ritual where, just after I pulled out of the driveway and shifted into "D" but before we started moving, I'd say "And awaaaaaaaay...." and the kids would respond with "WE GO!"  We still do that almost a decade later (I forgot to do that one time last year and my 13 year old reminded me).

So, for me, vacation begins with that little ritual. Even if we're just driving to the airport, we still do it. But it's great for the road trips because it puts us all in the frame of mind that the journey is as much a part of the trip as the destination.

And it ends when we walk in the door with the last of the stuff from the car.

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
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My family had a similar tradition when I was a kid.   My dad would say “Kick the tires and light the fires, if anything is gonna happen, it’ll happen out there” as he started the car (I think it’s a movie quote?).  That was always an exciting moment. 

... she said, dubiously.


What a great quote! It's actually a mash up of two Kurt Russell quotes from Captain Ron. @Rob6, our community movie aficionado, I'm sure knew that as well. I will say, however, that Harry Connick Jr.'s use of 'kick the tires and light the fires, big daddy!' in Independence Day was the first reference that came to mind. It's a great one that I may adopt before our family's adventures now!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Thanks for the shout out @REI-JohnJ .  Those movie quotes come in handy at the local pub's Trivia Nights.  Incidentally, my trivia team name is "Take A Hike"!  

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

For me, the trip begins the when I get up the day we leave or maybe the night before when I was finishing packing.  Even when I was working and had to go to work on Friday and we flew out that evening, I had to fight to concentrate at work as my mind was already in the woods/mountain/river...  And it didn't end until I was back in my own bed Sunday a week later.  We flew back Sunday, dropped our stuff inside the door of my house, took a shower, got a bight to eat, and went to bed.  Now that I'm not working, its still the same way except we fly out in the morning during the week (not Fri-Sun) and come back late sometime during the week 10 or 12 days later.

Can't wait until June 1st!

Found Myself Outside

For me, the beginning is the planning, whether it's vacation or a hiking trip. Then it's work, plan, work, plan, then it gets serious when I start making sure I have food if backpacking, or packing for either a vacation or backpacking trip. So it has some gaps in it, but I love every minute of planning, prepping, and packing. It's not over until I go back to work after the trip. 

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@Former community member 

What a fun thread!

I'm going to agree with @SILHiker when they talk about the planning being the beginning. I guess it's more of the holistic 'experience' for me, but when I think about a 'trip' I think about it from the moment the idea pops into my head until I finally put the gear away after getting home from the adventure. The actual doing of the thing is the highlight, but I find that it is the highlight because of all of the preparation, learning, planning, strategizing, and anticipation that goes into getting ready for the trip. There is a deep satisfaction in connecting the kernel of an idea to the completion of an adventure.

I find that the more planning and prep work is required the more rewarding the trip!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

For me, the trip is not over until my head hits the pillow, back in my own bed again.  The trip begins when I start packing, or organizing gear/ supplies in earnest.  Depending on how anticipated the trip is, I may start organizing a few weeks out, lol.  

... she said, dubiously.