Almost since the day they were born, R-kids and I have been heading off on various adventures around the country.

By plane.
By train.
By car.
By bus.
By Uber.
By bike.
By Disneyland Trolley.

Nothing exotic. But we’ve been lucky.


Almost everything about traveling with my kids has gotten easier—now that I don’t have to lug strollers, or pack all three sets of underwear, or factor in the walking capacity of significantly shorter people.

But one thing has gotten much, much, much more difficult.

vintage-map7-shorts-and-longs-julie-rybarczykAgreeing on what we are doing next.

That task used to be 99.9% up to me, with a little bit of input from my mostly agreeable children who pretty much both wanted to go wherever I told them the fun and treats and interesting things could be found.

But no more.


Now I have two mostly grown children with two fully grown opinions that are usually on two opposite ends of the spectrum. Or the map.

These opinions are occasionally expressed with an air of disdain toward anyone who may happen to have a different opinion.

It’s delightful.

And it really helps move plans along with minimal stress and effort.


The last few trips have inspired me to enact a new set of rules that must be agreed upon by anyone who wants to join the adventure.

The purpose of these rules is to ensure that R-mother does not:
a) Lose her cool.
b) Lose her mind.
c) “Lose” her children on the side of some random, dusty road.

I must say. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how the New Rules have shifted the travel dynamic into more enjoyable territory.


They haven’t worked magic. But they have worked. (And, yes, even R-mother needs to remember the rules.)

The New Rules of Travel
1. Everyone must be overly tolerant.
2. Everyone must be overly helpful.
3. Everyone must be overly kind.
4. Also, everyone gets a turn.

And by “overly” I mean: Over-the-top. Absurdly. Ridiculously.

Which, when translated into real life, actually just looks like a normal (or sometimes barely perceptible) level of tolerant, helpful, and kind.

But still. That’s a lot better than the alternative.


Which got me thinking.

Perhaps these New Rules of Travel could be helpful in a few adult scenarios as well?


Here’s to making it through this journey together, friends.




P.S. This vintage schoolroom map is currently hanging in our living room. It’s a little beat up in places, but what I love most about it—besides the colors—is that this isn’t a real place. It’s a fantastical location that has every kind of major geographical occurrence piled into a few square miles.

If the active volcano would calm down, I’d want to live there.

Plus, the vocabulary list on the bottom. Come on. I mean did you know what an isthmus is?






  • Julie

    Impressive! 😉

  • Joe H.

    I DID actually know what an isthmus was! Probably from some similar map in geography class when I was a kid. 😀

  • Lois McNeil

    Very good advice. I like hearing about your journey with your kids.


Leave a Reply