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If you don't travel in an RV the right way this year you'll never get over it

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

Do you remember that vacation you went on that didn't quite live up to your expectations

Yes! That one!  

Today we're going to look at the unseen obstacles, the bumps in the road, that will derail you from your dream vacation, and how you can fix them before you pull out of the driveway. 

You've been there before. You made the financial investment, you took your time to do things right, and they just didn't live up to your expectations. 

Sometimes it made you sad. 

But as someone who tries to be careful about how you spend your hard-earned money, there are other times it made you downright angry. It wasn't that the trip was terrible. It was just... not quite right. It wasn't what you hoped for. It didn't live up to your expectations. 

I'm going to unpack for you how to set the intention for your trip in a way that helps ensure you won't come home feeling empty or cheated. It's a simple change, but it's priceless. 

I want to hear from YOU today. What’s the best place you’ve ever vacationed, and what’s the worst?

I remember being in college and driving an amazing car - it was a fire red 1985 Chevy Camaro with T-tops. That car was THE BOMB. Until one day I was driving through campus and some dude pulled out in front of me and the beast got totaled. My mom knew a guy that sold used cars so she found me an amazing deal on something more reliable. I still remember the day I picked it up and drove it for the first time. 


NOT very excited. 

As I merged onto the highway I told her that the engine sounded like it was about to explode. The fact is, I was a complete turd. 

Fast forward a couple of years and I had fallen in love with the car. It drove like a dream, it was reliable, it got great mileage, and it was actually pretty quick off the line. 

So, what was it that made me hate it so much when I drove it for the first time? 

In one respect you could say that it was a wrong expectation. But I’m here to tell you, it was something more than that. 

Today we’re going to talk about what it is that derails us from a great experience. And here’s a clue. 

It isn’t just bad service or a negative encounter with someone that sabotaged the day. 

But also, it isn’t just a wrong expectation.

So let’s take a look at what kinds of things we can do to make sure the experience is better. 

Have you heard of the Serenity Prayer? It goes like this:

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. 

Today we are going to take this poem as a blueprint for approaching a vacation, or a trip in an RV, but really it's good advice for anything we put our hands to. 

Let's dive in.

Step #1: LORD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

I'm other words, help me to see that there are some things I can’t do anything about. Help me not get detoured by them. 

Let me give you a quick list of some things that might happen to you on your trip:

As I'm listing things, I can only imagine you've got a whopper or two of your own. Tell me about it below.

  • flat tire

  • refrigerator breaks

  • axle breaks

  • leaf spring bracket breaks

  • hit a tree

  • slides don’t work

  • Run out of electricity

  • water heater breaks

  • window flies off

  • blowout

  • The spare tire doesn't have enough air

  • gas station tire pump doesn't inflate your spare tire

  • busted window

  • door breaks

  • can’t get level

  • trim falls off

  • awning won’t go out

  • awning won’t come in

  • drive ½ mile down a road that you have to back out of

  • Truck's turbo goes out

  • outdoor kitchen blows open on the road

  • battery dies

  • DEF system breaks

And there are just some of the things that have happened to us. 

Some of them more than once. 

If we let one of these things ruin our trip then we’d never have a good trip. And the same is true of your trip. If you allow a few little bumps in the road to ruin your trip then you should save the money and just don’t leave. Or better yet, send me your money, I’ll tell you how the trip was and leave out the bad parts. That way you can enjoy the trip without all the setbacks. 


Step #2: grant me the courage to change the things I can,

When we look at a trip there are some things that we CAN and SHOULD control. But there are also some things we just can’t control. It takes wisdom to know the difference between them. But it also takes wisdom and practice to keep from letting the things you can’t control from controlling you. 

Did you catch that? I’ll say it again. 

It takes wisdom and practice to keep from letting the things you can’t control from controlling you. 

So there are things you can control, and you should definitely control them. Sometimes it takes courage to even attempt it. And courage, by its definition, is hard. 

But really, before we can get into that, we have to look at Part 3 first. 

Step #3: and the wisdom to know the difference. 

Let me tell you about the moment that the Lord granted me some wisdom in our travels. 

When we started traveling I wanted to give my kids experiences that I didn’t get when I was growing up. It isn’t that I didn’t have a great upbringing, I had an amazing one, but there are some things I missed out on that I wanted to give my kids. I loved hiking through nature. Every time we go to a National Park we start in the visitor center, where the boys go through the Junior Ranger program.  Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a long time. I mean, a really long time. So we’d be in the visitor center, and my kids are trying to find the name of the bug that a ferret eats, and I’m looking at my watch, frustrated that we haven't already hit the trail. 

But then one day God granted me an experience that imparted a little wisdom. It actually happened in 2 stages.

First - I was standing in a visitor center in the southwest, reading about a people group that fled another place to come here and I realized that this was the culmination of three other visitor centers we’d visited. I saw history tie together in a way I never did in a classroom when I was growing up. I got a little excited about it because I realized that I was walking in a place that was full of history. More than that, we had been traveling for months through places that were full of history, but I just didn't have eyes to see it. 

Then on another day, we were driving and 6-year-old (at the time) Micah called out from the back seat, “Look, dad, that used to be a volcano.” 

“Why do you say that?” 

“Because it’s covered in basalt.” 

I asked Amy to look up what basalt is, and then we realized he was learning things from experiences, that I never really learned from a book. It was at that moment that I changed my purpose to help our kids learn more about our country’s nature, its culture, and its history. At that moment I began to value our time in the visitor centers like I never had before. 

And let me take a moment to get on a soapbox. Right now there is a movement that is working to remove many of the reminders of our country's past because those reminders have a checkered past. But let's not forget that seeing the good and bad in people helps us to appreciate all the more their noble deeds, but also it helps us have faith that we can one day follow in their footsteps. Because we begin to see the hand of a kind heavenly Father in their lives, working all things for good despite their shortcomings. 

Off my soapbox. 

Now I can begin to have the COURAGE to CHANGE the things that make a difference. I started to CHANGE things that I could control to make our times in National Park more directed. Now I’m working to ensure that the boys get the very most they can from the Junior Ranger program and that it’s more than just them filling out a workbook.  

As I’m writing this, I am wondering about your experience. Tell me a time when God changed your trajectory. 

Your family will likely be different than mine. Your situation will likely be very different than ours. But it’s imperative that you figure these things out for yourself, and for your family before you hit the road. 

If you aren't sure how to figure this out on your own I’d love to spend some time talking through it with you. Schedule for a free 30-minute consult and I’ll go over our MAPS system with you, to see if it’s a good fit. Our MAPS system we cover Mindset, Aspiration, Planning, and Set, Go!

Let's take a second for a speedy recap:

Today we talked about 3 things you can do to make sure your time on the road lives up to your expectations, and we took the 3 things from the Serenity Prayer. 

1 - LORD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,- 

            - Don’t let the uncontrollable things ruin the day. 

2 - grant me the courage to change the things I can,

- Courage is, by definition, HARD. It is vital that you figure out things that are important to your family (I call them your Aspirations) and you courageously make them a routine part of your life.

3 - and the wisdom to know the difference

            - then I shared how the Lord gave me wisdom in our travels, and how it changed my focus from simply walking through our time in the National Parks to embracing that time, and making it a way to help our children grow in their understanding of the things that make our country great.

View the full live video here:

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