I’m a firm believer that what most brings people closer together is shared experience.
That might mean three weeks in close quarters together in a car, touring some far-flung corner of Africa – but it doesn’t have to be something so intense.
It might also mean something as simple as years spent hanging out with a friend on a regularly scheduled bi-weekly date night to watch a beloved TV show. It might mean an annual summer holiday relaxing together at a cottage.
History has taught me that, the more I build up shared experience with a person, the more time I want to spend with them because it’s joyful to reflect on those times together. And what’s more, in reflecting, you’re spending more time together building more memories!Is there a term that’s like ‘vicious circle’ but positive? THAT’S what shared experience is.
Junkii and I travel well by ourselves and we travel well with others. Neither option is necessarily preferred. But we had never travelled with relatives before, let alone parents. I know there are people out there who would dread the thought of traveling for two weeks with their parents. I understand that; family can be tricky.
With family, the shared experience is already built in, but there’s also likely a lot more emotional baggage that can make it hard to spend long periods together without grating on one another, or outright fighting.
Throwing Junkii and I together with my parents for an intense, two-week tour of Italy was definitely a risky prospect. And I’m sure there were times when we all got under each other’s skin in one way or another. But ultimately the positives far outweighed any negatives.Since returning home, we have revisited this experience endlessly with my parents. These are memories we return to again and again, over drinks or dinner, and it never gets boring. It ALWAYS brings me joy.
I will always cherish this time I spent with my parents. It’s a shared experience that will live in my heart until the day I die.
So it was bittersweet when my folks boarded the shuttle bus to the Venice airport and took their leave of us. We would miss them, but we weren’t gonna let that stop us! We still had a full day left to explore Venice and then a week in Slovenia and Amsterdam.
So let’s crack on with the blog, shall we?