My wife and I returned from a week-long trip to the mountains of East TN, an early celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary this October. She found a quiet, remote B&B called Whitestone Country Inn for us online and we booked the Oriole Suite.
This isn’t the first time we’ve gone on a vacation together on our own, but I’m fairly certain this was the longest time away – 5 nights / 6 days. The kids are old enough now that they can pretty much take care of themselves.
My plans for the trip were simple: relax, enjoy some uninterrupted time with my wife, get some reading done, and maybe eat something yummy along the way. She had a longer list of things to accomplish.
Fortunately, we both got what we wanted out of our trip.
It got me thinking. I’ve been reading a lot about different generations, particularly Millenials, and how they’re reshaping travel, technology, the workplace. Multiple surveys have shown a shift in how generations approach ‘vacations’. Millenials tend to favor ‘the experience’ vacations – Iceland to see the northern lights, Hamilton on Broadway, kayaking down the Rockies or golfing with some celebrities. And it’s not just Millenials. There are plenty of Gen Xers or even Boomers that want the experience vacation as well.
But for me, a Generation X, father of 7, husband for 20 years, I’ve come to enjoy simpler pleasures. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about going completely granola and ditching all the technology and modern conveniences we have today. But there’s something beautiful and peaceful about taking more than a couple days or a weekend with your wife to someplace remote, away from alarm clocks and schedules, and just enjoying each other’s company.
I was able to jump into full-on relaxation mode the minute we had unpacked. But my wife, who is normally very driven and focused, took at least 3 days to completely let it all go. But when she did, it was magical.
We even ventured into Knoxville for a day and had a fantastic time on a private foodie tour of some hidden gems in the big city. If you’re ever visiting, I would definitely recommend reaching out to Paula and taking one of her Knoxville Food Tours. But at the end of the day, we went back into the mountains and enjoyed the quiet of the hills once again.
Eventually, it came time to go home to our children. We took the scenic road home over the Blue Ridge Parkway. The drive is incredible. We were up in the clouds overlooking some of the most amazing views of God’s creation.
We’ve been incredibly blessed for 20 years together and, Lord willing, we will have many more to come. The experience we enjoy has less to do with the where and the what but with whom we spend it.
Happy anniversary, my love.