Mike and I celebrated 16 years of marriage in June. We met in Texas where we attended college. Most of our dates were spent outdoors enjoying nature and a good walk. We skipped a bit too many Linear Algebra classes to opt for a hike through the woods than we should have. In the end, it was our mutual love of adventure that drew us to one another.
When we finally graduated from college and settled into life in Colorado, we had nature at our front door. We lived a life of freedom and adventure as we entered the life of DINKS (dual income no kids). We would work hard until Friday afternoon and then we would sprint to the mountains before the rest of Colorado would follow us up I-70 into the mountains.
Summer weekends were filled with tent camping at a state park campground. There usually weren’t any showers, just a compost toilet and potable water. We would hike, fish, perfect our smores making skills, and talk endlessly around the campfire.
During the winter, we hit the slopes. Arapahoe Basin was our go to place as it was less crowded and mostly enjoyed by the locals. We would get up crazy early on a Saturday so we could be on the slopes when they opened. These days in the mountains filled us up as a couple. During the drive, we could catch up on what was happening at work, dream about our future, and just enjoy the beautiful state we lived in.
Purchasing a Kelty backpack, BOB stroller, and Honda Element made us ready for adventure when the kiddos came around. We would just pack lots of snacks, diapers, and extra clothes and kept heading for the mountains whenever we had the chance.
We want our girls to enjoy camping, hiking, skiing, and travel as much as we do so we just kept seeking adventure. As first time parents, we packed up our 8 week old and took a trip with friends to Sedona, AZ. Naivety made us brave and unstoppable. We had a fun trip and lots of help but we all came home exhausted.
When our second girl came around, we still were on the go. By 9 months old, she had been to Philadelphia to celebrate my brother’s med school graduation, road tripped to Wisconsin for the holidays, and went camping at Jellystone. I look back at her first year scrapbook and feel like we were overly ambitious in our traveling.
We moved to Wisconsin before our final baby girl came along. I was trying to purposefully slow down. However, since she was late important family events occurred during her first week of life. This meant she was traveling to Minneapolis at two days old. Camping, hiking, and road tripping never stopped we just had to preplan more and be more scheduled.
Now, the girls are all old enough to enjoy the same activities that we do. They all love to ski/snowboard, hike and camp. We are still training them to love biking but are hopeful in time it will come too. It has been worth the struggle, preparation, and continued training to now enjoy these adventures together.
Just The Two of us
Having getaways just the two of us have proven to help us relax and reconnect. When we plan a few days away, we try to pick a place where we can enjoy the outdoors. Our most recent trip was to Park City, Utah. This destination was perfect as we could hit the slopes, snowmobile, and walk around the city.
We have to be purposeful in getting away. This is an area we are working at and setting goals around to ensure we have time as a couple. Extracurricular activities, school, and work are all positive inputs in our lives but it is good to break away from the schedule and make time to adventure together.
Since we are an adventure seeking couple, we plan date nights that create shared experiences. We are learning to schedule dates around events, outdoor activities, museums or shows.
Date Night Ideas in Chicagoland
Shared experiences build closeness and connection. Since our family seeks adventure, sharing in those adventures brings us all closer together. Adventures have adversity along the way and overcoming adversity builds closeness as well. Travel is not easy and we have plenty of stories that include blown tires, dead batteries, and long flight delays. These obstacles don’t stop our desire for adventure and cultivating closeness as a family.
What shared experiences do you enjoy as a family?
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