And I am, we are--abundantly blessed and fortunate to be able to have the resources and time to pull off such a trip.
Yet it didn't drop into our laps either.
First came the dream. That was the fun part.
Then came the effort. The planning and logistics. How would we get there? Where would we stay each night? Where would we go each day? How long could we drive at a time without needing to stop? How would we finance this trip?
After answering each question above, we needed to make reservations and arrangements for each leg of the journey.
On top of that, we've been preparing for months in our homeschool for the trip--rereading each of the Little House books, studying and tracking the sites, finding out what we would see along the way. Trying to make this an inspirational time for our kids and family.
Most of this counted as "happy work," but work it definitely was.
I told Steve from the beginning that this wasn't a "vacation" but a homeschooling adventure tour, and we were the tour guides. That helped me remember from the get-go that I would be "working" throughout. And after nine days of nonstop work, you expect to return exhausted.
I came back remembering that our dreams matter so much when it comes to where we head in our lives, but dreaming alone will never get us there.
Eventually we have to put action behind our visions of having children, adopting, writing a book, moving cross-country, starting a new job, traveling as a family, fill-in-the-blank here with your particular dream.
And that's where the effort begins.
A dream--of land, of freedom, of a better life for their children--drove the Ingalls family and countless scores of other pioneers westward. Something compelled them to move further on, to explore the unknown, to face head-on life-threatening challenges that most of us can't even begin to imagine.
What a privilege to spend a week honoring and tracing their footsteps, their roads, their hard-won losses and victories.
Look for more photo posts of our trip coming soon! So many moments to share...
"No one has ever achieved anything from the smallest to the greatest
unless the dream was dreamed first."
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder