What motivates you to take a vacation? Maybe you want to explore someplace exciting and new. Or perhaps relaxation is your primary vacation motivation. For me, a true vacation is all about connecting with the people I love through memorable experiences.
This story is brought to you in partnership with Vail Resorts.
Craving connection while traveling
On a recent press trip to Japan with other journalists, I found the country fascinating but I missed my family terribly. I kept thinking about how my husband would love the plentiful sushi and Shabu-shabu (a beef and vegetable soup you prepare right at your restaurant table). I longed to watch my kids write their wishes on wooden plaques at the Shinto Shrines I visited. I wondered which Bonsai tree would have been the favorite of each family member at the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum. I enjoyed learning about Japanese traditions on this work trip, but I felt lonely experiencing them without the people I love. Next time, they're coming with me. I can't wait to return to Japan to soak up the country's beauty and culture with the connection of family…someday.
Choosing a destination with connection as a goal
When my extended family searched for a family reunion vacation destination a few years ago, our focus was on finding a place where we could all come together and enjoy each other. During lengthy email exchanges and phone calls, we considered a family cruise, a tropical destination or a Disney vacation.
Finally, we decided to spend our summer vacation at Keystone Resort in Colorado. Instead of trying to wrangle all 13 of us into doing every activity together, we spun off into smaller groups and pairs. My sister, niece and I enjoyed mountaintop yoga one morning. Another day, a bunch of us embarked on horseback trail ride. Then all of the men went fly-fishing together while the ladies had a spa day. This allowed for deeper bonding between family members. And every evening, the entire crew got together for dinner, followed by board games, tons of laugher, and connection.
Why choose Vail Resorts for connection
Last winter my family starred in three television commercials for Park City, Utah. (So fun!) I had skied before, but Park City Resort put a spell on me. It was during this trip that I really fell in love with skiing. Outdoor activities, like snow tubing or skiing, have a way of bringing people closer together. Maybe it's from breathing in that fresh, clean air and looking at nature's beauty. Or it could be because ski resort activities, no matter the season, require concentration and living in the moment.
In any case, I am craving it. That's why my family has booked another Vail Resorts getaway, this time for spring skiing at Northstar California in Tahoe. With our busy lives filled with homework, work commitments, errands galore, and technology overload, I look forward to unplugging and re-connecting with my family on this vacation. We sure could use it!
Vail Resorts offers eight destinations at which to have fun and connect with your loved ones. Choose from Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; or Northstar, Heavenly and Kirkwood in California.
How do you connect with family or friends on vacation? Let us know in the comments below!
A Note from The Travel Mama: This is a sponsored story written by me on behalf of Vail Resorts. The opinions and text are all mine. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.