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Learning to go with the Flow: Lessons Learned from my Family Vacation

go with the Flow

I am not a go with the flow type of person. I don’t like change. Typically when things happen to force me to change in some way, I don’t adapt well. It takes me some time to accept the new plan. I do get there. It just takes me some time. 

Well, this summer I was forced to change plans on the fly a lot and I rather surprised myself at how well I did it. 

I’m a Planner, not a Flexible Person

It all started back in 2020 when I had planned a month-long cross country RV trip for my family. Well, I think you can guess what happened to that plan! With an immune-compromised child, we barely left the house for not 1, but 2 years. So we postponed and planned a new trip for this summer. It was basically the same trip, with a few minor changes.

I spent months planning the route and booking all the campgrounds across the country. There were hours and hours of researching all the sites we would see and activities we would do. I read articles about road trips. I made lists of all the things we needed to pack for a month for the family. Long story short, I did A LOT of planning and every bit of the trip was planned. There was no room for go with the flow.

When the day finally came for us to hit the road, we left our house with the camper in tow bright and early. Things were going according to plan…until they weren’t. A few hours from home, our truck indicated a serious problem and went into limp mode. My husband, who can fix anything, attempted to fix the truck on the side of the road. But we only got a few more miles before the problem happened again. We had no choice but to turn around and head home before we got too far away and into serious trouble. There was no way we were going to be able to tow our camper across the country and back. 

Being Forced to Go with the Flow

I was devastated. But I was also determined to find a way to go on this trip! My normal reaction would be to sulk, cry, get angry and take a week to adjust. But I didn’t have that option here. If we were going on this trip, I had to act fast and come up with a new plan. (But I will admit there were still a few tears.)

On the ride home, my husband and I brainstormed our options. We decided to borrow my dad’s minivan and do the trip with hotel stays. We unloaded what we needed from the camper and packed it into the minivan and were back on the road in under 2 hours. 

Go with the Flow
Road Trip Take 2: Hitting the Road in the Minivan

On our way back out of town, I was busy making our new plan. I canceled all the campground reservations and found our first few hotels to stay in. I outlined a new loose plan for the trip.  

When I posted this adventure on social media, my friends were impressed with our flexibility and go with the flow attitude. But like I said, that’s not my usual nature. I don’t know if it was sheer determination to not let our trip be ruined or what, but I really did adapt so much faster than normal. 

Being Flexible Turned Out Great

Throughout the trip, We made our reservations as we went along. There were other instances when we had to go with the flow on the trip too. Like one day we planned to go to a water park and woke up to terrible weather. (My husband even commented about how easily I adapted that day!) And then again on the second half of the trip when we got Covid and had to cut the trip short. 

Overall the trip was a huge success! We had a fabulous time and made some amazing family memories and I learned that a change or an obstacle doesn’t have to ruin your plans. I’m sure I will revert to my planner nature again. I can’t help but feel more comfortable with a plan in place. But, now I know everything will be ok if it doesn’t go according to plan and I can be flexible and go with the flow too.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of The We Spot, its employees, sponsors, or affiliates.

Trista Gangestad

Originally from Florida, Trista Gangestad and her family moved to CO ten years ago and live on a small hobby farm with a beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains. She and her husband have 2 daughters, the oldest of which was born with Trisomy 18, a chromosome disorder. Trista has a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and worked in Communications and Event Planning for more than 10 years before becoming a mom. During the pandemic, Trista discovered a need for clean burning candles that don’t emit soot or chemicals into our homes. She formed Clever Cow Candle Co. in 2021 and makes hand poured, 100% soy wax candles with clever, inspiring and sometimes sarcastic designs on the containers. Check out her candles at When this busy mom has time for herself, she enjoys sewing, crafting, shopping, drinking “candy coffee,” and watching guilty pleasure TV shows.

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