New Year’s Travel Challenge!

Is it just me, or did 2015 just fly by?  The Rolling Stones are full of it with that whole, “Time is on my side” talk.   Seriously though, every year seems to go by faster and faster, the older I get?  Speaking of getting old.  I was trolling a popular social media website, and some of the things my friends posted made me feel really old.  Tell me if you’ve seen these before.

  1.  “Oh look, ‘So and So’ just turned 12 today.  Happy birthday, sweet heart.”  I remember that kid the day they were born.
  2.  “Watch out world, ‘blankity blank’ just got their drivers license.”  Wait, what?  I swear that kid was just rubbing it’s snot all over my Chicago Bears Jersey.
  3. “My baby just graduated high school today. *Sniffle, Sniffle*”   This one is my personal favorite.  Not only are they saying that their child is now an adult, but that I’m one step closer to the “home” and my tapioca pudding desert.

Pshaw!  Age is just a number, right?  I’m not going to be an old stick in the mud, and age shame Generation Y, or The Millennials, or whatever the kids are calling themselves now days.  No, I am going to eat my Egg Beaters and drink my Metamucil without concerning myself with such non-sensory.  Besides, when I think about kids growing up in today’s world, quite frankly I feel a little bad for them.  No, seriously I do.  While there is privilege in being raised in such a technology reliant society, there’s also a sense of taking that technology for granted.

For instance, here’s one thing you will never hear a Millennial ask, “Do you have a phone book I can use?”You may laugh, but I remember growing up and getting a cheap thrill grabbing the new phone book that was left in our driveway, wrapped in plastic, going inside and looking for our last name and phone number.  It was an “almost famous” moment every time.

Here’s another thing that very few will hear come out of a Millennial’s mouth , “I need to use your ‘B’ encyclopedia?  There’s nothing about Baccarat online?”  (Baccarat was the first thing that popped in my head, okay….don’t judge) Encyclopedia’s are probably used more for keeping tables level, then an information resource in today’s world.

What I’m saying is this.  I believe it’s easier to appreciate something, when you’ve experienced life without it, first.  Hey, I’m no dummy.  I’m fully aware that regardless of age, most of the population utilizes technology and the internet to gather information nowadays.  We live in a “must have now” society, and technological breakthroughs give us that instant gratification we desperately long for.  But do we REALLY NEED the internet and technology for everything decision we make?

How many times have you sought the advice of a Business Review Website when researching a restaurant or vacation spot?  If you say “not much” or “never”, you’re probably lying to yourself.   Yelp, Tripadvisor, Foursquare and Goodsnitch, are just a few websites that millions of patrons use everyday.  Even our website My Family Guide, which is designed for families, uses some of these basic tools  the other Business Review Website’s use.   Why?  To make faster and more accurate decisions, centered around individual interests and/or needs.  And Guess what?  It totally works!

However, don’t you think we’re losing a little bit of the, “adventure”, strictly utilizing these online services?  Think back, waaaay back, before there were these online tools.  What did consumers have to rely on?  Let’s see, well, for one thing we talked to our family, friends, neighbors and co-workers more.  There was less time spent arguing and debating, and more time, sharing and listening.  Taking advice about a restaurant, or listening review of a business, was done face to face, not behind a computer screen.  It’s sad, because with all the good social media brings, it’s also slowly tearing the fabric of what makes us human, talking.   We’ve successfully figured out a way to spend less time getting to know our friends and neighbors, without feeling the guilt.  There’s got to be a balance, right?

Our family is pretty close to the folks at The Evergreen Vegan.  Their kids and our kids are close in age, so it’s not unusual to for our families to get together for game night and dinner.  Last week they had us over for a delicious vegan dinner. (yes I used the words delicious and vegan in the same sentence)   We just began talking about the different types curry, and how when they lived in Japan, they found a great curry restaurant, “the old fashion way”.  They actually had to go to multiple restaurants, before finding that particular one they fell in love.  They didn’t the luxury of checking a local business website for reviews.  They had to discover that restaurant on their own, as a family.  It was at that moment I realized a couple things.  First, the Sweet Potato Curry they made, was bomb!  Second, more families need to have that type of adventure and discovery.

So, our New Year’s challenge to you and your family is this.  Utilize the technology, but save room for advice and adventure.  Utilize websites like My Family Guide, to get general information to find business’s that best fit your family’s needs, but also make time to listen to others and their input.  And If you see a restaurant that might be new to your family, check it out, take a chance, you just might be surprised.


Thanks for reading. Here’s a question:  What resolution or challenge did your family make for 2016?  Leave the comments below.  I do respond to comments!  

If you know of a business that is family friendly and would like us to review it and add it to our website, click here.  In the comments give us the business name, any contact information you have, and why you feel this business is family friendly.  If we pick the business you entered, and you join our newsletter, we’ll give you a 25.00 gift card to that business.  


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