The Skyline Drive Trail winds through 4.5-miles of Davis Mountains' valleys and ridges. Photo: Lee Hoy

My clearest memories of travel from my childhood tend to recall the simple moments. The start of vacation was always the same—my dad carrying me out to my grandparents’ motor home before dawn and settling me into the bed above the cab. When I woke up, we’d be well on our way, and I’d relish watching the road unfold in front of me from my new vantage point. Other highlights come back to me in blurs: collecting pine cones with my brother, playing cards with my mom, and listening to my dad’s scary stories before we drifted off to sleep each night.

Now as a parent striving to foster a love of travel in my own kids, I worry about them missing out on some of the simpler pleasures. While useful, technology can rob us of being in the moment; there’s always something more “interesting” to look at on whatever device we have on hand. So during a family vacation to the Davis Mountains in August, I challenged myself to unplug. I deleted all social media apps from my phone and resolved not to look at any of the pictures I took until I got home, just like the old days when you had to remember to take the roll of film rattling around the bottom of your purse to the store and then wait a few more days to get it developed.

I was surprised at how much those small changes helped me stay in the present and appreciate the details—seeing my 3-year-old’s eyes light up anytime he spotted a train along our route; watching my daughter chase a bird around a fountain while we waited for a dinner table; enjoying the sunset from atop Skyline Drive in Davis Mountains State Park without obsessing over pictures. Because traveling isn’t about coming home with the perfect collection of photos; it’s about experiencing something new, connecting with our loved ones, and allowing ourselves the freedom to live in the moment.


El Capital shrouded in clouds.Our New Look
Special thanks to our reader advisory group—Troy Johnson, Stirling Kelso, Sharon Parry, Roy Smithers, Deb Taylor, and Maggie Walsh—for providing valuable feedback about our magazine redesign debuting with the November 2018 issue. We’d love to hear your thoughts as well.
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