I’ve just arrived home from a WONDERFUL family camping vacation, and found myself thinking how lucky we were to have had this time together. But truly, it’s not just about luck – it’s about planning. When we find ways to effectively meet our five basic needs – belonging, power, freedom, fun and survival – this is the key to finding happiness. The reason our vacation rocked is because it was so need-fulfilling!
Belonging: We went on this trip with very good friends, who have a child the same age as ours. So, not only did we enjoy family time, but our kids had friends, and we did too.
Power: We took a kayaking lesson together, which was new to us all, and definitely gave us some sense of accomplishment! We also had lots of time playing games – football and bocce during the day, and a hilarious guessing game around the campfire at night. Not only lots of fun, but we are all pretty competitive, and this provided an outlet for lots of good-natured one-up-manship! My girlfriend and I also love to go all out making the most amazing campfire meals – we have a running joke that our mastery of this should require that everyone refer to us as “The Goddesses”. Definitely good power stuff!
Freedom: We have an agreement that vacations are meant to give everyone what they need, so although we do lots together, it is also completely acceptable to opt out and have a nap or some time doing your own thing anytime you need. Not everyone came kayaking, for example, and that was totally ok. We also have a meeting over morning coffee every day to plan the day, and ensure everyone has input. Sometimes we will split into groups for part of the day to accommodate different activities so that everyone is happy.
Fun: We laugh and joke around a LOT. And when those other needs are met, it IS fun!
Survival: We eat well, we sleep in, we nap. Life was good!
So – when planning your next vacation – think about the 5 needs. Taking care of everyone’s needs is the best way to ensure you have a fabulous holiday too!