Day trips. Or as we call them in the Vogler household: adventures. Whatever you choose to call them, these excursions can be a great way to get out of the house (and your normal routine) for a day without breaking your bank account.

Blair and I have always enjoyed these little getaways for as long as we’ve known each other, because they’re fun, and truthfully, neither of us particularly enjoy just being at home. We like to be in motion.

When Kingston was born and Blair had gone back to work, I found myself on many weekends trying to figure out how to keep this energetic young boy occupied while it was just him and me at home. And then one day it just happened. I wish I could tell you that I had some grand epiphany that led me to this moment, but that would be fiction.

The truth is, one day I was sitting at home with Kingston feeling very much like Jack Nicholson in front of the typewriter in The Shining and realizing something had to break the monotony. So Kingston and I hopped in the car and I started driving. I didn’t know where we were going. “We’re going on an adventure,” I told him. And in a way, we were. I just went where the road took us and found interesting things along the way.

As the months, and years, have gone on, our adventures have taken us to Galax, Hillsborough NC, Durham, Chapel Hill, Roanoke and numerous places in between. Sometimes our adventure is going to a science museum. Sometimes it’s visiting a new walking trail, like the Occoneechee Speedway trail in Hillsborough or even the Ringgold Rail Trail here at home. No matter where we go, we find a way to make it fun.

Recently, we had a day trip to Farmville with my dad, Kingston, and my daughter, Ava. We were checking out the High Bridge State Park and trail. For those who haven’t been, I highly recommend it. After we had made it across the 2,400 foot long bridge that towers 160 feet over the Appomattox River, we peeled off to trek down one of the side trails.

As we made our way through a heavily wooded area before finally ending up under the bridge itself, I heard Kingston tell my dad, “we’re explorers!” In that moment I realized something profound. Our society makes it so easy to just buy our way into happiness. More toys, more games, more stuff. And yet, some of the greatest times my kids have had over the last couple years have been these little-to-no-cost adventures. Walking along a river and looking at the wildlife. Trying to figure out what types of trees and birds we see. As Kingston said, being an explorer.

What began as almost an act of desperation from a young parent, turned into months of wonderful memories between that parent and his kids. So if you’re feeling stressed and stuck, get out of the house. Go somewhere. Anywhere. And make your own adventure.

About The Author

Lee Vogler
Marketing Director

Lee is a pop culture database with a quirky search engine. Lee lives in Danville with his wife Blair, their son Kingston and two cats, Marshall and Gray. In his spare time, Lee is a member of Danville City Council; the youngest member ever elected.