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Growth Spurts: On Road Trips and Why You Should Take Them

Last month my friend Megan and I took a road trip across the country. One of our best friends had just moved from Jackson to Seattle with her family, and they were in need of a way to get their second car to the Pacific Northwest. So Megan and I jumped at the opportunity! Not only would we get to spend some time with our friend in her new home, but we would also get to experience the adventure that comes with a four-day road trip across 11 of the United States.

We broke the trip up into about 600-700 miles per day, and we made destination goals for ourselves each night. We took turns driving (something we both really enjoy doing), and—believe it or not—neither of us ever really slept while riding in the passenger seat. The first day was spent talking and talking until after our dinner stop, which is when we popped in our first book on CD: Picking Cotton. (For those of you taking a long road trip, I highly recommend books on CD. It’s an enjoyable way to pass the time. You can check them out at the library.) While listening intently to this reading over the entire next day and then listening to To Kill a Mockingbird over the next couple of days, we got over 2,000 miles under our belts, got some knitting done, snacked (a lot), stayed in some interesting hotels/motels (Note: If you ever find yourself in Laramie, Wyoming, you must stay at the Gas Lite Inn.), updated our Facebook posts/photos/check-ins quite often, and gazed at parts of the country that are quite unlike Jackson, MS. (Did you know they grow corn in Nebraska? That might be all they do, actually.)

It was a great journey!

However, as much as I loved the adventure and getting to spend such quality time with my friends and family (my sister and brother-in-law live there, too!) in Seattle, my heart still longed to be home with my husband and children. Kevin fully supported and encouraged my week-long quest, even though it meant that he’d be a single parent for the week. And though he handles this beautifully, it’s not an easy task. Therefore, he did not deny his parents when they offered to take the kids for a couple of nights.

I am so thankful for a husband who desires adventure for each of us and whose unselfishness makes it possible. It is these qualities, combined with hundreds more, that make me miss him so much when we’re apart. And my children! They lavish me with “I miss you” and “I love you” and “When are you coming home?” when we talk on the phone, and my heart aches to be with them.

It is good to be missed. And it is good for me to miss them. Because I, for one, can so easily get caught up in the daily-ness of life and tasks that I don’t take the time to really stop and look at my family and take in all that they are to me. So the occasional change of scenery, schedule, or perspective is good for all of us. It helps us appreciate each other so much more.

(Feel free to use this article as a case for taking your own road trip without the kids!)


Carrie Bevell Partridge would like to thank Megan Voos, Raun and Victoria Wetzel, and Kevin Partridge for making this trip possible. Also, everyone should try chocolate-dipped bacon, which we sampled on our trip. You might like it.

About The Author

Carrie Partridge

Carrie Bevell Partridge grew up in Memphis, TN with her parents and four siblings. She attended Mississippi College, where she met her husband Kevin. They have been married for 20 years and have five children. They live in Ridgeland, MS. Carrie has written the “Growth Spurts” column and managed social media for Parents & Kids Magazine since 2011. You can read more of her work at and

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