New Jersey To Wyoming | Cultivating A Love Of Travel Along The Way
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New Jersey To Wyoming | Cultivating a Love of Travel

Housekeeping: (Megan speaking) I will am moving transatlantic from England to Virginia. Many of my previous guests have graciously hosted episodes of Travel Radio Podcast in my absence. I will be back mid August with some EXCITING NEWS.

Thank you Katherine Parker-Magyar for hosting this episode and roping your amazing mother into the project. You are both gems and I am thankful for your insight into helping us all travel better domestically during this crazy time. Your interview kept me laughing and we all need to laugh right now.


Katherine "Bear Meat" Parker-Magyar hosts this episode of Travel Radio Podcast along with her mother Elizabeth Parker Magyar. Both have visited all 50 states. Elizabeth pulls ahead in the competition for most countries visited with 70 countries notched in her belt. Poor Katherine comes up second with a piddly 63 countries… I jest!

Photo: Katherine Parker-Magyar and Elizabeth Parker via horseback in Spring Creek, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

My purpose for inviting Katherine to host this episode was to capture her family insights into road tripping. As a family of six the Parker-Magyars blazed across the US, via minivan, when the kids were out of school. One constant on their trips was a stop in Wyoming.

As travel agents and travelers are focusing on domestic US road trips this insight is well timed. In the links below you will find an article on the recent Congressional funding of US National Parks also serendipitously timed.

Photo: Katherine Parker-Magyar and Elizabeth Parker at Jackson Lake, Grand Teton National Park

As travel writers, they imagine and dream together about what the early settlers might have experience. They encourage listeners to visit the heartland. See the USA where Jessie James held up his first stagecoach or chase tornados! The sky is bigger, the rainbows are brighter and the trains are long!

Referenced in this episode is an American-Girls-like series about Native American girls. As a young girl Katherine really enjoyed these books. The link is below in the show notes.

Elizabeth, shares how she coped with four bratty kids over endless hours and days in the car. The secret, travelers and travel agents, is to book hotels with a pool! Tired kids are peaceful kids!

The greatest treasure of this episode is the insight to journal on vacation. In the Parker-Magyar family there is a hard bound travel journal Elizabeth has made to recap all their adventure so that they don't forget. Just write one memory a day if that is all you can muster. Let the kids take a crack at it! Type up your notes and bind them for your kids.

On this episode you will laugh out loud as mother and daughter banter and recap their family road trips. I loved listening to their insights, goals and lessons learned along the way. I hope that you too enjoy and plan better road trips because of it.

Thank you again Katherine and Elizabeth for sharing your family stories and insight with Travel Radio Podcast.

Special Guests: Elizabeth Parker and Katherine Parker-Magyar.

Links:

00:00:05
Speaker 1: Good morning, This chap, a host of travel radio podcast Except for I am not the host today. Today's host will be Katharine Parker Magyar, interviewing her mother, Elizabeth Parker and I will introduce them better in one second. But I just wanted to say that I am about to make a transatlantic move,

00:00:24
Speaker 1: and that is very complicated in a normal circumstance

00:00:28
Speaker 1: right now, if you didn't know there's a global pandemic, and that makes things even more complicated. So you will hear from me slightly and consistently

00:00:38
Speaker 1: for the next couple weeks. But then you start to hear regular podcast episodes come out with some pretty great guests and with a pretty big announcement happening mid August. So please have patience with me and send your thoughts and prayers my way because things are getting crazy. But I don't even need to get into that. What I do want to get into is introducing my guest and her mom, and they have some pretty amazing credentials between the two of them. Catherine Parker Magyar was a guest of mine on a previous episode called New Destinations for Experienced Travellers, and that was the kind of the format was I would say most people go here and then Katherine rifle off the new destination that she would suggest. If you like this, you should try this and then give us a reason why. And it was a really great episode. So please listen to that. It's in the show notes if you want to link back and listen to it.

00:01:28
Speaker 1: Catherine is a writer for Forbes magazine, specifically on travel, and her bylines are so numerous I can't get into it. But please click on her profile to see her bio and explore her writings. A really wonderful you go find her on instagram at Katherine Parker Magyar again. If you click on a profile, you can just click to all of her places and also on Twitter KPM 1231 And her website is Katherine Parker magyar dot com. Now when we speak about Elizabeth Parker, her mom, she is the editor of New Jersey Hills Media Group and former president of the New Jersey Press Association and the National Newspaper Association, and these two ladies combined to have a crazy number of countries under their belts. Catherine has visited only 63 countries, while Mom has visited 70. Both have visited all 50 states,

00:02:18
Speaker 1: knowing Katherine's background a little bit and that she has a love for Wyoming and that her parents frequently took them in the summers on these really extended road trips, I wanted to find out

00:02:29
Speaker 1: you know, how her mom planned those trips and encouraged a love of traveling in her Children. And as we're in this, you know, crazy pandemic situation, and both his travelers and travel agents were planning these trips. I just wanted to find out some

00:02:48
Speaker 1: you know how how she did it successfully, because I'm trying to do that in my own Children. So this is an interview that, I mean just for the charming interactions between mother daughter is worth listening to. But the tips and the insights air really great.

00:03:02
Speaker 1: I'm calling this episode in New Jersey to Wyoming and cultivating a love of travel along the way. So please enjoy this episode of travel Radio podcast with Katharine Parker, Magyar and Elizabeth Parker.

00:03:15
Speaker 1: Hello

00:03:15
Speaker 2: and welcome to the travel radio podcast.

00:03:18
Speaker 2: I will be your hosts. A. My name is Catherine Parker. Magyar. I'm, a travel writer, visited 63 countries. I got a lot of countries in prior to the plague. But you know, when a pause now and I appeared on earlier episode of this podcast hosted by Meghan, Who's the expert? That's by the way. So be patient with us, um, talking about new destinations for experienced travellers. And today I'm joined by a very special guest. My mother, who needs no instructions. She'll introduce herself.

00:03:51
Speaker 1: I am Liz Parker. I'm the mother of Katie Parker, Magyar and three other wonderful Parker Magyar Children, and I am the co publisher and executive editor of New Jersey Hills Media Group. Um, a group of weekly

00:04:06
Speaker 1: newspapers and websites in northern New Jersey.

00:04:09
Speaker 2: Perfect. And Mom, what are we going to talk about today?

00:04:12
Speaker 1: We're going to talk about

00:04:14
Speaker 1: New Jersey, the Wyoming and cold reading a love of travel

00:04:17
Speaker 2: in the way. Thank you for sticking to the script Way are going to be talking about thes cross country road trips that my mother took me, my three younger siblings and my father along every summer where we would drive from New Jersey's California. Suppose we did it about board.

00:04:39
Speaker 2: Oh, I think around six times, six times and then within that trip our special spot that we would always, even if it wasn't the final destination it was The highlight was always Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and that's still a drive We still currently do. So talking about the American Weston Road trips, which is super relevant now that domestic travel is essentially the only option for us a diseased Americans and that road trips they're going to have a nap tech. So

00:05:08
Speaker 2: without further dough, Mom,

00:05:10
Speaker 2: when you think back on our family road trips like what memories come back to easily and what images I

00:05:16
Speaker 1: think the one image and we put a book together on all these wonderful trips is a family. I think the one image that really sticks in my mind is the photo. Just by happenstance. I took of the four kids watching Old Faithful for the first time. I mean, it's just wonder in Orange like, Wow, I mean, just that was terrific.

00:05:36
Speaker 1: I mean, I think that was number one.

00:05:40
Speaker 2: I actually remember seeing it for the first time to Yeah,

00:05:43
Speaker 2: and

00:05:43
Speaker 1: pretty sure

00:05:44
Speaker 1: Oh, free.

00:05:46
Speaker 1: Everyone was young. We started these trips.

00:05:48
Speaker 2: So to give some perspective here, my mother and father would plot out the root for each of these trips by just looking at a map and just picking different places. They wanted to go and sometimes was right through the Heartland sometimes would be more of a Southern trip.

00:06:03
Speaker 2: What

00:06:05
Speaker 2: were you thinking when you were planning it? Like, how did you choose which destinations we visit? I

00:06:10
Speaker 1: think the reason why I actually it's not

00:06:13
Speaker 1: too random because we really just wanted to go to places we've never been. I don't want to go back to a second place

00:06:20
Speaker 1: up. I mean, I wouldn't want to go back to a place for a second time. We've not been everywhere once,

00:06:24
Speaker 1: so so one year we would do south. And when you do the Northwest, one year we did a trans Canadian trip.

00:06:34
Speaker 1: That was pretty exciting. Way needed to get were not needed. We really wanted to get to all states first.

00:06:42
Speaker 2: Well, I also remember that there would be specific places that we'd be stopping in each state based on this road food book. What is it called again? I mean, it's iconic

00:06:54
Speaker 1: Michael on Jane Stern. I think it was terrific. I mean, they were great they give you the like

00:07:01
Speaker 1: out of the out of the way local joints that had a lot of character and a lot of literally a lot of flavor to them. I mean, the whole point of all these troops was to exploring new things and see new things, and that just kept him motivated. So it was great. We had a limited time since, obviously, both my husband, I work and the kids have school. So it's only limited in the summer months. So

00:07:22
Speaker 1: generally we didn't stop until we got Western of the Mississippi after a while. So this is pretty long holes. But the kids were great even when they were in car seats were all very good travelers. I mean, there's always every kid had a breakdown at some point on some trip.

00:07:36
Speaker 1: It's monstrous, and we did lose air conditioning once in Death Valley. But other than that way had a lot of women a lot of fun times.

00:07:46
Speaker 2: I remember being in the car and just as it did you like, Are we there yet? Are we there? Yeah, and my mother saying to me, You will fall asleep and you're gonna wake up and then you're gonna fall asleep again and you're gonna wake up again and we still won't be there. And it will be another day. And

00:08:05
Speaker 2: I honestly think that that sort of teachers, I think you taught us in a way, how to be adaptable when you're traveling like it's not always gonna be first class seats, and it's not was going to be, you know, hyper efficient. And I don't think travels meant to be efficient. I think that seeing the seeing the country outside of outside of that window for years growing up, I do think how toe had an impact on my curiosity. But also, I think it it helps educate me about how big the country waas and that there are different types of people out there and just instilled a sort of interest there that

00:08:40
Speaker 2: no, we're talking about raising family travelers. I have friends who have kids, and they're like, Well, I'm not gonna take them to Europe or I'm not gonna travel with them And so they're old enough to appreciate it. And I'd argue, I think you have to learn to appreciate that.

00:08:50
Speaker 1: Well, I think Europe is a little slightly different because of languages and culture and stuff. And we didn't take you to Europe for the first time until,

00:08:58
Speaker 1: well, you're six years. Your your number one and there's number four is six years younger. So we took you guys in the first range was, like, 15 9,

00:09:08
Speaker 2: so you just contradicted my point. But, I

00:09:12
Speaker 1: mean, the Europe was

00:09:13
Speaker 2: lame. Example. Yeah. No, I mean, Europe is the lemmings that I mean, like, take them on like an actual journey. Trapped, like take them. And okay, we're gonna be going into these glaciers Were gonna be hiking. I mean, you took me to Alaska when I was. How many months old?

00:09:27
Speaker 2: Seven months. And I want I believe I had my first two breakdowns. Three travel breakdowns on that trip alone.

00:09:34
Speaker 1: Yes. Chanting for your aunt to come rescue.

00:09:37
Speaker 2: I was referred to his bear meat.

00:09:40
Speaker 2: I had Teoh. I rode the bus for the first time. And

00:09:44
Speaker 1: in Denali National Park,

00:09:46
Speaker 2: Yes. Ends made a scene and had to get kicked off of it is beautiful. Um,

00:09:52
Speaker 2: so, Mom, Yes.

00:09:54
Speaker 2: So can we talk about our road trips? Particularly our time spends in Wyoming.

00:10:01
Speaker 1: So we went to almost every place first with the kids because we wanted to see every Louise the Lower 48 before we went back to Jackson, where I had been in their early seventies because I just think it just a marvelous place. But I needed to see and I wanted the kids to see every place person. Then they could make their own decision. But Jackson and, um, that area is a is a spectacular place.

00:10:28
Speaker 2: So let's get into this, though. Why Jackson Hole. You've been 70 countries. I've been to 63. What do you think it is about that one part of the world that resonates so much? It's

00:10:41
Speaker 1: just breathtaking. It's so dramatic. I mean, here you have these granite peaks just shoot out of the Valley of being. It's like, you know, you know, Denver and Aspen and Vail and all those polices and steamboat and, uh, down in the San Juan Range, where it didn't that we're bound course mountain climbing. It was their fun, but they're not as and their dramatic, but they're not ask. Dramatic is Jackson where, you know, take the Tetons, recall the teenagers of the Rockies because they're no foothills, and it's just it's just you come around, abandoned. There they are. It's breathtaking.

00:11:16
Speaker 2: There's something very pristine and really unspoiled about Jackson Hall. And I would not have called myself an avid trucker a year ago. But now I I did a big track in the Himalayas and in the Andes and in Peru, which was spectacular. Like Mount Everest is everything you think it would look like. And same with not like Rainbow Mount Knocked. Repeat You bet. You know, I went right from Peru, ill to Jackson Hole, and I was I was like, This is even This is still just a Z is this is even better.

00:11:47
Speaker 1: Yeah, they're not, obviously is why they're not yet. But they are dramatic from, you know, foot number one.

00:11:55
Speaker 2: Something that my mother always says that. You know, I feel like when you travel with your parents, you are a tunes to what they appreciate and what they see. And I feel like when everyone is traveling Evans having even though it's a shared experience in bonding, you're having your own individual. You know perceptions of where you are in relation to where you are for my father you know, he could look at a rock in Rome and be like, Well, Julius Caesar had a huge fight with, like, some third lieutenant, like, you know, get the whole history and just, you know, be so moved by one stone, which I admire. Um, I don't really have a head for that. I think I'm more I don't know. I'm or emotionally driven to the nature about my mother. What she does just out of the blue, you know, just randomly. And each time this idea comes to her Likas, if it's the first, you know,

00:12:43
Speaker 2: we'll come across like, we'll be in a canoe coming up river like some will even be in a car. It doesn't even need to be an exalted surround. Actually, could you imagine if you were a scout and then what? If you were seeing these mountains for the first time? And then you have You can tell that mom

00:12:59
Speaker 2: true. I mean,

00:13:00
Speaker 1: can you imagine, like the John Muir Er's and people who have seen stuff in the very first time

00:13:07
Speaker 1: must have been just absolutely spectacular. I mean, coming across the Grand Canyon, this huge, huge hole in the ground from long as they think I can see you're coming around the mountains and seeing the Tetons is just I just can't imagine what that was like. I mean, so I have to live vicariously. So I have to say, Imagine if you were a scout.

00:13:26
Speaker 1: I mean,

00:13:27
Speaker 2: not only does that show like,

00:13:30
Speaker 2: honestly, obviously she's a right over. Both writers got adept imagination here, but also we feel like travel connects to people on a level that sort of obviously like beyond themselves. I think travel could be, ah, little bit spiritually in a way. And, Mom, you're going to really make fun of me or like people annoyed that I'm sharing this anecdote. But my biggest memory from these trips

00:13:51
Speaker 2: I was with my mama, Jenny Lake in Jackson Hole and

00:13:56
Speaker 2: well, I think I think was jointly, but we were going out to the lake ins. It was cold spoiler alert. The weather is never consistent when you're in a valley surrounded by at the Grand Tetons, like it can snow in June, it can mean, and I remember my mom, just like, whipped off her fleas and in her bathing suit jumps in the lake and it's like, Well, Kate, are you gonna come in?

00:14:18
Speaker 2: It was so cold. Didn't really want to talk. She and she goes to me. You don't want to be the girl who doesn't get in the water. You don't want to be that girl. And I I think about that. I jumped in. It was fusing. Then I was like, thought, Moment of glass and sidebar. I think about that all the time. Like you don't want to be the person who hangs back. You want to be a person who jumps in. You want to go for it? If you smart about it, though. I know I think it's, like, backfired a couple times what you did. You said you don't want to be the girl who doesn't go in the water. You

00:14:49
Speaker 1: gotta try. Yeah, You got to experiment. You got to explore.

00:14:52
Speaker 2: It resonated with me. Yeah. So I still think of that that the second part were floating in the in the lake.

00:14:58
Speaker 2: My mother is blissed out. She's in her favorite spot. We're in the you know, we've probably been in the car. I probably have siblings and diapers. People have probably been like emotional terrorists to one another in our in our minivan or whatever. And she was so happy and looking up at the sky. And

00:15:15
Speaker 2: I think it was Ah, hawk. It was a bird of prey, she would remember. Do you remember what it waas? I think Look ah hock flew overhead ends. She just doesn't even turn. She just says up, facing up, floating towards the sky she was It's moments like these when you can believe that God exists.

00:15:33
Speaker 2: And I mean, I always spectacular out there. Yep.

00:15:37
Speaker 2: And I think that's what trouble. I think that's what it's all about. I don't know how old I was 12 or something, but I understood exactly, Mom, how you were feeling and how I understood exactly were, like, the feelings that you were having. We were transported show, and yeah, that was just

00:15:54
Speaker 2: sidebar. Let's get back to our big away. Yeah, go back for a scheduled program here. Um,

00:16:01
Speaker 2: before we wrap up on Jackson that I have a question. So

00:16:06
Speaker 2: you don't think you can answer what made you first love travel? You don't really remember?

00:16:10
Speaker 1: Well, you know, I grew up in the east. My family's from the east. Um, I was ready to leave New Jersey. I mean, I love New Jersey and I'm obviously back here, but I want to see what else there. Waas. So I went to Kenyon College in Ohio and kept going West

00:16:25
Speaker 1: worked on the Grand Canyon, north rim of the Grand Canyon my freshman year in college, and then we explored from there, and that really was my first taste of It's a whole different. It's a whole different countries, different countries. I mean, Utah. It looks like the moon, for goodness sake.

00:16:38
Speaker 2: So, quote my mom is

00:16:41
Speaker 2: my grandmother, my mother's mother, mom, ill

00:16:46
Speaker 2: major icon in our family. But she never been out. West really ends before she died. It was a very big deal to her that she sees that she saw this place that her daughter loved so much. And, you know, my grandmother was really, you know, well suited for I don't know, Newport, Rhode Island and New York City and Far House. If she was a little bit more of a she loved a five hour long lunch with wine and shouting and say, I like to be quite honest with you listener. I also like to travel that way as well. Sometimes. But so she were out west And remember, Mom moves said a couple things for issues like the National Park again. And then?

00:17:23
Speaker 2: Then she was like, God, like the mountains, they're great, but they're almost there over there, too much. That's almost overwhelming. So look at them. But then, Mom, I remember you made this comment. I think, actually you

00:17:36
Speaker 2: share. Thus I think at her funeral what she said about America. But she realized, and I think Do you remember what you said her?

00:17:42
Speaker 1: Yeah. I mean, she was really surprising, But I mean, I thought, you know at one point were surrounded by a herd of buffalo, and she's from she was from Buffalo, New York. I thought she would be really like, Wow, this is terrific. Instead, you know, she's sort of a sitting slightly stone faced, and eventually she said, You know, seeing these seen Wyoming like this, or seeing Wyoming this trip like it's just amazing that we're we exist. It's one country because it's so different. I mean, there's little areas to different.

00:18:10
Speaker 2: Yes, my grandmother predicted 2000 and 16 and 2000 Funny 10 years ago. What however long that WAAS cause now obviously are very divided. But I think that touches on one other interesting thing about travel in the motivations for travel. I think on one

00:18:25
Speaker 2: level there is doubling the drive for nature and that sort of immersive experience, like

00:18:31
Speaker 2: with the planets, not sounds super cheesy that it existed before you would existed after you. What were the people like You came here before and that sort of transcendence And I actually think Meghan shop on the podcast I appeared on called me an extroverted loner because I was always drawn. She's like, you say you love people but you, your favorite places where the Arctic, the Amazon, you know, and then the Himalayas. So I think there's that drop. But I think the other thing that motivates travels people. And I think that's what Mama, What our grandmother was primarily driven by. What

00:19:04
Speaker 2: do you think you troubles? She reads Andy Prue novels. If people don't read them, they take place in my Yuming. She wrote Brokeback Mountain. The short story. My mom read some I love her tail.

00:19:13
Speaker 1: Yeah, fine, just the way it is, Yeah, it's a collection of short stories is great.

00:19:18
Speaker 2: You know, what's funny is I was gonna ask you if you thought it was growing up on the East Coast and seeing the American West, which is so story. I mean, it's

00:19:26
Speaker 2: called Jack Kerouac. It's calling Elizabeth Parker. And if that sort of was the fundamentals first spark for your love of that place

00:19:33
Speaker 2: What? What? That it was sort of this this, like, sort of representation of a break, a break from home and just like you could be a different person out there. You could be a Grand Grand Canyon waitress, and nobody even knew what Kenyon College was ever. Canyon College.

00:19:47
Speaker 1: Well, also, it's less crowded. You'll have to wait in line. I mean, let's just talk about the basics.

00:19:53
Speaker 2: Wyoming is also the least populated states so

00:19:56
Speaker 1: humane, something coming from living in New Jersey, the most populated state that most densely populated state

00:20:02
Speaker 2: but another one of the best states in the country. Horse.

00:20:06
Speaker 2: Okay, so then let's get to some practical tips for people who are going to do their own road trips with families or friends are

00:20:13
Speaker 2: what not. So are there any places that we stopped, mom, that you would recommend. Travelers should stop, Say, they're coming from, like the upper use coast, the US like we were.

00:20:25
Speaker 1: First of all, I would just make,

00:20:27
Speaker 1: you know, just my primary recommendation is to make sure you have, especially when you're traveling with young Children. You have a hotel room because once we got stopped coming up from Florida, we couldn't get a hotel room between Florida and New Jersey because there was a big NASCAR

00:20:43
Speaker 1: race going on in South Carolina. So that was the end of that. But I would also, you know, just look a look for I mean, you want to do that the national parks. But I think one of the funnest stops we took with the kids just by happenstance was in Gothenburg, Nebraska, where the kids got an opportunity to, you know, there's one of the stops on the Pony Express, and you know that that's just a legendary historical moment. But really, the Pony Express is only in place for a year. I mean, for all the history and lore about it was only really doing it for a year, so that was sort of fun. Um, I wouldn't stop in amusement parks only below the way we did. But, I mean, you've seen one amusement park after while you've seen them all, and that you don't have the cultural differences that you see in other, more natural and local historical

00:21:34
Speaker 2: support. Local businesses Also, I feel like kids or chaotic families or chaotic. I'm saying kids, but full disclosure. We've been quarantined together for the past couple of months, so I feel like I've fully reverted back into my role as an annoying daughter at times. But I can only imagine that an amusement park and the lines and people wanting to go different places would be hellish. Yeah, I

00:21:55
Speaker 1: mean, there's some parts that are so incredibly well organized, and it's fine, but it's not that after a while, they're all alike. I mean, I think Disney parks a great you know, Cedar Point in Sandusky and obviously Busch Gardens, the stuff that we've been, too, but they are, you know, you've been on a roller coaster is a roller coaster,

00:22:12
Speaker 2: and I have to say that I mean, it's even. It's even more so now, but I remember when I was growing up, you know, would be like, Oh, well, people are watching too much TV. They're watching too many movies now. Obviously, people are really on their screens. But I think that one of the things that doing these road trips teaches or talk are you know, your board. You have to think you have sort of like, Look around, you have dreaming, you ought to read. And to that end, like, I think that something that I really remember and I would recommend doing to to sort of elements first would be Find your way to Kansas or Oklahoma and just drive. I drive straight through Nebraska. We were. We drove through Nebraska last summer and you know you're driving and there's nothing around. I was on that bind.

00:22:56
Speaker 1: We saw the regular Scott's blood.

00:22:59
Speaker 2: I mean, we saw a lot. We saw a lot of

00:23:02
Speaker 1: rock were on the wagon train stop. It was real. Let I mean, those things were great then. And then there's Lewis and Clark various, you know, stops along.

00:23:10
Speaker 2: She's looking at things from the perspective of a scout. I'm looking at things from someone who was on deadline and needed to get WiFi to file a story. And we drove about 2.5 hours, but we stopped you at

00:23:21
Speaker 1: the White House There in Uh Oh, my gosh. Where is it? Yeah,

00:23:25
Speaker 2: you did. I went to a Starbucks. Really? Kind. People in Nebraska. Starbucks.

00:23:30
Speaker 2: I remember. Yeah. No,

00:23:32
Speaker 1: no, no. To Wild Bill Hickok story. Really know why

00:23:36
Speaker 2: this is important for the story? Because Nebraska. So then I finally finished a stream in the back seat again, really? Testing our family patients with one another. The three of us in this car and

00:23:47
Speaker 2: at the head you could see, like the outline of a rainbow. And it was beautiful. I probably took 100 photos of it from far away. And then what was crazy is that we kept approaching at and, you know, rainbows could be sort of illusory, A looser I don't even know. Like a pot of gold. They don't always look great up close. This rainbow looked like a vibrant beam down from the heavens. And it's because we were in the prairie and it was just goldfields everywhere. And there was nothing. It was it was one of most spectacular things. I'd ever seen. And

00:24:17
Speaker 2: this is why I tell you need to drive through the Heartland because

00:24:20
Speaker 2: it can be a little bit dull, because there isn't that much to distract you sometime

00:24:24
Speaker 1: where Jesse James held up his first train. I mean, that that stuff is great.

00:24:28
Speaker 2: So yes. Oh,

00:24:29
Speaker 1: and you can picture it happening. I mean,

00:24:31
Speaker 2: yeah. So And, Mom, I'm I am suggesting they do this even though the site I'm just copy adding that, like, you know, if you're choosing between driving through

00:24:40
Speaker 2: I don't know, God, I mean, like, mess at my geography here. But if you're choosing between driving thrill, what state would you drive through rather than going through, like Oklahoma

00:24:50
Speaker 2: of South Dakota? Yeah. Go to the prairie is what I'm saying. But really

00:24:54
Speaker 1: go to

00:24:54
Speaker 2: the Heartland because the sky in Kansas is enormous. People talk about Big Sky, Montana, the sky In Kansas. It feels like you're in a snow globe dome off blue 20. Insane. And so we were driving. Oh, my God. Guess we were driving and I was a kid, and it was storming, and we hadn't We hadn't got into our hotel. Yeah, I don't think that we were going to get there any times, particularly soon, and

00:25:25
Speaker 2: it's getting stronger. And then suddenly we approach and we have to stop it in its this train track and this is how I remember it. And Dick folk Joan Didion It doesn't really matter what happened. It matters how it felt to me. However, Mom were actually agreeing on a lot of these memories. So we're at this train's tracks and the train. I'm like, Where's the train coming from? Where is it going?

00:25:43
Speaker 2: Um, and

00:25:45
Speaker 2: it's this freight train I'm not. It felt like 60 60

00:25:50
Speaker 1: other cards. Hundreds? Yeah, hundreds, of course. On hundreds

00:25:53
Speaker 2: of cars you look around and there's no one else out there and the sky is erupting the heavens or exploding. And it was like this could be the 19 fifties and 19 twenties. Or this could be I don't know

00:26:05
Speaker 1: other little. I mean, it's really fascinating. Yeah, and you have these great, huge no rail, your realigns going through the middle of counts like far Bo. And I mean, he's a real towns in it. Everything comes to a halt because thes long train coming through. It's very romantic way,

00:26:24
Speaker 2: and I'm actually gonna Yes, it is romantic. I'm I'm gonna do a shout out to another journalist. Actually here. Caity Weaver did rode the train across America for The New York Times. Um, I think it was earlier this year, and she wrote a spectacular story about it. She also gushes over the sky in the Heartland, but basically saying how Americans industrial America's industrial accesses have resulted in a train line that goes through places that really we don't need trains to go through like weaving through the mountain ends. And yeah, recommends n

00:26:55
Speaker 1: it was Buffalo Bill's house in North Platte, Nebraska. We've been there. Somebody for

00:27:00
Speaker 2: everyone is on the edge of their see, it's Buffalo Bill's house.

00:27:04
Speaker 2: And the second thing I would say is, this is that Native American. So as a traveler, I have worked with different nations tourism bureaus in Southern.

00:27:13
Speaker 2: One thing that I've always been wanting to try, and I'm actually be focusing on that this year is growing up.

00:27:19
Speaker 2: We wouldn't even do these cross country trips. We would collect national park stickers and everything, and I feel like I got a lot. I gotta be less than the National Parks Service. But also, we would learn so much about the Native American history in each state, each region, the different tribes. And I would read There is a book series and oh, God, I'm gonna send this to Megan's where you can put it in the notes of people want some things, give their kids because this was it was like American girls for me. But it was about different Native American girls who were probably 11 or 12 from different tribes all over the country. And it was a whole serious about each one, and I just was really I just was fascinated by Native American culture and really developed an appreciation and love for it ends now as a journalist, What I've noticed is like if you go to Canada and you want to support indigenous populations, there's a map the indigenous tribes in association Canon spectacular. But there's a map, and it's like this is native owns. This is native. On this. You can do an entire trip and you're supporting this culture giving back and you know it's beautiful also, because, ah, lot of the one Native American also First Nations heritages in storytelling so and sharing stories. So

00:28:26
Speaker 2: I don't know. It's spectacular. I have that something that I would keep an eye on and just look for. I know their separate museums and fairs where you can buy Native American art. But it's harder in the US because

00:28:37
Speaker 2: we still haven't paid reparations to any of our people. So before we get too political, we're gonna move on to

00:28:44
Speaker 2: just last two negatives and we're done. Are there any places we visited that you wouldn't recommend that you wouldn't like, Say, you need to stop that?

00:28:54
Speaker 1: No, I mean, no, I need to see everything

00:28:57
Speaker 1: much and then they could make the room decisions a bit. But if you're limited time, as I said, I wouldn't do amusement park. So I mean, I would do things that you're not going to see it in your ordinary existence, that that's the whole point of trouble.

00:29:09
Speaker 1: Exploration.

00:29:09
Speaker 2: Local color go for local flavor, local color. Everything okay, centers, road food, books, got the road, food, bucks. Find out the history. If you were a scout and then

00:29:21
Speaker 2: what was the worst catastrophe you think

00:29:25
Speaker 2: that happened on the road and also have how in on Earth. Did you manage to deal with four loud, bratty kids? I was I was a little demon. I'm gonna come clean here and was constantly and something. I was battling someone at all times and just always the amount of feelings and I had at the age of 11. I'm still it's a tidal wave. I still think up to this day so and then and that I'm just one of four.

00:29:51
Speaker 2: Probably the worst, but still just wanted for how did you manage to, like, still love your Children after being in the car with that? And then I'm ever won the hotel. You almost, Dad. Our dad said to me, He goes, Kate, you guys better to shape up or this will be the last one We did about 10 more after that, but I know you guys were at breaking points. At times, we

00:30:09
Speaker 1: always weigh stopped at hotels with swimming pools. That sort of that it helps people get rid of some other demons. But, you know, books on tape also put you all to sleep. So that was good too.

00:30:21
Speaker 2: I have to say, growing up, I would fantasize about a beach vacation. I was like, I just want to go to the beach. Let's go to an island. Let's go. Literally. I wanted to send

00:30:28
Speaker 1: you a separate. Well,

00:30:31
Speaker 1: when the When Mark, Your youngest was an infant. We did

00:30:34
Speaker 2: in Mexico. Don't know. In the Outer Banks. I don't remember that at all. Uh, but it's funny, because now, as an adult, I am professionally doing the type of travel that my parents forced on me as a kid. All right, Like, we're gonna wake up eight. I am. We're gonna go see this. We're gonna go see that we're gonna go this museum, and then we're gonna get lunch here. And then we're just trying to get as much information as many experiences as possible

00:30:57
Speaker 1: and have the phone is planning it?

00:30:59
Speaker 2: Yes.

00:31:00
Speaker 2: Then the last point then I guess, is that some people, when they have kids, they're like, I'm I'm going to give up on travel for a bit. I'm gonna stop. But for my mom and dad travel with something that they were always connected and united and like I know you guys spent a quarter, I think of your annual income to go to Kenya together and these average before kids before it asked its. But it's not exactly like you guys slow down so much when you had us, and I think that that's almost I mean, you know, inshallah, if I have Children one day, I love him, But I think some benign neglect in pursuit of like living my own life and doing my own thing and expecting the kids to, like, adopted it was a good thing.

00:31:39
Speaker 1: Yeah, they should. You know, people need to see things you need to. You need to provide one. Open the world to your Children's, and this will be tried to do.

00:31:47
Speaker 2: Then show your Children the world that you love. Tell

00:31:50
Speaker 1: yes and let them make their own decisions.

00:31:53
Speaker 2: And this is the last question, and this is something that I, even as a travel journalist, struggled with doing. But my mother will write in her journal in the her notebook, allegedly by the way she might as well be writing in higher glass

00:32:05
Speaker 2: what, every every single day, just it could be longer, short what we did where we were

00:32:11
Speaker 2: ends. Then she would type them up,

00:32:14
Speaker 2: and now and then she bound them together with photos to a hardcover book. That is probably probably, I think, the most prized possession of the family. I would say the most sentimental. How in the hell did you force she is a professional writer? Probably better one than me. But how did how did you force yourself to write Every day when you're on vacation and like you maybe help me remember stage we did have sometimes,

00:32:38
Speaker 1: Yeah. I mean, you draw little pictures of buffalo in the journal

00:32:42
Speaker 1: was good. It was

00:32:43
Speaker 2: fun. Do you Do you think it's something that people should try to do? His family s to

00:32:46
Speaker 1: get a little east personally because you forget and you get these really wonderful sort of

00:32:53
Speaker 1: transformative moments that you know. Then you go back and look at your journal a couple years later when you're retyping it into the system or whatever, putting a book together, whatever, together and their eye for carnival About that. I mean, that's great. I mean, there's so much, it's so different. It's there so many sort of things coming at you and certainly was six of us in the car. Lots of different things coming at you. that having it written down is was a big help.

00:33:18
Speaker 2: To quote Bob Dylan, take care of your memories, for you cannot relive them.

00:33:23
Speaker 2: So But now we come with this book. So, Mom,

00:33:26
Speaker 2: Thank you so much. You're the best. You're the bish. I paid her to say that. Um, hope this was informative and

00:33:36
Speaker 2: happy travels.

Meet the Podcaster
Megan Chapa


Megan Chapa started in the travel industry to build on her existing life patterns and to invest in a portable career. As a travel agent she could both take her job with her and put her traveling knowledge to work as the military moved her family around the world. Travel…

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