Guest Stories

The Importance of Family Rituals with Featured Guest Jeri Choi

I walked in carrying our youngest child and took a deep breath. We were finally here, again. 

The kids already made themselves at home—giggling, rolling around on the beds, and claiming their beds for the night. We were welcomed to the warm cabin with a sweet note on the table for us along with a s’mores kit waiting for our kids. I look around the familiar cabin and it’s a similar feeling you get when you finally see a good friend you haven’t seen in a long time. The kind of friendship where your conversation picks up right where you left off, and nothing has changed. 

Getaway is a place much like a friendship that we look forward to seeing each year. Our family settles in quickly and we just pick up right where we left off—my husband starts a fire outside, I heat up milk on the stove for hot chocolate, and the kids station themselves by the large window and stare into the woods. 

A few years ago, our family started a tradition. We drive 2 hours away from the city and to the Getaway. Our first trip started in 2018 to take a step back from a busy season—a retreat for our family to intentionally spend time with each other.

It’s always been our uninterrupted time together and the memories we have that pulls us to go back every year but this past year was different. It was the feeling of normalcy that we craved that made us want to escape. 

Summer vacation, a trip to visit cousins, travel plans for our 10 year anniversary, birthday celebrations, Friendsgiving, and Christmas with family. These were some of the traditions we had to let go this past year—some by choice in exchange for safety and others taken away from us because of the pandemic.

This past year prematurely forced us to accept loss, disappointment and fear. It showed us how uncertain this life is and we needed to remind ourselves that our happiness is not rooted or dependent on our current circumstances.

We were at home, everyday, together. Even though we were always together, we spent most of our days next to each other and not necessarily spending time with one another. Like many, we did our best to fill up the extra time after online school and work at home by learning to cut hair, baking sourdough bread, finishing up home projects, starting up new hobbies while picking back up old hobbies. Much of our time was spent trying to fill a seemingly unfillable void, finding things to distract us as we desperately wanted 2020 to end. 

I had received an email from the Getaway one morning carefully detailing their safety regulations and protocols for their cabins. Out of curiosity, I pulled up the dates for our location and saw an opening. I booked it almost immediately and texted my husband who was in the middle of a Zoom meeting.

Being able to go on this trip meant more than just leaving the house. It was more than keeping a tradition. Our family got a chance to regroup and reflect on 2020, individually and as a family. 

Disconnecting from our devices allowed us to talk to our older children about how they’ve been feeling and shared some of their favorite moments from the year. The uninterrupted time let us enjoy our children’s company as we hiked together in the snow. 

My husband took the bags out to the car and our children did one last check around the cabin to see if they left anything. I caught our daughter lingering and looking out the window saying, “See you next time, Virginia (our cabin’s name)! I’ll miss you!” Needless to say, we’re looking forward to our Getaway in 2021.

Ready to escape to nature and start a new tradition with your family? Book your Getaway today.