We have a book of Aesop’s Fables that we read to the girls every once in a while. There are some stories that I leave out, but one that has become particularly true in my life lately is the story called, “The Old Man, the Boy, and the Donkey.” It’s about a man and his son taking his donkey to the market. Along the way people keep complaining about the man, whether he is on the donkey, his son is on the donkey, both of them are riding him, or no one at all. Finally, him and his son pick up the donkey in a final attempt to please all of the grumbling people. While struggling to carry the donkey on a pole, the donkey falls off of a bridge and drowns. The moral of this story reads: “Please all, and you will please none.” In the end the donkey is lost, and still no one is pleased.
But this is travel blog, not a donkey or a literature blog, so let me get to my point in bringing this up in relation to travel. When you are traveling with others, especially your family, you need to take everyone’s opinion into account. I have talked about that before. But you also need to realize that you may not find a plan that is everyone’s favorite. That’s ok! You are the adult and ultimately the decision lies with you. Just remember that your job in life isn’t to make everyone happy, even on vacation. Do the best you can. That’s all you can do. And remember that in the end, it is the attitude of the participating family members or friends that will determine the amount of fun they have. When reading this fable by good ol’ Aesop, it is obvious that all of the grumbling people passing by were not having a good attitude about the man, his son, and the donkey. They were looking for a reason to complain, and there is nothing you can do to change that if someone has already determined to feel that way.
Keep in mind that figuring out the best travel plan for your group isn’t an exact science. Do your best to plan things out, and remember that you can’t please everyone 100% of the time.