47° 33' 27.036'' N 10° 44' 57.444'' E

Making A Life-Long Relational Deposit Through Travel

Aaron McHugh

I’m on a plane coming home from Berlin, Germany and wanted to share a story with you. My youngest daughter has this toy castle my dad bought her during the magic years-when she was missing her front teeth. It’s a perfect replica from Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland. She calls it her “Princess Castle.” Now that she’s seventeen, the castle sits in a storage bin next to her American Girl dolls. I’m sure you have some of those same treasures stored in your home also-those lovely childhood relics that hold so many joyful moments.

Now she sits next to me as a young woman. We came to Germany to attend a work conference, we didn’t buy any trinkets, but we are returning home with a new treasure-a meaningful deposit in our friendship. We visited the real fairytale castle Neuschwanstein.

We rented a car from Munich to find our way down near the Austrian border to visit magical Neuschwanstein Castle.

My takeaway

Life will be as fast and full as we choose to make it. Our choices become seeds that later bear fruit in our lives. For me, this trip was less about the locations and more about our shared experience. Relationships take work and connection is a result of continual deposits, both big and small.

I asked her at dinner one evening, “Do you know why we take trips like these? Beyond that they are fun.” Her answer, “No?”

“So that we can become friends. When you leave home, we’re going to need a friendship to keep us close.”

I see travel as a means of making a life-long relational deposit. Get off the grid. Find any excuse to leave the house and go deposit in a relationship through a shared experience. It could be a picnic, going to see a movie together, taking pictures or sailing. The activity or adventure isn’t important. For me I have a belief like Walter Mitty’s moments searching for slide #25.

SO GOOD!

Neuschwanstein Castle Photo Credit @Averi McHugh
At sunset, the castle embodied every fairytale and princess rescue story we’ve ever read. (PC@ Averi McHugh)