Conversations Around A Traveling Kitchen Table
The kitchen table – it can be the heartbeat of a family.
When you travel with a group for an entire week, they kind of become your adoptive family for that week, especially if you are sitting around a traveling kitchen table. On our @American_Latino Expedition, we traveled from our cabins to Grand Teton National Park in a RV. While we had amazing scenery surrounding us outside, at times we were so involved in our conversations that we didn’t look out the window.
My first ride in the RV was to Grand Teton Pass to overlook Jackson. It was literally my first time in a RV. We had wrapped up our first day and hike at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, so it was nice to have a bit more room to spread out and relax. The drive up to Grand Teton Pass was beautiful, of course, and it was relaxing to enjoy it over conversation with a few of the blogueros and get to know them better.
The conversations that I remember the most were when a small group of us were sitting around a table. When you can sit down face-to-face with others, people open up because you can look each other in the eye and read body language. It’s simply easier to connect. We talked about our own roles in leadership in our online Latino community. Each of us has goals for ourselves and our community. It was wonderful to have productive conversations with online influencers. They shared resources such as books by the authors Malcolm Gladwell and Steven Pressfield. That conversation left me with a sense of empowerment.
The next day, we had a great drive to Jenny Lake for a boat ride, mountain hike, and bike ride. On the way there, we began to talk about what we had experienced the first day and what we were looking forward to during the week. We shared what our families would think and how much we missed them. When Latinos start talking about families, we can share a lot. I remember Vianney opening up about her family and what her heritage meant to her. Lizza shared that her mother and grandmother were her pillars in her life. I was moved by both their stories and by how much their families inspired and encouraged them to set out and work hard to make their dreams come true. While listening to these fellow blogueras’ stories, I realized something special about my own family.
As a parent, I’ve always wanted to be able to give my children more than what I had growing up. Most parents do. But more of what? I was unsure. It was on that drive in the RV with the amazing view of the Tetons to one side of us that I realized that I could give my kids more with these types of experiences. #ALEx14 was a special expedition in which I, as a Latina mom blogger, have been able to share with my community and with my own family. As a mom, I can set an example of why we are proud of our American and Latino heritage.
Sure, there are other benefits to riding in a RV, like a bed! Naps were needed at times to rest after our adventurous days. However, for me, the best benefit was being able to sit face-to-face at a kitchen table for some fun, inspiring, educational, and even emotional conversations.
Get to know more about Melanie Mendez-Gonzales by clicking here.