About this Blog

After banging my head in frustration over the obsession everyone around me had with procreation, I went online to find a community of people who were more like me. I have met some fascinating people along the way, but I have also found that many in the childfree community are quite hostile toward Christianity and a Christian world view. I understand that, unfortunately, many of my Christian sisters and brothers have given them a lot of ammunition (undoubtedly, I have been guilty of this at times too). Not wanting to be perceived as "trolling" for expressing my Christian perspective on other people's forums and blogs, I use my own blog to share my musings on childfree life while at the same time expressing my faith.

My intention is to show support to childfree people, both Christian and non-Christian, but from my own Christian perspective. Questions and constructive comments are welcome; negativity and intolerance are not.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Childfree Stereotypes: Travel (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas)

Another stereotype that I have often encountered about the childfree is that we are really into traveling. This is a stereotype that I do not find to be negative, although it is usually stated by someone who is clearly envious of the mobility that comes with not having children, and so there is often a jab associated with it like, “Look at how much money you are selfishly wasting on all this travel,” or, “Your life must be so empty so you need to fill it with all of this travel.”

I’ve met enough childfree people now to realize that plenty of them are homebodies and feel no urge to travel; others cannot afford it. Personally, I fit the travel-loving stereotype perfectly, but it’s not to fill any sort of void. In fact, it is my parents who instilled a love of traveling in me. They taught me to be curious about new places, to love learning, to seek adventure. By the time I was a teenager, I had logged thousands of miles in cross-country trips with my family. The travel budget could not accommodate airfare for the five of us -- mom, dad, and three kids -- so I grew up with a solid appreciation of The Road Trip. That appreciation has thrived to this day, but I must say that the road trips I have taken alone or with a friend have been far more peaceful and have often generated happier memories than those childhood trips filled with sibling rivalry. (How and why my parents tolerated traveling with us kids will forever remain a mystery to me.)

A couple of years ago, I realized that this lifetime of road trips had landed me in about forty of the fifty states, and I made it my mission to visit all fifty states. Some of the decisions were easy: a conference in New Orleans, Louisiana? Why, of course I’ll attend! Others, not so much…
Me: I guess I would like to go to Connecticut and Rhode Island this summer.
Husband: What’s in Connecticut and Rhode Island?
Me: I don’t know; I’ve just never been there.
Husband: Well, OK, if that’s what you really want.
Me: “REALLY want” might be too strong. But I need to cross them off my list.

However, I have been pleasantly surprised at what each state has to offer.

Some states really are destinations. If you must fly there, fine. There will be plenty to do once you get there. Other places provide all kinds of enjoyment, but you are better off road-tripping it so that you can see all of the little details – the things that might not be worth planning an entire trip around. I’d like to take a few posts to offer what I have enjoyed about the states I have traveled to and through.

We’ll start with the As:
Alabama: I only ever drove through this state, but as you near the Florida border, the landscape is quite beautiful. I suspect that border area would be a relatively inexpensive, warm, and lovely place to vacation.

Arizona: Phoenix is a big city like any other. Good for shopping, restaurants, airports, and the like. To see the “wild west,” get out of the city.
Jerome is an adorable little town for a short visit (good for a road trip around Arizona). It almost became a ghost town, but it retained a small population and some interesting historic sites. Cute shops there too.
Williams is the town that time forgot once I-40 drew traffic away from Route 66. But it’s a great place to have a big biker-dude at a cafĂ© grill you the best sandwich ever, and you can also take a train to the Grand Canyon from Williams.
Stand on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. It’s easy to make a quick stop as you drive to or from the Petrified Forest national park near Holbrook.
Flagstaff is the place to stay if you can’t afford the resorts at the Grand Canyon. It’s only about an hour drive between the two. Flag (as the locals call it) is the largest city in northern Arizona and will provide you all the amenities you need in that part of the state. If you head west from Flag on I-40 to California or Las Vegas and you see a sign that says, “No services for the next 60 miles,” take it very seriously. If you need gasoline, a bathroom, water, whatever, STOP IMMEDIATELY. They are NOT kidding. You won’t see another sign of civilization until you hit Kingman.
Sedona will blow you away with its beautiful rock formations, and you mustn’t miss the drive up (or down) 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff. There is also an exciting arts community there. And though the spiritual “vortex” and new age influence (plus the UFO sightings) might make a Christian expect spiritual conflict there, God’s presence is very strong in northern Arizona.
Finally, whatever the weather is like, whatever time of year you are there, I don’t care if it’s snowing in the mountains or you get a daily downpour in the “monsoon season” in August, bring lots of water. Always have it with you.

Arkansas: I want to tread lightly here so that I don’t offend potential readers from Arkansas. It’s been years since I visited a friend near Little Rock. Glad to be able to say I have been there, have no interest in going back.

Feel free to comment with your own travel advice for these places!


  1. We took roadtrips as a family at least once a year when I was growing up, too! I think we made it to around 40 states as well. Sometimes we'd drive an extra 100 miles JUST to cross the border to another state, then turn around and continue to our "real" destination, just for the sake of putting another notch in our 'States Visited' list! Those were fantastic trips... it probably helped that my siblings and I got along (and still do) very well. But to this day I don't mind long car rides, and the thought of driving for 10+ hours in a day to get somewhere doesn't phase me. :)

  2. I am actually from Arkansas and now live in Alabama! Most people have seen the ugly parts of Arkansas! I always tell everyone you must go west and northwest of Little Rock to see its beauty. Great places with tons of history and the great outdoors include Hot Springs, Fort Smith, and Fayetteville. I love living in Alabama. Birmingham is a great city, but everyone here talks about Fairhope, AL and its Southern charm on the coast. I haven't visited yet. I have always wanted to go to Arizona, and you make it sound amazing!

    One of my reasons for remaining childree is to have the freedom and money to travel!

  3. This is a goal of mine as well although I am only 20 States in. For some reason I find myself going back to States I have already been to for various reasons, highly annoying. On a better note, this July we are taking a New England road trip with stops in Providence, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; Portand, Maine; Hartford, Connecticut and NYC, New York. That is 4 new States for me as I have been to NYC many times. BTW - If anyone has suggestions about what to do in Hartford, please let me know! LOL

  4. Thanks for the comments, everyone!
    @Childfree Travel, I don't know about Hartford, but if you are on the road and near East Haddam, CT, I think Gillette Castle is worth a look. I also enjoyed driving through the vicinity, though I'm not sure if the drive was supposed to be so scenic or if my GPS took me some strange back way in a stroke of good fortune!