Family Reunions: A great way to reconnect with the past

black family reunionAs Women at Forty reminisces about the 80’s this month, I thought I’d take a look back at what my travel life was like during that decade. In the 80’s I was in college and took my very first flight during my junior year. I traveled from Washington, D.C. to Milwaukee for a journalism conference.

A year after graduation, I took a 14-hour Amtrak train for my first trip to Atlanta to start my exciting career at CNN – a company which started in 1980. And as with all new employees at the company I didn’t get many holidays off. So my first few years I missed traveling home to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family. The 80’s was also the decade when I missed a lot of family reunions. Sadly a few family members died before I got a chance to see them again. That’s why family reunions are so important to me now, and I’m looking forward to our next one in August. According to Bruskin Research, more than 60 percent of Americans attend family reunions each year.

Planning your reunion can be fun, but also a lot of work. According to Reunions Magazine the two top things to do ASAP are to decide on a date and a location. You can always have a reunion in your backyard or at a local park, but when you have a large number of people you may want to travel to a venue. When choosing a location, think of places that have a little something for everyone – from children to grandparents. Here are some popular spots for family reunions:

  • Theme parks
  • Cruises
  • All-inclusive Resorts
  • Beaches
  • Camp Grounds
  • National Parks
  • Towns/Cities where the family can trace its roots

Most theme parks, cruises, and resorts even have reunion planners to help you make the occasion come off without a hitch. And don’t forget to take photos and video to have memories you’ll all enjoy for generations to come. For more information on how to plan your family reunion go to and

Don’t take family reunions for granted. It’s a wonderful time to interview your elders to get more family history, and to find out what life was like during the decades when they were growing up. The way you reminisce about the 80’s and groups like Wham!, may be how your grandparents reminisce about the 40’s and groups like the Glen Miller Band. Who? Ask your grandparents at the next reunion! And remember: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” Mark Twain

Kalin Thomas is Women at Forty’s Travel & Leisure Editor. She is also Senior Writer/Photographer for SoulOfAmerica. Before starting her own multimedia company, Kalin spent 17 years at CNN where she won several awards for her work as producer/correspondent for CNN’s weekly travel program, CNN TravelNow. She is currently writing a book about her travels. For more information on Kalin, visit

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  • Wendy Salahuddin

    GREAT ARTICLE !…. I'm looking forward to my family this year !! LOVE THE VENUE SUGGESTIONS !!

  • Kalin

    OMG!  You are on FB!!  Woo hoo!!