I want you to close your eyes and think about a situation – a stressful situation. There are many situations that cause our blood pressure to rise – but one such instance for me is having my in-laws or parents visit our little flat in south London. We all love our parents dearly, but scheduling, lack of communications due to lack of cell phone coverage in a foreign country, and the rapid increase in time spent with people that you haven’t lived with in over a decade…can be stressful to say the least!
So you could imagine how much stress I was feeling when my in-laws came, and then my parents came, and then my wife and I were due to fly back to the states with my parents – all within a three week period! Can you feel the pressure rising!?
Conquering the homeland
Upon touching down in the states, the stress didn’t stop. We still had an hour long ride, with my parents, driving in a country that I hadn’t driven in for six months, after a transatlantic flight, when my body-clock was telling me that it’s way past my bedtime.
However, we got lucky.
We have a Kia Sedona for the week. Yeah – it’s a minivan. No – I don’t have kids. But this car, it had everything, and it alleviated the stress through a multitude of devices.
So much space!
Right off the bat, carrying luggage, just push the key fob and the rear door opens up by itself. With easy to move rear seats, we had enough for the giant, stuffed-to-the-brim cases my parents bought. The main compartment doors open automatically as well – allowing my aging parents to ease comfortably into leather upholstered captain’s chairs. As we took stock of the situation – an hour plus drive to the homestead, in an airport parking lot, completely jet lagged – my loved ones were all able to recline. My parents in the back were able to put their feet up! This eased the backseat driving, and constant reminders to ‘be careful here’.
I had a little coffee on the flight, and I felt comfortable driving. Not to mention, the amount of technology at my fingertips put my mind further at ease. Used to tiny little cars in Europe, and now driving a much larger vehicle, the Sedona was equipped with a 360-degree camera, as well as rear-facing cameras. Pulling in and out of parking spots was a breeze! Finding my way out of the maze of airport streets and lots was just as easy thanks to the user-friendly navigation system.
Once finally on the freeway, I was able to feel confident and refreshed, as the Kia’s lane-keeping assist system kept us cruising. With the north-eastern summer humidity bearing down on us, the multi-zone climate control, as well as air-cooled seats, kept everyone cool.
All the luxurious perks
Needless to say, we made it home with no incidents. That vacation, that car was a life saver. From nights out with many friends and family, to just watching a DVD in the rear seats – a quiet minute away from everyone – the car proved itself able to handle the stress. I may not be wild about mini-vans, but I found myself yearning for ski trips in the winter with the van, or camping near the beach, with the van.
In a world where our families are ever expanding, we need to enjoy the short time we spend together. Having the Kia Sedona rounded off rough edges, and smoothed the experience so that we could truly enjoy our time traveling back home.
Christian Wright is a London native who loves great cars and traveling throughout Old England and New England. Find him on Twitter.