As I made clear in my last post, this winter has got to me in a rather big way. And if I were like many other people out here on the coast, I would turn that into a valid reason for a trip to somewhere warm. So many people I talk to are going somewhere warm; mostly to Mexico although some go to Hawaii as well. I’m sure some of those people pay for the trip with cash, but considering how this town is hurting financially, I also am sure that a lot of those people are using credit to pay for the trip. When you ask most of these people why they are going on the trip they’ll talk about the cold winter, the warm water and sunshine awaiting them, the hard work they’ve done all winter, the need for a break. And that all sounds so good and so valid.
When I was young not many of my friends took family vacations out of the country. There would be the one kid whose family went to Disney Land, or the one whose family got to go to Hawaii. And they were so lucky!! But mostly the trips people took back then were driving trips to visit relatives. Today over half of the kids we know have been somewhere special, on a plane, just because.
I have some theories, as do other, more studied people than me. Media certainly plays a role, we see commercials and TV shows that convince us we too should be somewhere beautiful, or somewhere exotic, or somewhere that adventure awaits. We are a very wealthy people in comparison to so many, and we want to spend our money like there is no tomorrow. We also are told, over and over again, to use credit. Live for today!
It is so hard not to. Hard to watch the ads for warmer climates and not think “we should go”. Not think “we need to go”. Because there’s the rub. We have lost sight of what are needs, and what are wants. And that could very well be the ruin of us.
I’m adding here to say, vacations aren’t a bad thing. It’s just knowing where the money is going and why that is my problem. The ‘need’ to take one every year, sometimes twice a year, as a matter of course, is what concerns me. It’s symptomatic of the sense of entitlement that pervades western culture (and that I am not immune from by any stretch). We’re still planning on taking a vacation of our own with the money we’ve been saving for the last three years!