Shattered (Vacation) Dreams

Ok, y’all.

I’ve been telling myself that I need to PIVOT from my obsession over world travel, y’all. But here I am, still stuck on traversing the globe with my kid and seeing all seven wonders of the world before I die. And y’all know me. It just takes an idea to set me off like a rocket, so I’m constantly revising my bucket list.

Like – it’s a note in my phone and I edit it regularly. I’m deep diving into travel blogs and forums like it’s my whole job and everything.

If you’ve been here for any length of time, you know that travel is a big part of our world. The last several years, our family has lived mostly apart, traveling back and forth to see each other. And then COVID became the news (ALL OF IT, apparently) and travel restrictions and general unrest changed that for us.

I grew up in a world where throwing a dart at a map and visiting a new place and having an adventure was actually reasonable, y’all. Where dreams of visiting every corner of the globe were as real as a plane ticket and a backpack.

I’m not naïve enough to think that the whole dart-and-map technique was 100% safe. Trust me. I know what it feels like to be far from home and quite alone.

But it feels different now. More uncertain. The madness that has surrounded the pandemic. The culture shift to hostile, aggressive woke-ism. The minefield that is political policy. The self-absorbed ‘modern’ mindset. We’ve seen nations locking down. People threatened with concentration camps. Waves of crime and civil unrest in formerly stable countries. Filth and grime covering ancient relics. Hatred, fear, and hostility.

And I’m struggling with that lately, if I’m honest. It’s taking the rosy glow away from my dream vacation list and turning me completely off of seeking out new experiences.

The world has never been perfect, sure – crime and grime and hostility have existed since time began. But the world that I’m raising my sweet girl in isn’t the same world I dreamed of exploring when I was a child. Then, my biggest concern was how to get there and what not to eat while I was there.

Now, I think of those places I’ve always dreamed of being and I wonder. Would we be safe? Would we be disappointed? Would we be welcomed? Would we be scorned? Would the landmarks I’ve dreamed of for my entire life be desecrated and dirty? Would I be forced to comply with guidelines that violate my beliefs?

These are questions I couldn’t have fathomed 20 years ago, honestly. That a world so advanced would begin to spin backwards in progress and ideals is baffling to me. I feel less like we’re free citizens of civilized nations and more like we’re on a dangerous trajectory in an entirely different direction.

My biggest question is this; is it really worth it? I’ve made beautiful, lifelong friendships with people around the globe. I want that for my daughter, too. To experience cultures different from our own, to see sights and wonders and new places. But I’m not so sure it’s worth it. The experiences may be life-changing, but they might not be positive.

What about y’all? Is there anyone else rethinking their lifelong travel goals these days, or am I just a nervous Nelly?

Have a great week, friends!

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