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Is Travel a Waste of Time and Money?

Photo by Adam Freeman on Unsplash

I was talking with an acquaintance the other day about the local neighborhood swim team when she asked me why my kids aren’t on the swim team?  Don’t they like swimming? 

When I explained that, “Yes my kids love being in  the water and enjoy swimming, but they aren’t on the team mostly because all year long they are “tied” to a calendar of demands and summer time is free time in our family. ” 

She looked at me puzzled.  “Why do they need free time?”

I went on to explain, that summer time has always been for me as a child a time to just BE.  Like a pooch unleashed at a dog park, the summertime door is flung wide open to explore and do what you like with your time, as much as possible and after chores, of course.  Bike rides, pool time, beach time, trail hikes, board games, backyard movies, etc.

With that said, one of the biggest reasons we haven’t signed up is because the swim team doesn’t like it if you take a vacation or miss a swim meet.  

Joining the team meant being at EVERY practice and EVERY swim meet without fail or you would be eliminated from the team, so we wouldn’t be able to take vacations or travel.  Understandable.  It requires dedication and commitment to be part of a sports team. 

She replied, “Well, we just don’t do that.  We don’t waste time and money on travel.” 

Waste?  Travel is a waste?  I was stunned.  I felt like the character Kathleen Kelly in her line in the movie You’ve Got Mail… “What do you say to the person who just belittled my existence?” [The line actually says, “bottom-feeder” instead of person, but I didn’t feel my neighbor was a bottom-feeder]

This led me to this week’s article.  What do you value? 

Travel is never a waste of time or money.  Never. 

I’m not here to convince you that travel will save the world …well, for some areas of the world tourism is the only means of survival.  Imagine the economic impact on the Caribbean when hurricane Irma passed through in September 2017. Islands are still in recovery mode.

However, I can tell you that as someone who grew up in a very small town and never traveled outside my home town, to now having traveled to so many parts of the world, moving all over the USA, even living in Europe that travel changes you. Experiences change you. 

I believe it so strongly that it’s really the Sail and Sand agency tagline. 

Why do I believe this so strongly?  Because I’ve experienced it – personally. And, I’ve seen it in my children – who we’ve dragged all over the world with us from the time they were born. 

We can appreciate how different cultures live, work, and eat.  Travel is a great story being created with every experience.  When you expand your world knowledge through personal experience then you can expand your understanding of the world and better relate to those in it.

Your mindset of beliefs that life works only the way you think it does in your own town, in your own life,  changes. Yes, you can read all about it.  For sure.  Book lover here.  If you don’t explore beyond your borders, be it around the corner or around the world, then your life knowledge is only limited to what you already know and have experienced.

Let me say that again for all those who are skimming (it’s okay, I get it)…
your life knowledge is only limited to what you already know and have experienced.
​              
Travel doesn’t have to be outside the USA… when we traveled to Nashville, TN recently most folks were in cowboy boots, and country music was playing all over the city.  I was so close to purchasing a pair of boots until hubby pulled me out of the store.  It was different than our town in Virginia.

Visiting different places and seeing different ways people live enlightens us to understand that because they live differently doesn’t make it a “wrong” way to live… simply a different way to live.  

Is travel a waste of time and money?  Consider this point according to the U.S. Travel Association:

  • 716.7 Billion dollars is spent on leisure travel in the United States and internationally in 2017.
  • Spending on leisure travel generated $111.9 Billion in tax revenue.

Obviously, there are many people who believe travel isn’t a waste of time or money. 

Most Americans don’t use all of their vacation time given.  This begs the question… do you value the experience of travel?

From the late Anthony Bourdain – renowned chef, travel writer, best-selling author, TV Star, and entrepreneur: 
Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s OK. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.

Until next time…

Are you ready to experience some travel? Start your vacation today.
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