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Friday, July 29, 2016

Are Travel Vacations Necessary? (Flashback Friday)

       People all over are travelling and taking vacations which means they are spending lots of money on themselves and leaving carbon footprints all over the place.  That includes me.  Am I concerned?  Should you be concerned about your own vacations or the travel-for-pleasure that others do?   The debate is reopened for discussion...


  IT'S FLASHBACK FRIDAY - A TIME OF THE MONTH WHERE YOU CAN REPUBLISH AN OLD POST OF YOURS THAT MAYBE DIDN'T GET ENOUGH ATTENTION, OR THAT YOU'RE REALLY PROUD OF, OR YOU THINK IS STILL RELEVANT ETC. THIS BLOG-GO-ROUND IS HOSTED BY MICHAEL G D'AGOSTINO FROM A LIFE EXAMINED--THAT'S WHERE YOU'LL FIND THE REST OF THE PARTICIPANTS OR TO JOIN UP YOURSELF.


THE POST I'VE CHOSEN FOR THIS MONTH FIRST APPEARED ON TOSSING IT OUT ON THURSDAY MARCH 25, 2010.  TO SEE THE ORIGINAL COMMENTS TO THAT POST YOU CAN CLICK ON THE TITLE BELOW TO BE TAKEN TO THE ORIGINAL POST. MY REASON FOR CHOOSING THIS PARTICULAR POST, BESIDES IT BEING AS RELEVANT NOW AS THEN, IS THAT IT IS RELATED TO MY NEXT BATTLE OF THE BANDS POST WHICH WILL APPEAR ON MONDAY AUGUST 1ST AND IT'S RELATED TO WHAT'S GOING ON IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. ..


Are Vacations Socially Irresponsible?

           Today is Debate Day here on Tossing It Out.    I'm going to toss out the question to you, pose a few arguments, and then leave it to you to toss a response back to me.  Here is today's question:

Are self-indulging vacations that involve leaving home and spending a lot of money selfish and socially irresponsible?

           We are in an era of change, social responsibility, personal accountability--or at least that is what some would have us believe.  Each of us impact our world by our actions.  In absolute reality, the "fun" vacation of taking trips, going to touristy places, and spending lots of money to indulge ourselves and our families is not a necessity for us to survive.  Why do we feel the need to have these unnecessary excesses in the name of relaxation and entertainment?  Why might these types of vacations be a good thing?

        With all the talk about "carbon footprints" and the like, it is probably important to assess the  environmental impact of the travel entailed by vacations away from home.  Said travel uses up fuel for no practical goal oriented purpose.  Often energy used up at vacation destination is frivolous waste as it is sucked up by amusement and entertainment venues and travel for the sole purpose of seeing sights.  If people stayed home instead of traveling to a vacation destination it is probable that a great deal of energy would be conserved.  Also, one should consider the environmental damage done to more sensitive areas like national parks and similar destinations.  Travel vacations are environmentally unfriendly.

       These are economic hard  times for many families.  Many people are out of work, not to mention the huge financial hits that have been taken by many investors and homeowners.  People should probably be putting money away for what may be hard economic times to come.  Charging vacations to credit cards should not even be an option.  And even those who feel a sense of financial confidence might be better off thinking of socially responsible ways to put their money to work helping others.  Why should any of us be thinking about amusing ourselves with frivolity when so many in our communities are in need?   At the very least perhaps it would make more economic sense to use our accumulated savings to invest in home improvements.  Hire local out of work craftspeople and buy building supplies from local sources in order to provide some cash flow to our hometown economy.  Investing in ourselves and our neighbors will have more long term benefits than accumulating a few photographs and memories.

         Also, Americans should consider what kind of message our travel sends to the rest of the world.  Do other countries really want to see Americans in their countries?  Sure, they want our money, but does the money ultimately go to a good place and does money spent abroad help the U.S. economy.  We may be very well supporting political regimes that would like to eventually see the U.S. put down.  So far as spending our money in countries that are U.S. allies, the question as to whether it would be better to spend our money at home still arises.

          If the financially able truly must go anywhere then they should consider the social significance of their travel choices.   Volunteering for aid missions helping poorer countries to become better or rebuild after disasters would be a merciful activity that would be more important than mere pleasure seeking.   Instead of going to Disneyland we should be taking our families to help build housing in poverty stricken areas.  Cruises should be replaced by spending time on the frontlines feeding and caring for the homeless.  Camping and hiking in the wilderness could be replaced with assisting farmers to bring in their crops.   It's sad to be having fun and recreation when many other cannot afford it or don't have the time because they have to work so much.

        What do you think?  I've just tossed this argument out there as one side of the debate.  I'm not going to say what my real stance on this debate question is because I want to hear your opinion.  But I will give a hint by saying that the arguments that I've presented here would probably be embraced by some people, but I have approached it somewhat tongue in cheek.  I don't want to say anything else right now.  Tell me what you think about this topic.

        Are you planning to go anywhere for a vacation this year?  Where are you going?  What do you like to do on vacation?





29 comments:

  1. I enjoy travel vacations and you may well know, otherwise I wouldn't have met you.
    I haven't been away for a few years due to health and personal problems but intend to rectify that soon. I love to get on a plane and leave all my worries back in the UK.
    Enjoy your week-end.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, you've had some nice vacations and been many places. I'm glad I was able to meet up with you in person.

      Lee

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  2. Some places rely on those tourists to support it.
    Travel broadens the mind. Big time. Where I live, there are people who've never even left the state, and it shows. It expands our thoughts and imaginations in ways just reading about it can't.
    And sometimes, we just need a break!

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    1. Alex, I've also known people who have never been anywhere. Reading about travel and watching TV shows about it can give great insight, but it's not the same as actually experiencing the travel.

      Lee

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  3. I think if a family can afford a vacation than they should be able to enjoy it. It stimulates the economy of where they are traveling to and it also strengthens the family bonds and relationships. No need to feel guilty for what people have worked hard all year for and that's to enjoy life.

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    1. Elsie, I can't argue with your line of thinking. If travel for pleasure ended there would be many areas that would suffer great economic deprivation.


      Lee

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  4. I travel to keep up with family and to belong. we took a Recently we took a trip to Alaska

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    1. Pop Tart, Alaska is on my bucket list. My travel is mainly to keep up with family and so far none of them are in Alaska.

      Lee

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  5. It's all about balance and each person's situation. Yes, all those situations you mention are true and there are excesses to travel. Bottom line, travel opens the door to learning about the world and experiencing other cultures. I thought I'd never be able to travel due to the expense yet life opened doors for me to travel to England, Ireland and the UAE. Each of these places hold a special place in my heart because family were there. <3
    https://meinthemiddlewrites.com/2016/07/29/me-in-the-middle-of-looking-back-flashback-2/

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    1. MLQ, I think when the opportunities arise to travel we should take every advantage we can in order to go places.

      Lee

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  6. Well, now I'm stricken with guilt! ;) I guess we are major offenders here, because travelling and sightseeing are among our favourite activities. Some of it is local, but we also visit other countries. Not ones with radical governments, however. ☺ We do what we can at home and believe in the "reduce, reuse and recycle" mantra, plus we donate to charities, so I actually don't feel all that bad about our leisure choices. After all, life is short and we should enjoy it while we can. Besides, spending money stimulates the economy. We will be leaving a few dollars in Michigan next week. There's nothing wrong with hedonism, as long as you balance it out with noble actions, in my opinion.

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    1. Debbie D, don't be stricken with guilt. My wife and I are big offenders as well, but I think we are also pretty socially conscious about the environment. The world is our gift to enjoy and to embrace.

      Lee

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    2. What's the point to live in this world if you can't enjoy it, yes? As so many others said, travel broadens the mind. Those who obsess over things like carbon footprints, etc. probably have no joy in their souls.

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  7. I honestly feel annoyed by this argument. I get the whole idea of being socially conscious, but to feel bad about wanting to take a vacation seems stupid to me. (Sorry if that's harsh, but that's how I feel. It’s like saying that as long as someone in the world is starving, we shouldn’t be allowed to eat, or something crazy along those lines.)
    As someone who often goes without and lives a very humble lifestyle because that's all I can afford and because I do make efforts to be socially conscious, I'd be pissed if someone tried to make me feel guilty about wanting to save up my hard earned money just to spend a few days not worrying about all the worries of the world. (Relax, this is geared toward the argument, not you.)
    Great Flashback Friday post and interesting thoughts to ponder.

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    1. Toinette, I'm in agreement with all that you've said. If a plate of gourmet food is put before us and we reject it because of a guilt over other people's starvation then we are also guilty of waste. When blessings come our way we should accept them with great thankfulness.

      Lee

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    2. Excellent points, Toinette.

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  8. Interesting side to present. It makes some good points, but I think people need something to look forward to. If they work hard, why not go somewhere and enjoy it whether it's the beach or Disney World.

    That other viewpoint sounds depressing. Would it stretch to include the arts, music, reading and writing of fiction? No thanks.

    Traveling gives us a chance to see things and experience things that we wouldn't otherwise. It may not be necessary, but the point of living should not be restricting ourselves to the necessary. What kind of civilization would exist without the adventurous, both in body or mind?

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  9. I would like to be irresponsible and visit a cool place for a couple of days, but it's not going to happen. Ah, well. August is almost here. I have to get through August and September. Then October will be better, and November will be great.

    Love,
    Janie

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  10. Well being flat broke and maxed out credit cards, I won't be going anywhere ever. It kills me. I love to travel. Now I can't. I thought by now I would have at least been to the Canadian Maritimes but I can't even afford a weekend in New Hampshire.

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  11. How can we grow as human beings without experience...experience in learning a new place, culture, music, art...the list goes on. We can read about it or watch TV but it is not the same thing as actually being there plus we need the change because it seems to recharge our batteries. Once we are away for a bit, whether it is a weekend or a month, we are happy to come back home. The trick is to budget for it.

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  12. We don't travel for fun as much as we used to, mostly because of the pets (the dog must be boarded and the cat needs a sitter) and my elderly mom who lives in another state. We have a hybrid car now so driving trips don't make me feel guilty. Air travel and many favorite out-of-country destinations have become such a nightmare that most of our trips these days are in the U.S. and mostly to see family.

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  13. Sometimes trying to save the world, or being (ugh! I hate these words!) politically correct can make people stressed, needing a vacation to relax and enjoy the scenery. Sometimes a vacation is just a vacation, for me.

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  14. Quite frankly, I believe Americans' other excesses send a far worse picture than travel.

    Travel exposes one to other places, other customs, other people, as well as giving you a chance to recharge your batteries.

    Contrast that with our need to constantly upgrade to the new iWatch/phone, to fill our walk in closets (in my case, to fill a room with CD's and records).

    As George Carlin said, we are preoccupied with stuff, and then we build big houses to hold our stuff.

    I worked with someone who moved into a 4,200 SF house because her existing 3,700 SF house was not big enough for her, her spouse, and their daughter.

    I have a walk-in closet off of my bedroom what is bigger than all of the closet space in the house I grew up in, and eight people lived in that house.

    Go on vacation. Buy less crap. That's my motto. While I still buy far too much music, I have curbed it this year a little.

    LC

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    1. Forgot to make one point-agree that use of credit is bad, but that is for anything (except a true emergency). If you don't have the money, you can't afford it.

      Debt will be the downfall of our country-we're well on the way to being owned by China (who lends our government fifty cents of every dollar they spend) and our average citizen is mired in debt.

      My other motto-do without if I can't pay cash.

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  15. For me any type of vacation is like a re-set button. I need to get away a few times a year whether it be a few days in deer camp or just a quick weekend to the folks' cottage.

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  16. Lee, I'm not big on vacations, but I do like them and I think they are important. I don't think about carbon footprints and such just the funness that awaits at our destination. We all need an occasion to step away to recollect our energies and renew the mind. While we haven't comfortably with spending lots of money for an extensive trip away from home, we find nearly equal benefit in our long day trips. I have never traveled outside the USA and don't have plans. There are many places across the oceans I'd like to see, but the expense of traveling abroad coupled with my fear of flying stops us, but you raised a good point. Maybe the money we spent outside the USA funds a regimen, plus it doesn't help our economy. These are two good points to ponder on with all that our country faces. Enjoy your trip!

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  17. My first honest to goodness thought was this is the most ridiculous thing I['ve ever read:)
    I absolutely agree that we should all spend time, money and muscle helping the less fortunate but I do so much of that and it does way so heavy on my soul that sometimes I need to just go to an ocean to sit and relax and or have some crazy fun.
    I think its wrong to feel guilty about traveling.
    Honestly most of the travel I do involves visiting people that I miss very much and if I can throw having fun with those folks in there its a great blessing.

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  18. I've been watching my carbon footprint for so long now I don't really think about it, but I know some people think I'm strange. I made an exception for the once in a lifetime total eclipse in the Arctic last year, but at least I ticked two boxes with one flight, and I did do some investigation of the environmental impact of thousands of people descending on Svalbard for one day. (Not as much as you might think).

    As for rich people's volunteer holidays - well, there are plenty of those around, but many companies here have a volunteering thing going on in work time; and volunteers usually need training to be useful. And do you still have the Peace Corps for people who are serious about doing some good? And disaster volunteers and similar?

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  19. I'm not political correct, nor am I socially responsible to the point really screwing up my vacation time like that.

    I take so few vacations to begin with (prior to the real vacation I took this year, the last real one I took was 8 years ago), that I can't waste my time on being a Darrell Downer to do good deeds on my vacation.

    Decompressing from the inanities of life so that my mental health is good is important to me. And I refuse to allow anything even remotely p.c. to deter me from my assigned goal.

    Father Nature's Corner

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Lee