I was judged the other day for the number of holidays I take. It’s not the first time this has happened and I am sure it won’t be the last.
Just a raise of the brow, a slight smile (some may even call it a sneer), a sideways glance. Subtle things mostly but enough to let me know. Sometimes even a remark ‘not another holiday’ followed by an eye roll.
I guess it depends on your definition of the word holiday. A holiday to me is not moving from the pool, drowning in a tropical view and having Don Juan the cabana boy at my beck and call. I, along with most of the population, am not averse to a good holiday.
Travel though, well that is another thing altogether. It is a chance to explore different places, some far-flung and some closer to home; immerse yourself in a foreign culture, talk to the locals and live like a local; a chance to eat unusual delicacies and sample unique drinks.
It is adventure. An experience. It is a chance to let the spirit of the place invade your very being. It is a chance to LEARN. We just have to open our hearts to the lessons.
If I choose to spend my money not on smashed avo on toast, a daily cappuccino or a fine bottle of red (although I am not immune to a fine shoe), then that is my choice.
If I would rather have a mortgage I cannot jump over than be debt free, again, that is my choice.
And if I choose to send my kids to a public or state school and have them travel the world with me, rather than spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a private education, then guess what? It is my choice.
I cannot afford to do both, and I value the education of another kind, one that opens their eyes to the wonders of the world.
We have explored museums, climbed over ruins, been guided by archaeologists, crawled through tunnels and pyramids. We have learnt about the slave trade, held dinosaur bones in our hands and paid our respects at war sites.
We have climbed mountains, swum at deserted beaches and sailed the high seas. We have had adventures together, created memories together, and enjoyed life together. As a parent, I cannot ask for more.
Travel, for me, can be an antidote to most of life’s ills, and allows me to revel in my sense of awe for our planet. We are surrounded by lands of marvels; complex, deep and always beckoning.
Travel is not for everyone, and I get that. But it is for me. So please, do not judge me because my choices are not necessarily ones that you would make, and I choose to live my best life in a way that you would not consider. Just as I will never judge you for yours.