Stuck in the sand

                Whether Queen Victoria was visiting Balmoral Castle or Charles Bingley rented Netherfield Park, the British Aristocracy has been getting away from their official residences to retreat from their duties. Yesterday, a girl seemed concerned that she was travelling to New York by plane for the first time. Since I was raised by an airline pilot, I have been travelling since infancy and have been lucky enough to see many parts of the world. This summer, on our annual pilgrimage to the beach, we saw countless of other SUV’s filled to the brim with beach chairs and coolers headed toward the ocean. Some people prefer the beach, others the mountains; either way, they want to get away.

                Vacation has become an integral part of today’s society. Employees barter with their companies to get as much vacation allotment as they feel they can. Two weeks doesn’t seem enough anymore. Many of us who are teachers value the summers off and Christmas break. Mind you, no one ever lets us forget how “lucky” we are. I wonder why I like to visit other places. Charles Ingalls had wanderlust, never satisfied to ground his family to one home and ended up moving from one locale to the next. When I watch a baseball game in San Francisco and see the weather is 70 degrees when it is 94 in the ’05, I think how nice it would be to live their; but, the idea that the grass is always greener is never more true when I actually look at the property values in California. Plus, who wants to move 3,000 miles away from your family?

                Approaching the holiday weekend, many families will sneak out early to escape to their favorite getaway. Last year, the wife and I spent the long weekend in Manhattan, loving the busy go-go lifestyle of its inhabitants. The wife recently told me that her summer was defined by the beach trip. Many people feel the same way. I spent five weeks in bed recovering from surgery in the spring; one week, the wife and kids went to the beach and I don’t know whose vacation was better. Seriously, though, sometimes time alone can refresh my batteries. So is it really leaving your home that is rewarding, or simply getting away from your daily grind? When at the beach, I still make my bed and wash my clothes. Heck, I even fix my meals when necessary (think: crab and shrimp boil).

                When I win the lottery and become independently wealthy, I will head east and not stop travelling until I pass the prime meridian, through time zone after time zone, travelling toward the International Date Line and then retuning stateside. After the first year is over, I may do it again. When the wife and I talked about how we would spend our imaginary money, we asked ourselves where we would live. If we bought an estate in a fancy country club, wouldn’t we still want to get away? I think that planting your feet somewhere is like standing in the ocean in the water. As the waves crash in and retreat, your feet become engulfed within the sand and eventually you feel stuck. No one likes to feel stuck.  So whether Panama City, Florida calls your name or Vail, Colorado, head away from your house. It will still be there when you get back. Right now, I have to get back to planning my next vacation.

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