Traveling is a Privilege

Traveling is expensive. There is no way around it. Plane tickets, hotels, Airbnb, equipment, clothing, excursions, tours, food, gas….it’s expensive.

I went into this journey with this absolutely crazy idea I would spend $1500. I didn’t want to use any family money and would sell items and do random jobs to earn the money. I lived on Buy, Sell, Trade for months and had a yard sale. I did extra mini sessions and even signed up for Uber. Was I trying to convince myself I was 25 still? Reality check – $1500 won’t get you far for 8 days if you want to really want to live it up on your journey.

Before you say yes you can do a lot for $1500 in 8 days I do agree. Yes you can. When I was 25 planning this trip I didn’t have the financial stability I have now so of course it was going to be a skin and bones kind of trip. Now I live a different life. I wanted different things out of this trip. I didn’t need or want to find or see the things I wanted to back then. I realized that when planning now I had something many wanting to travel don’t have – money and privilege.

I’m 39, I’ve worked hard all my life and my husband I are comfortable financially. So I broke (not busted or exploded it) but say cracked the $1500 budget to truly get the experience I wanted. Some people buy expensive cars when they have their mid-life crisis. I took a trip that looking back changed my life and brought that mid-life crisis to an end. Investment well made. Hell I have the privilege and opportunity to have a mid-life crisis. Tell the woman working two jobs and going back to school about your mid-life crisis. You may get slapped or atleast laughed at.

Traveling is for the privileged. Any type of travel. I still stayed in some questionable hotels – I wasn’t at the Ritz. There were no five stars on my itinerary. However I am a privileged woman to have been able to afford to leave my life almost completely for 8 days. I didn’t have a job that would let me go if I left that long, I didn’t have to request vacation time, I put my kids in aftercare everyday, my husband fed the girls via take out/dining-out 75% of the time and I didn’t have to worry about anything back home pretty much.

We are all privileged to a certain point in this life. Some have more and some have less but everyone on this Earth has some type of privilege that the person down the street wants. I can say though that I have much more privilege than many I come in contact with. Years ago I taught in inner city schools. I watched women struggle to even have time between jobs help their kids with their homework. I heard women apologize for their child not getting work turned in because they had to take their kid to visit their dad in prison. Some moms weren’t even in the picture – it was grandma. I watched kids inhale their breakfast and lunch because they were the only meals they were getting that day. Removed from my own experiences I’m aware that a large, wait massive, percentage of women in this world can’t walk away from their life like I did. They must spend their $80 on food for the week instead of a hotel – see no five stars on my trip.

I’ve become accustomed to a certain life. Yes. I have and many reading this have. I am privileged. In my world ordering take out won’t break the bank, our kids are involved in multiple activities that cost money, we live in a nice home, drive nice cars, my kids go to private schools and I don’t have to worry about where our next meal is coming from or if I will hear gunshots at night. We have family nights and ice cream Fridays. Hell I’m typing this in my “she shed” at 1:30 on a Friday. I’ve got it made.

Planning this trip I felt guilt at times. How can I leave my life and talk about this trip so openly when this isn’t an option for others? Am I being braggy? Am I being realistic saying everyone needs to do a trip like this? These were questions in my mind. Well my husband and I have worked hard to have it made though so I won’t let anyone take that from us. I acknowledge this privilege though. I always say every woman needs a trip like this. The reality is as much as every woman needs it not everyone has the freedoms I’ve been given to take this type of trip.

I’ve been thinking more and more lately about some type of foundation or philanthropy to help women leave their life if just for a few days. Just a thought? Maybe some type of retreat for a few days – they could be sponsored? I don’t know but maybe if I put it out there some reader will have an idea to bounce back. This trip healed me in a way nothing else has and I’m thankful I had the privilege to do it.