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Why Do I Feel Travel Jealousy?

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Travel Jealousy has weighed heavily on my mind.  The spring and new year always makes me think there should be some new adventure waiting for me.  I used to take small weekend breaks and trips on a budget when I was in my 20s.  Having the luxury of packing a bag and leaving my apartment didn’t seem like a privilege.  Now I dream about the days when I felt carefree and able to get up and leave.  I am not unhappy with having children or a home, but I experience the longing of what I once could do.     

I had children in my late 20s, worked multiple jobs on and off for more than two decades, and went back to school three or four times.  However, I feel like I’ve done it all backwards.  Or have I?  More and more families are having children later, enjoying life and then retiring to take time with their children.  But that is not the case for me.  I now make payments for student loans, back braces, braces for teeth, a mortgage, a car, and so many more expenses I can’t seem to afford. 

Travel jealousy is common with constant reminders from social media. Travel sites, apps, and bloggers make it seem affordable and easy.

Social media makes me long for the days of various site seeing escapades and a quick trip up the coast.  Unfortunately, I cannot afford to enjoy these luxuries that I once had.  A family of four costs much more than one or two people to fly somewhere.  Staying in a hotel or Airbnb costs money, and so does food and gas.  Especially when there is more than one mouth to feed.  Not to mention that if you leave the children and the dog behind someone has to care for them and feed them while you’re away.  Therefore, the cost doesn’t go away.

There are many articles that encourage travel due to a greater appreciation for culture, working hard to venture out more, finding out what makes you happy, and embracing what you already possess.  But what happens to people like me who can no longer seem to get away?  Do we lust after what we no longer have?  I continue to strive for a relief in debt and multiple jobs.  My teenage children should be able to see other places and cultures in this big world so they can find out what they want to work for?  I just can’t afford to give that to them.

I see others who seem endlessly happy in their lives.  I’m old enough to realize social media pictures and adventures that others take are just a snapshot of pieces of their lives, but still there’s that travel jealousy.  I envy the younger generations for having options for their future I never realized were there.  I’ve known people who never traveled much and lived and shopped within the same remote area.  They remained perfectly content with what they had because they didn’t know anything more. 

Has seeing more of the country made me greedy to want to see more?  Has it made me want more for my children?  Yes, yes, it has.  Although, my current situation doesn’t allow me to venture out much.  Every year I tell myself that my situation will change, but every year there is an added expense.  Even though my husband works when he leaves with the military, I still feel a sting of jealousy when he posts his pictures and shares his ventures with others. 

So, in addition to starting my new business, applying for additional jobs, my children and I have started saving excess change, living frugally, and staying in most days so we can save for future trips.  My credit card is starting to rack up points that I can use on hotel or other travel items.  As stated in my blog post Travel Planning, I use free and purchased resources to prepare for our next adventure.  I also know when we visit other cities, I can go to CityPASS to receive discounted tickets.  Today’s technology gives us options and discounts with a touch of a button. 

I don’t know if I’ll ever completely overcome my travel jealousy, but by doing everything I can do I feel less angst when I view pictures of other people’s adventures. 

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