Saturday, October 21, 2017

Embrace Variety

In my last post, I wrote about the wonderful vacation my wife and I had in Qingdao. We love when we get the opportunity to get away and experience someplace new.

When we got back from our trip, we were recalling some of the places we've been since we got married. We've done a lot of traveling in the three years since we said "I do" and even moved to the other side of the world. In the middle of that conversation, I was on Facebook and noticed that a mutual friend had just returned from her trip to Disneyland.

I asked Red, "Wait. Didn't she just go to Disney last year?"

"Yeah. She goes there every year for her vacation."

Now, before everyone goes all Colin Kaepernick on me, let me say that I have nothing against Mickey Mouse other than him owning the Star Wars franchise. I have no problem with someone going to Disneyland for their vacation, so I don't want to hear the defensive arguments:
  • Disneyland helps connect with my inner child.
  • Anyone who thinks Disney is just for kids is a miserable person.
  • I take my kids to Disneyland because I love them.

 Honestly, I don't care where anyone goes on vacation. People have a variety of different interests and things they enjoy doing. What I am calling into question is someone going to the same place year after year.

Even if you're one of those freaks who gets off on dressing as a cute little animal and hanging out with other people who do the same, you can at least get some variety by going to those furry conventions in a different city each year.

The world is a BIG BIG BIG place and there is so much to eat see and experience, I can't wrap my mind around picking one place and being happy with not seeing anything else.

The woman who goes to Disney every year says that she does it because the family has learned they enjoy Disney and don't want to spend a bunch of hard-earned money and time off work on a vacation that might end up not being enjoyable. I guess that makes sense.

Sure, if you're a petulant 9-year-old child who discovered he likes frozen waffles and now refuses to eat anything else because it might be

It doesn't seem to bother her that despite having the means to provide her children with deep cultural experiences and expose them to various ways of life and types of people, she would rather have them stand in long lines every day and get their picture taken with a guy in a duck costume and come home having learned nothing other than Florida is hot and any food shaped like a mouse head costs three times as much as non-mouse head shaped food.

Which, once again, I don't have any problem with. But why would you never attempt to branch out from that?

Now, some people are worthy of a pass when they take the same vacation every year. For example:
  • The one time a year you can actually travel is spent going to visit your parents (or children) who live far away. That is understandable.
  • You foolishly bought a cabin or condo time-share somewhere and now you have to go there for every vacation or you're throwing even more money away and your wife already nags you enough about buying it.
  • You bought a GPS unit for your car years ago, but now can't justify paying the outrageous fee to keep it updated, so all the maps are outdated and you don't know how to go anywhere you haven't already been.
I do understand that not everyone cares about cultural experiences. Everyone's taste is different. Personally, I would never book a vacation that revolved around basking on the beach. I can't do it for more than an hour. I also have no desire to go hiking for more than an afternoon. If you are vacationing with me and suggest going shopping, I will meet up with you after you're done. However, many people do love those sort of things. Going to a tropical beach is a very popular tourist destination, but would you really want to see the same one every year?

When I was a kid, we went to the Current River to go tubing every year and I loved it, but it wasn't our only destination for the year. We went with friends on one of the three day weekends and enjoyed each others company and the time on the river. So, please don't think I'm against going anyplace more than once. But if your main opportunity to get away is always the same, it kind of defeats the purpose of getting away. It's just more of the same.

If your family doesn't have the money for big vacations or even travel, whatever you do can have variety. My father was a big fan of going camping. I hated it, but we went on many camping trips. In the first 10 years of my life, I camped in every state and national park in Southern Illinois. It sucked was still camping, but at least we had different trees to fall out of each time we went.

I make this argument mainly for people who have children. Parents should take every opportunity they can to help their children be well-rounded individuals. Show them the world. Show them people, cultures, food, scenery, and ways of life that are different from what they are accustomed. Let them experience more of the world than what their hometown or single vacation spot has to offer. It will make them not only better people but give them a broader outlook on life, the world, and humanity.


  1. Even just in the US, there are so many different - WILDLY different landscapes and lifestyles. I'm with you.


    1. It has crossed my mind since moving to China that "I haven't seen all of my HOME country yet."

  2. Don’t be so judgmental. Just because they like Disney now, kids grow and they ma come to like something else. Parents are stressed and time off is short, they should go where they know they will enjoy themselves.

    1. I have nothing against Disney. I'm actually a fan. I am just of the opinion that they are doing their children a disservice by robbing them of the opportunity to have meaningful experiences.

      Plus, this is mostly tongue-in-cheek. I'm not upset about this. It was just my topic for the day and that was the stance I chose.

  3. I went to Disneyland in the 70s and have only been back with school groups in the 80s. Lately, I have been wanting to go to Disney.

    But I get your drift. I always try to see something different. Plus, there is manufactured entertainment (Disney) and the sort you have to drum up which means going on an adventure. I prefer the latter.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed your experience at Disney and have no issue with anyone going back to a place they have already been.If you like it, why not see it again?

      My objection was to the people who find something they like and then never go anywhere else.

      But I am with you on the manufactured entertainment thing. There is plenty of manufactured sites that I would enjoy, but I would opt for the other if I'm footing the bill.


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