My Family’s Shameful Travel Confession

My family's travel confession. We are slackers.

Pressure.

I’m feeling it.

The need to declare allegiance to a team.

To claim certain values.

A way of life.

Hold your political horses.

You know we don’t go there in this space.

And yet,

With summer vacation wrapping up, another round of trips ready to post in the digital scrapbook,

There feels this need to own,

Honestly own,

Where I fall in one of life’s big questions.

Do you travel or do you vacation?

Because, Dear Reader, you know whether you venture around the world or head out to a local campsite, they are two very different things.


Travel is work.

Vacation is exhale.

No one, and let me be clear, no one, can travel like my friend, Craig.

He researches every nook and cranny of a new destination like my dog sniffing out a long buried bone.

His guidebooks have more dog ears than the local animal shelter.

Take his family’s recent trip to San Francisco.

There was the photo opp in front of the hospital where his son was born 17 years ago, a visit to Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands, lunch with a dear friend, over the Golden Gate Bridge, twisty Lombard Street, Ghiradelli Square, Palace of Fine Arts, Land’s End, The Castro, dinner in North Beach.

That was Saturday.

One.

Single.

Day.

Craig and Michael and their son, Cooper, in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. Just one of 22 post-worthy shots from a single day of their incredible California travel itinerary. They inspired me to share my family's shameful travel confession.

Craig and Michael and their son, Cooper, in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. Just one of 22 post-worthy shots from a single day of their incredible California travel itinerary.

I read his Facebook wrap up, looked at his frame worthy snapshots from my family’s own holiday.

Yes, it’s true my husband can put together some incredible trips using his miles hobby.

It’s also true that once we arrive, we become, what is a kind word?

Ah, yes, slackers.

Well, by Craig standards anyway.

And you, Dear Reader?

Does the idea of leaving a single attraction unseen make you tremble?

Or have you also been known to not fight jet lag and sleep in until 2 pm?

I’m not saying that did or didn’t happen last week in Barcelona.

But…

I did email Craig from Europe with our travel confession.

It's not that we didn't do anything our first full day in Barcelona. We were vertical long enough to see the harbor and walk around a bit. My family's travel confession.

It’s not that we didn’t do anything our first full day in Barcelona. We were vertical long enough to see the harbor and walk around a bit.

“Forgive me Travel God, for I have transgressed. Today, we let the teens sleep in until 3 pm, visited only a single attraction, and ate only one full meal. The kids think the Spanish word for dinner is, ‘gelato.’”

Nothing says, "healthy dinner," like gelato! My family's travel confession.

Nothing says, “healthy dinner,” like gelato!

I’m sure it was only our long-standing friendship that kept him from blocking me forever.

This is not to say one way of going on a trip is better than the other.

I love that we go.

I also kind of love that we don’t do it all.

Leave some stuff on the table.

Give us a reason to go back to a certain place even if we know in our hearts we never will.

To you, the Craig-worthy traveler, I bow to you and your ability to gobble up every crumb an adventure has to offer.

And to you, my fellow slacker, you who are happy to dig your toes in the sand, exhale, and delight in not having it all, I say, “Where are we booking our next trip?”

On the steps of Barcelona's National Palace waiting for The Magic Fountain Light Show to begin. I probably should've checked the show doesn't happen on Mondays. Travel fail. Oh, well, next time.

On the steps of Barcelona’s National Palace waiting for The Magic Fountain Light Show to begin. I probably should’ve checked the show doesn’t happen on Mondays. Travel fail. Oh, well, next time.

(((Please catch my column each week in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Dayton Daily News and other Cox Newspapers across the country.)

And if you like my column about perfectly imperfect family life, you might like my book–

“Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.”

final front cover

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My Family’s Shameful Travel Confession

by DarynKagan time to read: 3 min
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