The internet must have felt a little emptier last week, like a good friend had gone missing. It’s okay to admit it; you’re not alone. Just ask my cats, they’ll tell you, over and over, in their annoying whiny cat language. Then one of them will barf a juicy hairball on your shoe. That missing someone… me. I took the week off from blogging, job searching and everything else (including unemployment check collecting,
Wifey and I went on vacation, because that’s what normal people do in August. When the temperature creeps past 90, the humidity thickens into a yucky mess and a thunderstorm punctuates every afternoon, the average Joes and Josephines get out of town. We didn’t jet off to the
Trip planning this year was a little lax and last minute. That’s what happens sometimes, when more of the vacation planning is left to me. I tend to figure things out along the way when traveling. I once booked a room in
Paying for it thankfully wasn’t a problem. We’ve saved a little money every month for years, partly so we can travel. I used to put it in a Ziploc bag with a couple frozen pork chops and stuff it in the back of the freezer. People the world over looked at us funny when we handed over bills that smelled of meat. But money is money is money, anywhere you go. And we never cared, being on vacation and all. Saving was much easier when both of us worked, of course. There was more money for meat and therefore more reminders to put a few bills in the freezer.
Then I discovered someplace called a bank. Maybe you’ve seen them around. They’re everywhere. And they happily set aside some of my money for me automatically, regardless of what’s for dinner. Of course they then pissed it away on ill-advised mortgages and bundled securities. What do the banks care? The government (by which I mean the taxpayers, by which I mean wifey, me and you) had them covered. Digressions aside, we had some money saved up when it came time to plan our vacation.
Wifey and I like to travel, but we try to do it on a budget. We shop around for cheap airfare. We sleep on couches and avoid super fancy hotels. We limit expensive meals. That we prefer to explore rather than hole up in a resort helps. As does having only ten vacation days each year to play with. (Who knew there was an upside to the American system of time off?) We set our sites on
Vacationing while unemployed may seem like a luxury. It sure felt that way to me in the planning stages. What was I taking a vacation from? I didn’t have a job, and hadn’t for nine months. But unemployment isn’t the same as sitting around. It’s hard work, and the stress builds as the days, weeks and months progress. I treat my time as though I have a full-time job. And that takes a toll. Not until we were on the highway well north of the city did I come to feel I deserved to even be on vacation.