I’m told that if a blogger fails to post several times a week, he or she might as well close up shop. Never mind that without the occasional vacation it becomes harder to post anything coherent and engaging, let alone do so prolificly. And so, even while touring the Carribean on a cruise ship (in my mind while sitting at home in my den) your blogger faithfully refreshes the Continuum, albeit with a repeat, reposted from last summer. Just as relevent today, if not more so.
If you’ve already read it, please check later in the week for something fresher. Hopefully, after a few days of R&R, I will be, too.
Are Vacations A Luxury or Necessity?
As camp ends and the new semester lingers, young people dream of adventure, thoughts of cruises and road trips and theme parks dancing in their heads.
For all too many these days, dreaming and thoughts are all they’re going to get.
For thousands of middle-class families whose kids are in yeshiva, the amount of travel they’ve been able to enjoy is severely curtailed. For those who can pay the full tuition bill, there’s precious little disposable income left for a recreation budget. And if circumstances require you to ask for a scholarship, don’t even think about anything more than a night at the movies, and you are required to feel guilty about that.
After submitting your tax return, car registrations and credit report, tuition assistance applicants are routinely asked about their recent vacation activity.
This is a reasonable question. A family that spent Passover in the Bahamas and winter vacation at a ski resort and asks for a scholarship has its priorities wrong.
But it must be considered that some reasonable form of family vacation should not be held against such families, or viewed as a luxury rather than the important bonding experience that it is.
Despite the stereotypical back-seat bickering, whines of “are we there yet?” and parental threats to pull over or turn back home, what’s more important for a family’s functionality than sharing new experiences and building memories?
But with an increase now estimated at 7 percent a year, and most families lucky to make the same this year as last, a large share of us will miss out on those cherished memories of experiencing new horizons together. And we will be poorer for it.