When We Get To Travel Again Leave Your Entitlement At The Boarding Door
It has been a long last few months for sure. We have been hunkered down in our homes, canceling trips right and left and wiping down our frickin’ groceries. Say what? 2020 has been a year for the ages for sure, and not in a good way. But it isn’t all bad. The pandemic has brought along some good things as well. Many of us get to spend more time with our families, we are getting caught up on honey-do lists and that Netflix series we have been meaning to get to for years was actually as good as we hoped. But the one thing we have gotten in doses is perspective. Or maybe a better way to put it is we have gained an appreciation for things we took for granted. That is what I think everyone should take away from this experience at least.
Travel Is A Gift Not A Right. This Hobby Is A Gift We Should Cherish!
I am first to admit that sometimes I take this hobby for granted. I get a sense of travel entitlement and it is expected that I can take a trip whenever I please. When you are paying pennies on the dollar almost anything is possible. This hobby opens so many doors to so many experiences. And I think that has us get a warped sense of thinking, that we actually deserve this. No doubt this hobby takes effort but the payoff far outweighs what we put into it.
This hobby is truly a community too. We spend a lot of time around each other at meetups, in Facebook groups and in private chats. But by surrounding ourselves with like minded folks I think we lose touch with reality a bit. And the fact that all our “normal” friends think we are magicians, or maybe even criminals, adds to the mystique or excitement of the game. The reality out there is much different though, most people in the world are unable to travel at all. Even in our own backyard, there are many people in the United States that go their entire life without leaving their state. Some go a lifetime without leaving their hometown.
When I sit back and think about that it gives me some perspective. We may fly to New York for the night because we crave a NY slice of pie. Or we may get on a plane only to turn around and fly right back because we needed it for status etc. I have booked hotel rooms near me simply to swim with the kids for a few hours. This is completely amazing but also insane. We are living life like the rich and famous and that is part of the whimsical fun of this hobby for sure.
But how often do we actually step back and realize how lucky we truly have it? I know without this hobby I would be able to take 2-3 trips a year. But with it there are many months where I take 2-3 trips. Has this windfall of fortune left us a bit calloused or entitled? I think it has.
The Pandemic Brings A Big Dose Of Reality To Our Lives
Here we are living a fairy-tale type of life. One we could not have conjured up as a child if we tried with all of our might. First class flights, 5 star hotels, caviar and champagne dreams. Living a ballers lifestyle all on a paupers budget.
But does it bring out the worst in us? I think it does, a least a bit in many of us, myself included. If you remember earlier this year I wrote a post about the thing I hate most about this hobby, the condescending and arrogant. I think a lot of that jealousy, arrogance and condescending tone comes from the entitlement we get from the hobby.
We are a small group of people in the grand scheme of things. But we interact with each other more often than we do with some of our oldest friends or family. And we have cultivated a weird sense of self worth in this hobby. People proudly boast their elite status, countries visited and premium cabins flown. They wear it like a badge of honor. It is how some judge whether you are worthy of their time or not. It is even displayed under their Flyertalk name or Twitter handle for all to see.
I doubt many of us got into this hobby to chase any of those things. And there is nothing wrong with doing any of that in and of itself. But when that becomes the way you are judged or judge others things have jumped the shark. Can we get back to where we were when we started this journey? Time will tell.
So what does this rambling all add up to? To be honest I am not entirely sure but it is something that has been on my mind of late.
I will leave you with these thoughts, I like to look at the good side of any situation. This pandemic has brought a lot of bad into our lives for sure. Maybe one of the few nuggets of good that it can bring us is perspective and appreciation for small things. I never realized how much I took eating at a restaurant for granted, man I miss cold draft beer 🤣.
One area that we should all have gained some appreciation or perspective for is travel. This hobby has made travel easy, accessible and maybe changed what it is all about for us. I think this has led to a sense of entitlement, a belief that we deserve travel. I, myself, have fallen victim to this. We should remember that travel is a gift and one that we really haven’t earned, even though we like to think we have. So whenever we do get back to cruising at 40,000 feet remember to check your entitlement at the door and cherish every moment of it. Because the music could stop at any point and we may be left standing without a chair (or lie flat bed 😉).