Traveling Got Me Thinking

Social media is a great thing.  We can reach out to people across town or across the world.  It’s an interesting avenue for information and the catalysts for much misinformation.

It’s true, Ray and I are fortunate enough to travel — some for his work and some just for fun.  And, it seems that much of our yearly travel is done toward the last part of the year and people think we travel all the time.  How do I know that?  I read it on Facebook. 🙂


The first week of December, we took Tammy, my sister to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and it was fantastic.  If you ever get a chance to go, you have to do it.  We has mostly sunny skies all week with highs in the 80s.

This trip came just two months after I spent almost two weeks combined in San Francisco, California, and Anchorage, Alaska, tagging along with Ray on conferences he was attending.

I know some of my friends may never get to go on exotic vacations or even fun getaways and that’s a bummer.  Life is too short not to get to do exciting things.

My sister, who’s a server at a local restaurant, stuck to a budget to afford the trip.  And, contrary to misconceptions, I don’t get rich from my job as a morning meteorologist!

The secret to our traveling is an interest-free credit card for a year, so we’d buy our trips and pay on them for a year!

But, that’s not the point of this blog.  That was to clarify that while we travel a lot, we also live on budget like the next man and woman.

Last December, Tammy and Gretel went on an eastern Caribbean cruise with us.

It was amazing.  Both trips, the cruise and trip to Puerto Vallarta, were all inclusive (alcohol with the Mexican trip).  We ate and drank all that we wanted and definitely more than we should.

And, we took along $200 for additional tipping.  While it’s not required, what’s a few dollars for your server that keeps your table clean, the bartender filling your drinks, and the maid that makes your room spotless every day?

Here’s what I learned on those trips.  On the cruises, these hard-working people sign on to work these ships every day of the ten-month contract — every day!  (Now, I’m just speaking of this one cruise line that we were on and the employees we talked to.)

Ten months of being away from their families to earn whatever pay they make and to watch us — appearing like we have no worries in the world — eat and drink (and waste) like gluttonous fools.


While in Mexico, we learned that the servers and bartenders work six twelve-hour days each week.  They come into work in the morning and take a break in the afternoon and then come back to work in the evening for a few more hours.

Honestly, I cannot image that.  I go into work and when my one shift is over, I’m ready to go home to relax and spend the rest of the day with my family.  During severe weather, I obviously have to work extra and go back in on my own time.

Again, I have friends that work multiple jobs and still can’t make ends meet and they can feel the pain I’m describing with the men and women who work on the cruise ships and resorts we visit.

In a perfect world, I wish we could all go on vacations and never have to struggle financially.

While that is a fantasy, I’ll strive to feel less guilty when I get to do these things and make sure that I tip generously when I’m at an all-inclusive resort or on a cruise ship to say an extra “thank you”.

And, when at home, I’ll continue making donations to local charities and do fundraisers to help others.

Reaching out to other and never taking anything for granted isn’t just for the holidays.  It’s my year-long goal.


2 responses to this post.

  1. I have never felt more lucky than when I could start traveling more. Even if the locale is not all that exotic- the trips mean the world to me.


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