Do You Suffer From Travel Envy?

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Do You Suffer From Travel Envy?

“It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I still have to go, the more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough; to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom…is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”Anthony Bourdain

Travel envy is a real thing; I know because i have it. Nobody’s perfect. It is always difficult to write about negative emotions. Jealousy is definitely a would rather not have emotion.

When I read other people’s stories of  places that I have yet to see, I get that little ping. The little green monster rears its ugly head and all my travels pale in comparison to this place I want to go.

I realize that different people experience things at various levels and times that result from their actions and available means, but when it comes to travel  – all reasoning disappears. I envy those who have seen things and places that I have always wanted to see, but haven’t yet  or may never go.

I am normally not a jealous person.  If i was, I would get off social media. Isn’t social media one giant platform for bragging? That’s what it seems like anyway. All the baby photos, the food pics, the status updates about a new job/car/partner, showing off your engagement ring, your graduation ,wedding, new home, grand children –  what ISN’T a brag? A bombardment of achievements clutter my news feed on a daily basis. If you’re having a crappy day (or month), you’re going to end up feeling pretty shitty when you look at me exploring Myanmar. I get this.

When I start feeling the pangs of travel envy, my cure is to start planning a trip. This is perhaps the best and the easiest way to get over it. Now I have something to look forward to. Instead of watching videos and photos from other people’s trips, I start intensely researching my next destination. I take the focus off other people’s lives and focus more on my own.

I also start doing tourist things in LA. I make plans to try a new restaurant downtown, visit the museum exhibit I’ve been putting off, and explore neighborhoods that I don’t know very well. I live in a great city and there is always something going on.

I look at my photos from my past trips. I tell and write stories about those trips to remind me about all the amazing places I have already been. This all helps with the jealousy I am feeling. 

Even the most well-traveled person has someone else they are looking at and thinking  “now they are lucky–I wish I could go there”. In the last couple of years I have had  many people ask me some form of the question ‘how do you travel so often’?  And the thing is, I don’t think that I travel often.  I think that I sit at home thinking about traveling a hell of a lot more than I actually travel.  Yet people are envious of me.  Which is insane.

Travel changed my life. It isn’t about envy but about different ways of thinking. The world is too big to stay in one place.I need to remember to be inspired by other people’s trips to create more of my own. I have to remember that social media is about the highlights of people’s lives and not the lows. 

 And somewhere, someone will be  jealous of me in a few weeks  when I am hiking in Iceland.

Fly safe,

JAZ

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It Is Like Your Mom’s Facebook Page

It is Like Your Mom’s Facebook Page

“Can we go back to using Facebook for what it was originally for – looking up exes to see how fat they got?” Bill Maher

I heard two twenty-somethings having this conversation I didn’t hear the question but the answer was, “You know, it’s like your mom’s Facebook page.“

Hmmm. They couldn’t be talking about me. I’m totally cool and of course, you are too if you are reading this. I’m a parent and I love parents. But Facebook does broadcast our lives across the internet. Here are some things that might be bothering your kids.

1.The good news is that your parents have actually learned how to work a computer. As soon as we get on Facebook, our first friend request is always our kids. Your kids grudgingly accept because they have no choice. How do you not accept your mom’s friend request? Mine had rules. “Do not like or comment on my page.” Without those rules, I would have commented on every one of their Facebook statuses and retagged their photos on friends and relatives pages.  I would have left embarrassing personal messages for everyone to see. That is what they believe. Then we add their friends who also don’t really want to say yes but do.

2. There are parents who post way too many pictures of their kids. I get it. B being a parent is life-changing. I have flooded social media with many photos of L and K at different stages of their lives. Moving brought out a ton of the old photos. I have no ground to stand on. When I’m not posting my kids, I’m posting my dog because you know the internet needs more cute dog photos.

3.There is always an alarmist in every group of parents. Giving overprotective parents who don’t use Snopes a social media platform is a disaster of misinformation. “If you don’t post this legal copywrite, Facebook can steal your photos”. I mean don’t you think they can do that anyway?

4.Bragging on social media is part of the deal. “Look at my son’s cute Harvard sweatshirt.” “Really, fifth grade already?” “I love our family matching outfits.” “My son in law has another song out.”Everyone has a perfect life on social media.

5. And then there is commenting which could be worse than bragging. “Oh, your son or grandson is walking at one year. Mine walked at eight months. All kids are different.” “Where are you getting married? My daughter got married in Africa but everyone is different.” “Your daughter is a comedian, that is so cool. My son is working at Google and has great insurance’ ”Oh, you traveled to New Zealand alone? Here is a photo of me with my family in New Zealand.”

6. Facebook is a safe place for parents to vent their frustration about their kids. “Anyone else sitting in the emergency room at 11pm because their son decided to climb out the window?” “Here is a photo of my son driving cross-country on his motorbike.” “Here is my daughter crying on her first day of camp.” “Anyone else’s kid’s college dorm room look like this?”  We don’t want advice from other parents. We just want to vent about our kids who are also on social media. 

7. Hipster parents and ”cool” parents (There is no such thing’) Hipster parents are always showing photos without kids. Here we are in Cabo or Vegas, having dinner at Nobu, at yoga, training for the marathon etc. If they do pose with their kids, everyone is hipster dressed. Older parents are always doing something cool. Here I am at a rock concert, climbing a glacier, at Hamilton (everyone posts that photo-including me finall),, at the Vanity Fair party, in Hawaii, Paris or on Safari.

9. Perfect Facebook Families. They have beautiful houses, smiling faces and luxury cars. They travel all over the world together. Their children are flawless and brilliant at school or in their careers.  They either look like supermodels or haven’t aged or gained a pound since they had kids or became grandparents. They have beautiful family dinners and holidays.  No one has ever seen them fight or worry about anything.

The reality is once we started joining in large numbers, Facebook stopped being cool. I guess like your mom’s Facebook page is not a compliment. I believe that this has been the downfall of Facebook and why the teens and twenty-somethings have moved to Instagram, Twitter and Snap Chat. These are things that many of us have not mastered yet though I love Instagram. When you are in high school, parents are the least cool people imaginable.  We stay on Facebook because it is a comfort zone and most of our friends aren’t on Twitter or Snap Chat.  Parental embarrassment on Facebook is becoming less of an issue because everything is always changing on the internet. 

Fly safe,

JAZ