Travel Narrative

Introducing A New Thing: Vacation Blogging

I’m writing this from somewhere over South Carolina* as my husband and I make our way down to Orlando, where we will be spending the next nine days in Disney World. Our entire goal for this trip: fun. We are going to have fun. For nine whole days. Together. In goddamn Disney World.


The traveler in me should be ashamed of this. After all, I chose staying home over going to Paris last month. I passed up a crazy cheap fare sale to Iceland the other day. I gave up planning our South of Spain trip after reading a few articles and deciding it’s just too complicated and I don’t really feel like learning to drive stick. Yet I’m going to Disney World? Yep. That’s exactly what I’m doing. Here’s why: for the first time in a long time, I’ve decided it’s ok to go on vacation.


There are thousands of articles and blog posts outlining the difference between tourists and travelers. Actually, according to Google, there are over 48 million of these articles. I’m not going to get into all of that here, but the basic summary is: travelers travel and tourists vacation. And being a tourist and going on vacation is frowned upon by Real Travelers (registered trademark). I know. I’ve often been the one doing the frowning.


I know where I got this annoyingly-superior attitude. I got it by being a travel blogger. As a travel blogger, I surrounded myself with the words and images of other travel bloggers; that’s just good travel blogging practice. And travel bloggers are the worst when it comes to glorifying traveling over vacationing. So its no surprise that I was ready to jump ship on The Suitcase Scholar. I was tired of being obnoxious. I was tired of the culture of elitism and snobbery. Tired of the judgement. Tired of the ridiculous go pro videos of muscular but starving 20-something men opening their arms wide on the tops of mountains and diving with sharks. I mean, I’m sorry I didn’t sell everything I own, stop showering, and ride a camel around the world. Except actually I’m not sorry. But most of all, I was tired of feeling like I had to be all of those things, too. Except I just now realized—I don’t have to. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. And neither do you.


Do you want to be a tourist and not a traveler? That’s absolutely fine! Want to go on a vacation and relax rather than work your way across South America by cleaning toilets? Probably a good call! Because here’s the thing: travel isn’t for everyone. Because do you know what? Travel is exhausting. Travel is time consuming. And travel is a luxury lots of people can’t afford, either because they do not have the time or they do not have the money (or, like me right now, because they do not have the physical endurance.)


Vacationing, on the other hand, is far more accessible. It can be done by almost anyone who can afford a tank of gas and a camp site, or manage to take a four day weekend and hop on a cheap flight south (I’m on Allegiant air right now, by the way, and thus far the experience has been perfect. I think I paid $80 for this flight.) Vacationing can be done with a small amount of money or a small amount of time—even both. Vacationing can be done by people of reduced endurance; by people who are not 100% well but still want to get out of the house and enjoy life. Everyone can vacation in some way or another.


So I’m giving up travel blogging once and for all. I will never again attend a press trip junket and then turn around and write a ‘do all of these awesome things in one crazy short trip because yay authentic travel!’ (full disclosure: brought to you by the tourism board of this location.) I will never again agree to take a trip to somewhere NO ONE WILL EVER VISIT and write about it like it’s the best thing ever. And I will stop feeling guilty when I enjoy simple, touristy things. You know—like a week in Disney World with my husband.


But I will go on vacation. And I will write about it here on The Suitcase Scholar. I am no longer a travel blogger; I’m a vacation blogger. I’m not quite sure what that will look like yet. Stay tuned–and if you want a sneak peek, scroll down and check out my Instagram feed, because that’s what it looks like this week. For now, if you need me, I’ll be on vacation. In fact, my husband just ordered a double jack and ginger. Cheers.


*Four paragraphs—so maybe five minutes—into writing this, the captain came over the intercom to tell us that we are flying over Columbia, SC. I showed my husband the first sentence of this post, and he said ‘wow, you’re like a GPS savant’.


Full disclosure: this post was sponsored by no one. Except kind of my mom, who gave us DVC points so we could enjoy Disney and celebrate the fact that we both survived this past year. Thanks, mom.
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