EDITORIAL: Get out! And broaden your horizons
If summer is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day — May 30 to Sept. 5 this year — we regret to inform you that the season of sweet sunshine is more than half over.
Being the cup-half-full sort, however, we also note that there’s still time to put together travel plans.
Whoa!, say you. What about the cost of gasoline? What about airlines you can’t depend upon? What about soaring inflation and higher wages sending hotel and restaurant prices into orbit?
The duel between travel dreams and bank account realities is legit. But according to a late May survey of 1,050 Americans by ValuePenguin, three-quarters made summer travel plans — many saying they’re willing to take on debt if they have to, inflation be damned.
Part of the road trip fever, no doubt, is due to pent up wanderlust from the pandemic. The same survey a year ago showed only 53% of respondents planned summer travel.
Now that North Idaho has finally shrugged off the damp cloak of seemingly endless cold, wet spring — summer just started, right? — the urge to embark on any kind of adventure is nigh irresistible. Even the kids’ chant of “Are we there yet?” would be music to parental ears.
Whoa!, you say again. We live in paradise. Why would we leave North Idaho, even for a week or two, at precisely the time waves of visitors flock to our shores and forests? And the answer is because for many of us, summer is the only time we can get away from kids’ school and the work-a-day world for a significant block of time.
The benefits are legion. Researchers say that despite the financial hit, travel makes us healthier and happier. There’s nothing like a good vacation to recharge the batteries, to feel like we’re making lasting deposits in our emotional bank accounts. Discovery is one of life’s finest spices, and the smorgasbord of experiencing new things in new places whets any appetite.
There’s something else, too. Sometimes, particularly in these volatile times, travel offers something you might not find anywhere else, something worth its weight in gold.
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Pack a suitcase and join us Sunday, when we’ll share perspectives gained on a recent 7,000-mile road trip.