The thin line between joy and misery on family holidays
People who are married go to beautiful places to fight. The man threw his wallet on the beach and walked away, but his wife picked it up and went the other way after the argument. In a cluster of coastal villages in Italy, a man who had to carry two huge suitcases uphill and his wife who had probably given the taxi driver the wrong address said nasty things to each other in front of the Mediterranean Sea. The woman dragged a suitcase on the main street. Nobody knew why, but they could guess. A certain trauma can only be caused by the other sex. I think a couple visiting a war memorial is making fun of the memorial.
A woman in a suite screamed at her husband at a resort in South Goa in April. She said she was going back to her home with the kids because he was useless. If there was one, the husband’s defence was not audible. She yelled new information the next day. A few weeks ago, as a flight from Paris landed in Delhi, an angry woman told her husband that she would never travel with the baby or him again. She said it was a misery. The husband reminded the baby that he does not slacken on his domestic chores. An old couple on the deck fought over a chore the man had failed to do as a cruise-liners passed by.
I have considered starting a movement to ban people who have been married for over seven years from entering beautiful places because of the toxic industries that are banned in paradises.
It is for them that the best inventions of the travel industry are found. The lone leisure traveller is less valuable than a family on a vacation. Even though people spend a lot on themselves, when it comes to travel, they feel they are not worth it as individuals and only when such an expense can be witnessed by their most powerful critics.
It seems like people love family vacations. Many people are waiting to go on a family vacation.
The middle-class in India’s urban areas made passionate travel plans this summer, after being restricted by the Pandemic for two years. A family holiday is what most Indians think of when they say a vacation means a family vacation. Is families really happy with these? I am always surprised when I see marriages and families fall apart on vacation. I don’t see a lot of happy people back home and I don’t see a lot of miserable locals. Families on vacation are the most unhappy people in the world.
A large part of home is the family, even though the goal of a vacation is to flee home. On a family vacation, people don’t realize they are carrying most of their home along. They didn’t have to share so much time and space with each other. Everyone had their own space and routines. A family is thrown together while on vacation. A family is a lot of things, but also a lot of wounds and grouses. Things can go wrong when this fellowship is squeezed into a small space.
A middle-class Indian couple with an infant on a first world holiday will suffer a lot. They will be shocked without the cheap labour of a maid. When Indians try to imitate Europeans, it looks difficult. Older children complain about how bored they are, unaware that the vacation is too expensive to say something like that.
Old parents who have been brought out of gratitude are the group that suffers on foreign vacations. You walk down the street in London or New York, and you will see an old couple from an Indian small town, looking confused by the amount of walking they need to do, the hard work that is required to use the metro system, and the extraordinary taxi fares. There is no torture for your children.
People who aren’t part of a royal family can enjoy tourism. Most of the time, people traveled on work or on pilgrimage. It’s still a bit odd that a family is moving to another town to squeeze into a smaller home.
It’s hard to holiday alone for people who have experienced love, children, or are in a home with other people. The traveller in a beautiful place misses context. Why are you at this place? It’s not a convincing answer to say that you are all by yourself because it’s beautiful. It’s not just about sharing a moment. We need to be observed. Without a witness, we are not known. Life doesn’t take our memory of ourselves seriously, so it needs another memory to confirm it. Human experience can be used as a two-factor verification of an event. The entire tourism industry is a bit of a mess.
The creator of the series, “Decoupled”, is a journalist, novelist, and author.Tags: family holidays, Indian middle-class, pilgrimage, tourism, vacation