Summer has arrived. Where I live, the calendar still says spring, but thunderstorms and humid weather has signaled the arrival of the warm, lazy days of summer. I’m fine with that. Since I work the school year, summer’s arrival means time off from my daily job as a high school librarian. I still have kids who need to be driven hither and yon to their diverse activities. I can deal with that. And of course, there is the annual summer vacation travel. Most people I know go somewhere: a beach house, a lake house, a mountain house. These vacation spots are all a reasonable driving distance away. However this year I have two friends who are traveling further for their summer vacation destination. Much further. Like ‘get on a plane further.’ Are they heading for a tropical island? No. Are they climbing Mount Everest? No. Are they venturing down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon like the Brady Bunch did on donkeys? No, and I apologize for that Brady Bunch reference for anyone born after 1980. Indeed, my friends are taking the vacation of my dreams. In fact, in a way I feel they have stolen my vacation. I can be irrational if I want because I am now currently suffering from vacation envy in its most severe form: Disney Vacation Envy(DVE).
DVE is a condition whereby the sufferer (me) has just recently learned friends (and in this case TWO friends) have booked their Disney vacation. I’ve been dealing with DVE now for about two weeks and I only feel capable of writing about it now. I consider this missive a kind of therapy. Perhaps I will help a few of you out there also suffering from DVE.
When you first discover you have DVE, allow yourself some time for self pity. Some would call this stage the Pity Party Stage. “Poor me. I’m not going to Disney. Why can’t I go? Its simply just not fair.” The Pity Party Stage could last days or weeks depending on how strong your Reason Module kicks in. Reason Module (RM) should do a few a things like remind you that your child needs braces this year. Hmmm…. Disney trip or braces? The RM will try to convince you the braces are more important.
The RM will also gently remind you that your spouse does not actually LOVE Disney and that a trip to Disney is not worth the credit card debt. At this point the RM will argue with Rash and Hasty – two parts of the brain that often work together and very often make statements like “who cares” or “I don’t give a #$%” and the famous last words “what could possibly go wrong?”
DVE can be treated. There is hope. Avoid those friends with their Magic Bands – if at all possible. In my case I have two friends with planned trips. One is returning to WDW in Florida. I have been to WDW four times. I remind myself of the heat and the crowds. I tell myself how much I loathe the heat and the crowds. Rash and Hasty chime in to say “but the air conditioning is great!” Reason Module says “save up for a better trip.”
The better trip would be, in my opinion, Disneyland in California. Enter Pity Party. I have a friend who has booked his trip. Yes. You guessed it. Disneyland. For us New Yorkers, a trip to Disneyland is like something you put on a bucket list; before I die I have to visit Walt’s park. It’s a long flight. It’s a bigger commitment than a quick trip to Florida. Disneyland is where I really wanted to go this year because of the 60th anniversary celebration. Enter “Acceptance Mode.” AM is the calming relief I now have after arriving at the conclusion a trip to Disney is not going to happen this year. AM allows me to be ‘happy’ for my ‘friends’.
Really. Truly. I’m glad they are taking the Disney vacations that I, for the moment, dream about. Yeah. Seriously. I’m glad. Having Disney Vacation Envy can also be a positive experience. DVE helps me to think forward to a time where it will be my turn. DVE helps me to better plan a trip I will love and those traveling with me will also love. Someday. In the near future. I hope.