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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Smell the roses instead of the oil

Crews work to collect oil over the weekend near and around the location where the Deepwater Horizon oil platform caught fire and sank. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Casey J. Ranel (photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)

If you have a trip planned to the Gulf Coast this summer have you considered rescheduling or attempting to cancel yet? I don't have a choice since our condo is a timeshare. We'll be there, even if the oil is washing ashore at our condo. Well, I guess unless we're not allowed to visit.

I read an AP story this morning saying there have been a number of cancellations along the Gulf. Business is looking up for East Coast beach communities as beaches like Hilton Head Island, S.C., and Tybee Island near Savannah look to capitalize on the Gulf's misfortune.

I'm not sure how many people will have a choice, though, at least those who have already made reservations. Travel insurance won't even cover these reservations as the oil spill is considered an act of man, not God. That's usually the only hope as I understand it for policy holders to get out of reservations.

Some people save for a year to make these one-week treks to the beach. Sometimes the anticipation of these trips is what gets them through the cold winters and rainy springs at home.

I feel for those people. On a truly selfish level thinking as a traveler instead of a local in these communities along the Gulf of Mexico where their livelihoods could be devastated by the oil spill, it's hard to save up for a trip only to have to cancel it.

But where I really feel for those travelers is when it's people who put all their energy and focus into this one annual vacation. They don't sit back long enough to enjoy life, to experience the joys of life around them. As a Memphis resident, I look forward to barbecue fest this weekend. I look forward to a Saturday morning at the zoo, A Friday night at an art opening, a Sunday brunch -- on my backporch.

I hope these beach vacationers take a moment to sit back and look around at the people and places around them. They might find they have things to look forward to seeing right in front of them.

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