It’s so hard, Kathy, especially since they lived with me for so long. My heart aches to see them.
People don’t understand that we can’t just hop a plane and go. My husband has severe anxiety with flying and I despise airports and all the delays and cancelations and security hassles. We choose never to fly. Typically, we travel long distances by train, but trains have limited availability and routes in this anti-public-transit country of ours. And, it isn’t cheap. And, I am self-employed and don’t get vacation pay. And, trying to find travel time that doesn’t terribly disrupt my many clients is almost impossible — not to mention that there are several months out of each year that I work 6 or 7 days a week. Then, I have to find and pay for someone to house sit and take care of our 3 dogs, 2 cats, and 2 guinea pigs. Our annual 10-day trip to New Jersey and New York City costs about $3,000 and we stay with family! But, my loss of pay, a house and pet sitter, the train travel, travel expenses there, and our general vacation expenses, and we are not extravagant, come to about $3,000. We couldn’t afford to go if we didn’t have family to provide us with a free place to say.
It is impossible for us to go for a quick visit. No one gets that. Everyone acts as though I am being difficult and unreasonable. Of course, these are wealthy people like my lunch friend or people who get vacation pay and don’t have a problem flying. But, even flying is a huge problem. Flights from our small city are terribly expensive and usually require 2 or more layovers. Otherwise, you are forced to drive 2 hours to a bigger city with larger airports and pay exorbitant fees for parking.
It’s a lose/lose situation.