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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Vacation guilt

Posted May 5, 2009 10:15 a.m. EDT
Updated May 5, 2009 10:20 a.m. EDT

If you have a chance, check out our special online series on New Zealand this week in the wral.com Travel section. We started the series Monday and will add stories each day this week. Using airline mileage that I had saved over several years I took a budget vacation to New Zealand. My wife Cindy and I flew economy class to Auckland and back. With air travel already covered, the overall cost of the trip was quite reasonable, as I explain in the series.

See a quick slideshow of the trip.

We planned the trip long before the economy tanked. We would have lost the tickets if we had pulled out. One viewer was determined to make me feel guilty about taking the vacation. She wrote: “Might I remind you that we are in a recession?” This viewer went on to say: “I don't CARE that you have spent two weeks in New Zealand. Once again....remember that most viewers are lucky if they can afford to take a vacation in their home state. For that you should be ashamed of yourself.”

I apologize if I have offended anyone for taking the New Zealand trip. 98% of my vacation money has been spent in North Carolina over the years. Every once and a while I think it’s good to explore the rest of this beautiful world for inspiration, relaxation and appreciation for different cultures. And it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get there.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks.