Take Me Away
I need a vacation.
No, really. I am in desperate need of a vacation. PC and I haven’t been on vacation since we took an Alaskan cruise back in 2006. And that was a quasi vacation as I was serving as Scholar-in-Residence and had daily commitments all week. So that takes us back to a trip to Mexico in 2004. Yes, that’s right. That was the last time that PC and I were away, sans family, for an extended period of time. No wonder I’m tired.
There are different types of vacations and different styles of vacationers. Prior to motherhood, I was the active, on-the-go, take-it-all-in kind of tourist. Willing to try almost anything. Zip-lining, sea kayaking, hiking, whatever. I enjoy taking tours and learning about local history and culture. Museums, churches, and cemeteries are always top of my list. And shopping.
Motherhood has changed all of that. Rather, the combination of motherhood, a full-time rabbinate, and the additional demands of parenting a special-needs child is what has radically altered my vacation requirements. I’m not seeking adventure. Relaxation. That’s what I need. I need a place where I can completely unwind. Where I can be pampered. And while away the hours. A tropical destination immediately springs to mind…
Without such a trip in the foreseeable future, I live vicariously through the pages of magazines, brochures, and websites. Planning, plotting, scheming, but mostly dreaming.
This itinerary, however, stopped me dead in my tracks: Footsteps of the Cossacks.
Yes, you read that correctly. Footsteps of the Cossacks. A twelve day journey that includes the opportunity to “immerse yourself in Cossack traditions.”
Like participating in a reenactment of an 1881 pogrom, maybe?
That was the first thought that came to mind. Because that is my experience, or, should I say my family’s, experience with the Cossacks. In Russia. In Ukraine. In Lithuania.
Scheduled stops include:
Call me hypersensitive, but I just don’t see taking this “pleasure” cruise. While there are historical landmarks to explore and cultural experiences to be had in these destinations, I cannot help but recall once thriving Jewish communities that were violently cut down during waves of state-sponsored massacres.