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Take Me Away

Thursday, 12 May 2011

By Heulwolf (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

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.

Hawaii, perhaps??

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Thursday, 12 May 2011 12:15 pm

    Weird trip indeed. The name is worse than the places people visit although I can understand your reluctance.
    You should move to France. Half the Reform rabbis are women, the people in the Reform communities are closer to your level of observance AND you would get 5 weeks’ paid vacation every year.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 17 May 2011 5:45 pm

      I agree. The name of the tour sent me right over the edge. But still…

      If I were to live anywhere else, it would not be somewhere else in the Diaspora. I’d be going Home! To HaAretz!!!

      Though, you do make France sound enticing as far as the observance level is concerned. (I’ve got 6 weeks of paid vacation here so I’d be out a week).

      However, my French is nisht gut.

  2. Thursday, 12 May 2011 8:03 pm

    OY VEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Thursday, 12 May 2011 8:50 pm

    Like you, Footsteps of the Cossacks isn’t my idea of a vacation in paradise. However, I was quite taken with Daniel Mendelsohn’s journey back to eastern Europe (and elsewhere in the world) in search of several family members. Check it out:

    It definitely makes good vacation reading.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 17 May 2011 6:09 pm

      I was about to order this when I spied a copy of it in BossGiraffe’s study!!!!!!

    • Tuesday, 17 May 2011 6:20 pm

      You will love it!

  4. Thursday, 12 May 2011 10:25 pm

    I read daniel Mendelsohn’s book and feel the same as Janet about it.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 17 May 2011 6:09 pm

      Another endorsement — thanks!

  5. Friday, 13 May 2011 7:52 am

    You DO need a vacation! You deserve it. I am the same way — former adventure traveler turned relaxation seeker. I guess kids and jobs do that to you, huh? Hawaii sounds perfect. 🙂

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 17 May 2011 6:10 pm

      It really, really does. And it is SO not in the foreseeable future ;(

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