Travel and Family Emergencies

Posted: May 10, 2010    Categories: Site News

Due to another eruption of the volcano in Spain, airports in Spain have been closed the last several days, especially the airports in Northern Spain where I am. I’ve been just continuing with my previously scheduled agenda of visiting the Basque Country while I’ve been waiting for the cloud to clear.

I’m writing this at the Bilbao Airport where the ash cloud has moved enough to allow flights this afternoon to the south of Spain. If all goes well, I’ll be in Barcelona tonight and on a flight to Chicago tomorrow morning. I have no idea how I’m getting from Chicago to Appleton. Buying a ticket (for a 50 minute flight) is $600 and renting a car for a one-way trip (3 hours) is over $200. My guess is I’ll just end up biting the bullet and renting a car.

It has been frustrating being in Spain while my father is sitting in a hospital bed unconscious. You feel helpless even though I know if I was in Wisconsin I’d be just as helpless if I was there.

This is something I’ve heard from many people who are considering traveling long term. They are worried about being away from home if something should happen to their family.

It is a real concern. These things can and do happen.

If something does happen, you wont be there. You will be off in some far-flung place where you might not even find out what happened for days, let alone get back in some reasonable fashion. You could suffer any number of unexpected delays including volcanic ash clouds.

Nonetheless, you can’t live your life waiting for people to get sick or die. If I wasn’t traveling I would have been living in Minneapolis, a 4 hour drive away. My brother was in Iowa and wasn’t able to get back for a day. Granted, Spain is a lot farther from Wisconsin than Iowa or Minnesota, but if you aren’t there, you aren’t there.

I know I’d never want someone to sit around, putting their life on hold, waiting for something bad to happen to me and I think most people believe the same. I know my father wouldn’t. You can’t live your life waiting for events to unfold that you have no control over and don’t know when or if they will happen.

Once my dad is back on his feet (and I have ever reason to believe he will), I’ll be back to doing what I love to do. God forbid if the worst should happen, he knew I was out doing what made me happy.

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