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Why I travel

Or Why I must escape the matrix as often as possible

A couple of weeks ago, my family and I just returned from a trip to Bermuda. We are a family of four: me, my wife Frances, and our sons Alexander and David. This time my sister in law Ruby joined us. We just recently started the tradition of traveling around Christmas. This started for a couple of reasons. Christmas has sort of changed for me. There really isn’t anything I want for Christmas and our two sons aren’t little kids anymore, so Christmas isn’t about that. The other reason is I love traveling any time I can do it.

Last year we went to Orlando around Christmas so my wife, a big Harry Potter fan, could go to Potterworld. This year, our destination was Bermuda, a place that has been on my bucket list for years and I finally got to go there.

Hodge Family Adventures

We are the Hodge Family (Photo by the concierge but he used my phone)

One of the reasons I really enjoy traveling is because you get to take a break from your life. You get to escape the 9 to 5 Matrix. You know that matrix, right? That artificial construct that has us all imprisoned, walking through a half dream life that we think is real? (By the way, the Matrix is one of my favorite movies of all time so you will see it referenced often).

I’m not a 9 to 5 person. I’ve worked years in various office situations. I am a Drupal developer so, at this point, I do work from home full time. Believe me, it’s wonderful. The conditioning of the 9 to 5 matrix wears off a little when I work from home. My brain isn’t totally locked into that 9 to 5 mindset. There is flexibility and some fluidity. This, though, is when you get those little flashes that the 9 to 5 matrix isn’t real. You’re still inside it, you can just get to peak out from time to time.

When you travel, you get to escape your every day, mundane life. Let me put it another way: you escape the matrix. You get to take a break from the 9 to 5 mentality that you must have to survive, to keep from going totally insane. To escape the 9 to 5 matrix for this trip was especially important because my wife and I are caught up in this shutdown the U.S. government is going through. She is a government employee while I work for government contractors. So, we were able to spend 4 days away from the madness and enjoy the beauty of Bermuda and meet some interesting people.

Bay view
View of the airport from our room at Grotto Bay Resort. (Photo by Billy Hodge)

I paid for this trip earlier in the year and at times had wondered if I should have gone a little less expensive and traveled to someplace within the United States. Ultimately, I feel things work out the way they are supposed to. It felt good getting out of the country and to a place where you could gain perspective on the things going on at home. Nothing like going to a nice new fresh environment and escape the insanity going on back home.

So, to make a long story short. Too late! (Another movie reference: Clue). This is why I love to travel. I love change. Oh sure, I’m like everyone else where I do create routines. The first thing I do every the morning is make my coffee. Without fail. There is a certain amount of security and comfort with routine. Change is what makes life go. The very nature of the universe is change. Nothing stays the same and change is important. It wakes you up from your malaise. Not only do I love change, but I love different things and new experiences. When you visit other countries, you get to see how other people live. You get to see different cultures and try different food. Especially when you travel outside of the United States, there are different priorities in other countries. I like going to different environments. I live in Maryland and I love my state. It’s a beautiful state and we have beaches there, but they do not compare to a tropical beach. It’s good to get away to the mountains from time to time. Every Thanksgiving we go to Massanutten Resort in Virginia. It’s only a 3-hour car drive away but you feel like you escaped the matrix.

Horseshoe Bay
A nice quiet spot at Horseshoe Bay. (Photo by Billy Hodge)

I love traveling and I try to travel as often as possible. I enjoy traveling with my family and friends. I’ve totally committed myself to travel as often as possible. Currently, I am trapped back in the 9 to 5 Matrix, but suffering through this interminable government shutdown. I already have our next escape planned for Costa Rica for our 25th Wedding Anniversary this summer. Between now and then, there may be other opportunities to escape. Ultimately, I will find a way to stay eternally unplugged from the 9 to 5 matrix. Just like Morpheus, Niobi and many others, my story will continue outside the matrix. And maybe, just maybe, I can make a career out of writing about my travel adventures. That would be amazing to stay unplugged and be free to explore the big beautiful planet earth. Maybe I can free others, like my family and friends from the 9 to 5 matrix while I’m at it.

Hodge Family
Hanging out at Horseshoe Bay. (Photo by Ruby Bond)

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