Opinion | What if We All Vacationed at Home Again?


LONDON — For us, it was supposed to be France — a big house in a soporific Breton village, with 16 members of my partner’s family. Her bon vivant father, who recently completed chemotherapy, had paid for the rental to celebrate with two weeks surrounded by grandkids and half-empty bottles of Beaujolais. Everyone had been looking forward to it all year. It is only in the past two weeks, after France announced an 18 billion euro (about $20 billion) “Marshall Plan” to place its vital tourist sector on life support, that I finally conceded that the trip isn’t going to happen.

All of which means that if the summer is to hold anything approximating a vacation, we are probably going to have to look closer to home. In an attempt to wring something positive out of this interlude, I’ve found myself hoping that this prospect might foreshadow something necessary, perhaps even cathartic. Could a summer in which everyone is stuck at home within their own borders, like argumentative relatives locked in a room to hammer out their differences, actually reap some benefits?

By Henry Wismayer

2020-05-23 11:00:07

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