The Deal Mommy

Travel is a Value – and It’s Under Attack

Value: Principle or standard of behavior; one’s judgement of what is important in life. 

“That’s why we slow it down and make sure that if they are a five year old that maybe they’re with their parents and they don’t pose a threat. . . . To assume that just because of someone’s age or gender or whatever that they don’t pose a threat would be wrong” Press secretary Sean Spicer, when asked about the five-year-old Iranian boy who was detained under President Trump’s new executive order on refugees.

You might wonder what these two phrases have to do with each other. If you’re a frequent traveler, you probably already know. But if you don’t see the connection, please allow me to explain.

Travel is a value

When I say travel is a value I’m not talking about “vacation“.  Many folks vacation two weeks a year at the beach or Beaches and I’m not here to pass judgement. But for me (and for most of you who I’ve met over the last five years) travel is in your blood. Exploring the world with your kids is more than a hobby- it’s a mission. Your judgement of what is important in life. A value. 

Those of us who model travel as a value for our children see our kids reap the rewards. The Deal Kids hang out with kids with parents from Iran, Spain, India, Pakistan, Georgia (the country), Egypt, China, Korea…and that’s just off the top of my head. I recently asked Deal Kid where one of his friend’s parents were from (I was curious about his name) and he looked at me like I had two heads. “Centerville, Mom”. Point taken.  

Travel is a value under attack

When a 5 year old is detained by America as a terrorism suspect we all become less safe. America loses her moral high ground when a wheel chair bound couple in their 80s, both green card holders, one of them blind, are interrogated. ISIS has recruitment video fodder for years to come courtesy of our own folly. 

But here’s the thing- I can’t blame Donald Trump as it’s not just happening in America. Nativism is spreading like a virus all over Europe as well. 

I visited Liguria in rural Italy over the summer and the exact same thing is happening over there. Driving from Cannes into Italy is a jarring experience. Even without a border you know you’re in Italy right after you cross as everything just looks, well, poorer. The British woman who owned my Air BnB and I got to chatting about Brexit and Trump. She shared with me that while she (and her college educated British friends) were horrified, her local Italian friends were thrilled about Brexit. In fact, they couldn’t wait for Italy to leave the European Union as well. 

Let that sink in for a minute. Rural Italians, whose livelihoods depend on the olive oil and wine they sell to other European countries, were chomping at the bit to go back to the Lira. I can not fathom a scenario in which an exit from the EU ends well for Italy. Can you?  

When facts lose all meaning, what do you hold on to? Your values.

I’m not going to argue about terrorism or safety because none of what happened this weekend has anything to do with either. Percentage-wise the people giving the strongest support to this executive order live in places more likely to be hit by a meteor than a terrorist. Can we please at least be honest about that? 

Not even a week ago I encouraged you to talk to Americans who lived differently than you. I stand by that post, but have to admit my faith in what unifies America is shaken. Some things used to beyond red or blue- like holding five year olds and blind wheelchair-bound octogenarians as terrorism suspects. 

So I’m going to hold on to the belief that travel is a value- an American value- and I’m going to keep passing it on to my kids. Travel is now not only a value- it’s a political act. 

UPDATE: If you think I’m hopelessly naive and sheltered, please read this post before jumping to that conclusion. I have more experience in this matter than you may think. 


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19 thoughts on “Travel is a Value – and It’s Under Attack

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Thanks. I think more of my readers will get it than don’t, but you guys are better than most, aren’t you 🙂

  1. MickiSue

    A great big cyber hug, Dia. Unfortunately, it’s with tears in my eyes for what my country is becoming.

    We came home last night from a week in Seattle and they hole, Mexico. Where, of course we saw people from all over the world.

    In an entire week, I did not hear an unkind word. In an entire week, I did not see people angry or afraid. Other than the fact that most the Americans I spoke to felt as though we were on respite from a nightmare, our week in Mexico was a week spend in peaceful diversity.

    On the way to the airport, our Lyft driver was a young Hmong man who grew up here in the Twin Cities. On the way home, our Lyft driver was a young man whose first name was Mohammed, and clearly grew up in the Middle East. Both were intelligent, both were interesting, and both were just trying to make a living.

    This summer, will be visiting relatives in both Greece and Italy. Where we will, I again see people of all colors, all religions, and all races getting along. It’s ironic, isn’t it, that the people most fearful of those who seem different to them are those who have the least likelihood of ever coming in contact with them.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      It’s ironic, isn’t it, that the people most fearful of those who seem different to them are those who have the least likelihood of ever coming in contact with them.

      This. A million times this.

  2. JOHN

    Ma’am, with all due respect, you live in a sheltered world. A world where people don’t exploit your compassion and naiveté as a weakness. A 5 year old child or a wheelchair bound couple in their 80’s do not pose much of a threat by themselves, but could easily be made an unwitting pack mule for something sinister. Radicalized religious fundamentalists will use any means available to accomplish their mission and they do not draw the line at innocent children or the elderly. I can understand why you and many others who have never seen such atrocities find it unconscionable to briefly detain and be suspicious of a 5 year old, but decisions have to be made in the best interest of all. Understand that if you would prefer a less intrusive security theatre instead of an unbiased system of scrutiny it will be exploited and people will die. My hope is that when people form their opinion on this issue they do so after they’ve educated themselves on the risks. I wish you all safe travels.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Thank you for the respectful tone. It is most helpful in engaging a dialogue. Please read the following post and then decide if my view is sheltered:

      It is precisely BECAUSE I have seen friends die at the hands of terrorists that I value basic decency and humanity. Using a bomb on a gnat will kill the gnat, but it will take you with it.

      Not a sermon, just a thought.

      1. JOHN

        Yes you’re sheltered…

        …at least according to the post you referenced. You had a co-worker that you hadn’t worked with in 5 years die half a world away, and while you may have been personally affected by this experience it’s rather dishonest to claim that you’ve “seen friends die at the hands of terrorists”. You even go so far as to acknowledge that even though your parents were stationed overseas “my family was often stationed in the “safe” country one country away from chaos”. Until you’ve watched someone die, carried a body or witnessed the carnage your opinion will come from a position of safety and blissful ignorance.

        A 5 year old was detained a few hours for questioning. Your bomb on a gnat analogy is hardly comparable. Foreign nationals were inconvenienced to insure the safety of this country and its citizens and if that means that children are detained and interviewed because they are more truthful witnesses of their parents activities then so be it. We are inviting strangers into our home despite the fact that many of their countrymen have openly declared war against us, I don’t feel that having them answer a few questions before allowing them to freely roam the country is too much to ask.

        1. thedealmommy Post author

          John. Thanks for your comment and I’ll accept your critique as fair in that I’m not a veteran and wouldn’t begin to claim that point of view. I would agree with you if the thousands affected hadn’t already been subjected to months of vetting. This weekend’s show was gratuitous theater, not real security.

        2. MickiSue

          A child was detained…after his or her parents had spent 18 to 24 MONTHS being vetted before being allowed into this country, if they are refugees.

          This whole thing is a disgusting piece of ugly political theater, and endangers us more, by creating bad will with foreign countries, more than any of the people who were not allowed to enter this country.

          1. AMJ

            If you are concerned about safety on American soil, you should concentrate on strengthening our gun laws more than keeping extensively screened people fleeing war out of our country.

          2. MickiSue

            Hmmmm. I know that there have been zero terrorist actions in the US by those admitted as refugees. That all terrorist attacks in this country, aside from 9/11, have been perpetrated by homegrown terrorists of every ethnic group, but mostly white.

          3. AMJ



            Government source (although it has the name “Obama” on it so I suspect someone with your position on this issue might have a knee jerk opposition to that) that confirmed what I thought I knew about the refugee screening process.

            I’m not scared of refugees. I’m much more concerned about gun accessibility (mental ill Americans having access to guns, etc.). In recent years, that has been a far greater threat to our safety.

  3. chris

    How many anecdotal instances of the TSA frisking an octogenarian traveler or wheelchair bound kid have we seen or heard of in the past few years and no one ever freaked out and jumped all over the president and “America’s values are over!!” …ad nauseum. Obama halted Iraqi refugees from entering the U.S. back in 2011 for, not 90 days as Trump is doing, but for 6 months. Not a peep of “outrage” from the same people blogging their brains out about how un-American it suddenly is NOW. Only difference I see is now we have a new president that lots of certain people don’t like. Do the math.
    So if we’re going to be honest, as you ask, can we all just admit that 90% of all this contrived “outrage” is highly selective, hypocritical and purely political group-think with huge dollops of virtue-signalling. (Apparently not.)
    But if it all makes you feel better than others, have at it.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Thanks for your comment. (Full disclosure: I’m a Republican who did not vote for Trump) . There is a difference, and it is massive: retroactivity. The draconian way in which already approved visas were revoked is beyond anything ever done before. Thousands of college students, refugees, and normal people who had already been fully vetted are now trapped through no fault of their own.

      1. AMJ

        Additionally, the Visa Interview Waiver Program has been suspended. This is having an effect on H1B visa holders outside of the countries cited in the EO, many of whom are employed by American tech companies. These visa holders who are currently traveling outside the US (hello…it’s Chinese New Year…lots of people traveled home to spend the holiday with their family) will likely be allowed re-entry, but there is going to be a backlog of people needing to be interviewed. This isn’t good for American businesses.

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