Hodgman’s essays are loosely threaded together by a common theme of travel/ vacationing but Vacationland is essentially a memoir about white, upper middle class male privilege. Hodgman acknowledges his privilege which makes this more entertaining than it could have been in someone hands. I listened to the audio-book which enhanced the experience.
“Money cannot buy happiness, but it buys the conditions for happiness: time, occasional freedom from constant worry, a moment of breath to plan for the future, and the ability to be generous.”
Hodgman grew up in a privileged New England home complete with a summer home in western Massachusetts that he bought for $1 after his mother passed away. His mother’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent death inspired Hodgman to leave his job as a literary agent which eventually led him to The Daily Show and the Mac commercials where he played the nefarious PC. Hodgman’s life isn’t necessarily relatable for this middle class Texan (who is writing this review while trying not to cry as they call it for Cruz) who has never accidentally bought a boat at an auction and doesn’t struggle with which of my two summer homes I want to spend weeks long vacations at but it is fun to read about.
Not all of his essays are about his two summer homes; he also discusses some of his travels for work which inspires the wonderfully absurd essay “Daddy Pitchfork.” Like I said, Hodgman’s life isn’t necessarily relatable but it makes for an enjoyable read.