Those people who spend the summers in Switzerland, and the winters in the Caribbean, and the people who come home just for a little rest in between, these are unhappy people. If they liked their apartment then they wouldn't go anywhere else. The answer is, where they are now does not make them happy. Anybody who travels demonstrates that he's an unhappy person. That's why you have all these travel stores selling imagination, they sell imaginary happiness. The people who don't enjoy what they have here, so they tell him go to this and this place and here is where you're going to have a wonderful time, and we'll make money while we are deceiving you.
So in those days when the Chovos Halvavos spoke, he didn't have to convince people, people understood that it was silly to travel around; traveling is discomfort. Even if you're traveling in an air conditioned jet, it's uncomfortable. It's much more comfortable in your own home than in any kind of vehicle, no matter how you travel. I traveled already, and no matter what kind of accommodations anybody will get, it's nothing like home.
There is only one thing you will not get at home that you will get someplace else, and that's imagination. When you're traveling, even though the mosquitoes are biting you, even though the bathroom is not like your own bathroom, even though the food is not like the food you get at home, still you are consoled by the thought that soon you are going to have a good time. And you keep on pursuing, like a dog running after his own tail, till you get home again, and then you'll start yearning for the next journey.
Therefore these people, which means most of the people today, are unhappy people, that's why there is so much travel today. Even the people who travel to Eretz Yisroel, if they would travel to Eretz Yisroel just for a pilgrimage, for kedusha, is something else. They travel for fun; it's an excuse, instead of going to Switzerland they go to Eretz Yisroel.
I say stay home and send that thousand dollars or two thousand dollars for poor talmidei chachomim; give it to me and I'll disperse it for you. It will be a bigger mitzvah if the money goes there and you stay here. You'll enjoy yourself more and they'll enjoy themselves more.
Good Shabbos To All
This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210