Sunday, January 13, 2008

Get Outa Town

What with all my recent posts about summer, and how SUMMER IS THE BEST! and OH I DO MISS THE SUMMERTIME!, you might be wondering if I'm due for a vacation. I should just jump on a plane to Barbados already, yes?

I will not be traveling anytime soon, not voluntarily, not even to the most seductive, luciously tropical destinations. Why? Because I'm just not cut out to enjoy traveling.

Physically, I do not react well to long trips. Sitting in a car or an airplane for hours on end leaves me drained. Jet lag makes me completely miserable. Sleeping in a strange bed leaves me fatigued and suffering from headaches. Hotel food for more than one meal makes my stomach misbehave. And whenever I've travelled anywhere hot, I've spent the whole time hiding from the sun, nursing heatstroke and sunburn.

Part of these reactions is also due to my mental state. I am a woman of habit. I am even perhaps just a wee tidge obsessive-compulsive. And controlling. And did I mention compulsive? Just ask Ken. He has had to adjust quite a bit to accommodate my need to have things Just So in our home. As long as I get my way, everything is Peachy Keen! But put me in unfamiliar surroundings and there are just so many details that seem wrong.

The sheets on the bed might not have a welcoming texture. The glass tumbler that's provided for drinking water probably has a funny smell. Unfamiliar controls in the shower are cause for concern. It's not like any one of these things makes me want to hyperventilate, but they start adding up and grating on my nerves, to the point where I feel on edge all the time. Add that to jet lag and poor sleep, and generally I'm going to be feeling fussy and querulous. I won't be able to relax until I get settled in at home again.

Once I'm home, I can sift through the sensory memories of the vacation, and begin to have some appreciation for them. Like the day we took that tour when I was dying of heatstroke, we saw some really beautiful sights! So it's not a total loss. But considering how expensive it is to travel, I have come to the conclusion that for me, it's not worth it. I am much happier to read travel stories or watch movies set in exotic locations.

The advantages: I save a lot of money. It's better for the environment. I don't have to worry about terrorists on my airplane. I won't catch horrible parasites or "traveler's diarrhea". And I am the perfect audience for your vacation snapshots. I will look at 1000 of them in a sitting with real and sustained interest. I will travel vicariously at any opportunity, as long as I can stay in Toronto to do it.


jameil1922 said...

oh my! i've never met anyone w/such an aversion to travel! i was going to say take me w/you but send me in your stead! loooooove free trips man. love them. i just like going places. esp. ones with beaches. excuses to buy and wear bikinis are such joy to me. i don't like interminably long plane rides i.e. 8 hrs to europe but i'll deal for what's on the other side if there's someone fun to make the trip more enjoyable. could i do it on the regular? only for an exorbitant fee and in first class.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

I havent really travelled much, but I can identify with some of your concerns. I still think I want to travel to some cool places though so I will just send you photos.

R.E.H. said...

I looove to travel. I've travelled a lot before, but the last few years I've not been able to go anywhere. It's too expensive - I'll agree with you on that one.

My #1 dream is to travel the world. Imagine a limitless Visa, and a reliable automobile... that's all one would need.

Karen said...

I enjoy traveling around the US, but I am not a big fan going to foriegn places. I have been through out Europe and I don't have a big desire to go back again. I am just not really comfortable in foriegn places. Of course, this doesn't count resorts on islands or places like that. And Canada is fine becuase it is sort of the same as the US in many ways. (Don't be insulted by that Spark - it is meant to be a compliment)

Sparkling Red said...

Jameil: I can so easily imagine you lounging on a beach in a cute bikini and loving every minute of it. I bet you'd get one of those drinks that comes in a hollowed-out pineapple, with a paper umbrella and a maraschino cherry on a plastic sword.

Ron: Good plan. Where would you like to go? How about Egypt? That would be cool.

R.E.H.: I hope you have a chance to live your dream. When you write your best-selling travelogue, I want a signed copy. ;-)

Karen: Yes, much of Canada and the U.S. are very similar. We share so much common culture. Most material on Canadian TV is actually from the U.S. Resistance is futile. We are being assimilated. (But really it's not such a bad thing...) :-)

Maxie said...

I am so the opposite. I love being away from my house. I mean I love it when I get home... but I live for staying in hotel rooms, lol.

Aric Blue said...

Yeah, I'm exactly the same way. And with me I lose a day each way--we typically have to get up early to hop a plane(which means I don't sleep until I get whereever we're going) and then again on the way back.

Sparkling Red said...

Maxie: There are definitely some good points to hotels. It's fun to live like a kid for a short time, without worrying about housework or cooking.

Aric Blue: Sleep deprivation is so cruel! I bet if I could magically bring my own bed with me and get proper sleep while traveling, that would totally transform my experience. I might even find I could enjoy the rest of the trip.