“Beam me up, Scotty!” “The Transporter Bay is ready, Captain.” Until these notions become household words — or until I make it through Apparition class at Hogwarts— I’ll remain the homebody that I am, spending my time and resources fluffing my own little stationary nest.
I’ve heard enough travel stories over the years to know I have little tolerance for what it takes to actually get to all these places around the world. Anxiety trumps desire most every time. Sadly, this is what I imagine most trips entail: hours on the computer arranging accommodations and tickets, cramming everything “I think” I need into a carry-on bag since I don’t want my possessions to leave my sight, sweating out flight delays and missed connections, elbowing through throngs of tourists, sleepless nights on uncomfortable beds and, finally, interspersing days of bliss with puking.
The nightmare parts are no doubt amplified in my head since those are the parts people talk about first when you innocently ask, “How was your vacation?” Whereas Facebook and Instagram are filled with a string of highlights from everyone’s life, travel stories end up being a long string of lowlights in my head.
I’m content, for now, to do my traveling through documentaries and the experiences of my family and friends. From now on I vow to thoroughly enjoy each word as if I were there instead of the envy I sometimes feel at missing out. Meanwhile, I’m content with making sure my little home is a cozy magnet that keeps wanderlust at bay.
My son Jesse just vacationed in Hawaii, and the first day he walked into the surf and swam close-range with dolphins. 12” away, he said. Luckily for us he caught this wonder on his GoPro. Can you just imagine? There’s no place on earth that calls me more urgently than tropical waters. Not pyramids, safaris, cathedrals, gondoliers, or whatever else pulls people to the skies. My own dreams always circle back to… just… plain… water.
Weeded out this week: the social expectation that retired people naturally want to travel. I see this moment of disbelief whenever someone finds out I don’t like to travel, and it always feels like I have to defend myself with a lengthy explanation that most don’t understand anyway. No more.