Travel

Back when I was still doing dating apps and websites, I used to see many men who were all about traveling. “Must love to travel,” they’d write.

Me? I’m not a huge fan of traveling.

Yes, I love going places. Investigating a new city or town is fun. I enjoy going to Disney World and London and Chicago and even home to the Dallas area.

But here are the reasons, overall, why I do not like traveling.

I love my bed
My bed is great. My sheets have a high thread count and they are soft and silky most of the time (or flannel in the wintertime).

I don’t enjoy flying
Air travel is the worst. I am not afraid of flying. I hate the cramped spaces and the inability to get comfortable. I am fortunate that I am not tall. I can imagine the hell that people taller than me endure (my dad, for example, is 6’3″). I am still the size where I have to sit with my arms crossed around my body so as to try to take up as little space as possible next to my fellow passenger.In addition to that, I don’t appreciate the quart-size bag of liquids limit or other measurements done in the name of security. I was once traveling with a tote bag full of books. The TSA gave me a hard time about this. I had to explain that I am a college professor, that I was returning from a conference, and that I had purchased those books at the conference. They went through every book and flipped it open, trying to detect if I had hidden any nefarious material in them.

Not to mention it will eat up an entire day for me to fly from the west coast back to Cleveland. Seriously. I leave at 9 am PDT and I will arrive back in Cleveland at 8:25 pm EST. I realize there is a time difference, but it is not like I can get those hours back. I am fortunate in that I only have one layover.

Driving alone sucks
I drive from Ohio to Texas for the holidays with my two dogs. They are good travelers. Unfortunately, they cannot drive. It takes us 20 hours total and we stop at a La Quinta in Nashville along the way. It is a long haul. I cross over to Texas or Ohio and, even though my heart leaps at being so close, it is yanked back by realize that I still have HOURS of driving to go.

Costs at home
I am not dumb enough to travel 20 hours each way with cats. My cats stay at home and my pet sitter – who is awesome – comes once a day to check on them. When my dogs stay at home, my pet sitter comes twice a day. These visits are not free. And while I consider my pet sitter well worth the cost, it is not inexpensive.On top of that, Izzie gets anxious when I am gone for too long of a period. Anxiety leads her to go pee in the house (the dogs are left uncrated while I am gone for long periods of time, though normally they are crated during the day – it is their den).

Did I mention I love my bed?
I really do.

Travel is lonely
Traveling alone is, well, lonely. It can be somewhat empowering to strike out on one’s own and explore a new place; however, having a companion does tend to make things more fun. If anything, you have another person to take pictures of you instead of having to ask a stranger.

Traveling is expensive
I’m not just talking about the flight and lodging (both of which my university woefully lacks substantial funding to fully cover). I am talking about food and drinks. With my smaller stomach, I cannot eat a whole lot. That $8 sandwich? I might be able to finish a quarter of it. And while my hotel room might have a fridge, if I am out and about, I don’t want to return to my hotel room to put the remainder of the sandwich in that fridge.

That is another place where a travel companion could come in handy. Basically, I need someone to eat the majority of my food for me. Hell, I’m already paying for a hotel room for two people – why not stay with me as well, prospective travel companion?

Sociology’s conference is ill-timed
This is sort of a side-point to my overall rant about travel. My travel usually has to do with the national sociology conference (surprise) if I am not going to visit my parents in Texas. When does the sociology conference fall? Usually the week before or the first week of the fall semester. It sucks. They recently reviewed it and concluded they were going to keep the same schedule because apparently there are people not wanting to interrupt family vacation, or their school hasn’t started yet, or blah blah blah. It’s bullshit.

Why go? Well, it is good for my CV and I get to network and learn new things. It does, however, make things stressful. Well, it doesn’t help that I procrastinate work on my syllabi and course website until the last possible moment either. The point is, it could be better planned. I’m not sure when I would prefer it. February sounds nice.

Travel doesn’t necessarily allow for down time or alone time
As I’ve gotten older, I find I need time away from people to recharge. One hard things about traveling with people (despite #6 above) is that you don’t really get time to yourself. The only person I don’t find I need this down or alone time from is my mom… and she is usually feeling the same way about needing to recharge after a day of being “on” around people. I think I was an odd-man out on my study abroad to Africa in that I spent a lot of time alone, either at my host family’s house or going around places on my own. I wrote a lot. Perhaps one day, I will find a guy that I don’t need down or alone time from. That elusive prospective travel companion. One that I might *gasp* be able to share a bathroom with in said hotel room for both pee and poop.

Preparations before going out of town
My preparations not only include things like packing and making an itinerary (omg – I did so much preparation in terms of packing for a month in West Africa). They involve cleaning my house. I like coming home to a clean house. This is especially important since my semester starts less than 24 hours after my return.Trash emptied, bedsheets changed, dishes done, fridge cleaned out of stuff that will go bad… all that sort of stuff. I keep a fairly clean house on a regular basis, but cleaning before going out of town feels a bit different. I don’t know why. It is just a part of having things in order before I leave.

Thus, why I do not enjoy traveling. I have to wonder if one of the reasons the guys on various dating sites claim to love traveling so much is because they do not go through all of these preparations. Do they have to arrange for and pay for a pet sitter? Do they drive long distances by themselves or with pets? Do they enjoy flying? Do they clean their houses before they leave? Or are these none of their concern? They just throw shit in a bag and go?

I will travel and do travel, though. Travel broadens the mind and exposes you to different cultures and ways of life. I just wish I could take my bed with me at least.

P.S. – There is no fucking way I will ever take a cruise. Nope. Not interested.