Friday, March 07, 2014

Why I Hate Travel

It's that time of year again... time to plan for a trip to the beach for Spring Break or Summer vacation... or a trip to some lake or city or country... and once again I find myself in this unpleasant valley of no-where I actually want to go and with no-one to actually travel with. And yet, I pine for some kind of vacation.

I am actually happiest when I take off a week for vacation and actually stay home...
  • No need to pack
  • No need to travel
  • No need to spend money on an overpriced condo or hotel
  • No need to find someone to feed my cats
  • No need to worry about the fact that I have so few friends who want to/are available to vacation with me, or that I want to vacation with
  • No need to travel alone (which I used to enjoy, but now find boring and depressing)
  • I can get things done around the condo, like repairs and procrastinated decor ideas
  • I can hang out with friends for lunch and dinner, as opposed to being in a strange city where there's no-one to eat with
And yet... and yet, I feel this lack, this loss of some indefinable something. I haven't ever really enjoyed taking a trip, except for a handful of occasions that are difficult to duplicate, or were delightful for just one season in my life, and have failed when tried again (the aforementioned travelling alone). But I still feel this loss of something that everyone else I know seems to enjoy and expects to do, year after year.

There are circumstances under which I can imagine a vacation would be fun... the right group of people, the right location, that perfect balance of companionship and alone-time. But at this stage of my life, that all seems as likely as winning the lottery.

Why must this be so difficult a thing to accomplish?! Why does it seem so impossible? My cowardice and laziness are partly to blame, I know... my need for solitude is another. My limited relationships is another still. And I post this online, knowing that it will be seen by friends who would travel with me and are hurt and bewildered that I don't want to travel with them. It's nothing to do with them; it's to do with this strange block I seem to have, feeling smothered or claustrophobic with them in another city.

My family is not really an option either. We're not cold to each other, but we don't ever seem to think of each other as travelling companions. Probably because when we were growing up, we went on so few vacations.

Let me emphasize that I'm not writing this looking for ideas - I think I've heard them all. I've considered them all. I guess I'm writing it out, looking for some kind of inner acceptance that I am NOT a vacationer. I'd like to go to the beach... but literally the physical beach itself is all I care for. I'd like to be in London... but don't want to spend the money or take the flight. I'd like travelling companions... but want to be alone most of the time.

Is it possible to just be a Homebody, and be ok with it? To not feel some sense of loss or disappointment that I don't like travelling? To give up this fruitless and depressing battle every year to find some kind of holiday getaway? I don't know. I'm in my mid-40s and I've yet to find peace with it.