I hate to travel.
This is a character defect, a flaw in my personality and one of the many ways I am lacking. It isn’t just a distaste for someone else’s sheets. It isn’t jingoistic love of my homeland. It’s a deep seated fear and anxiety which is glimpse at the mental illness that would be mine but for the grace of god (at this moment). I’m almost dysfunctionally anxious. But not quite. I also have a weak stomach. Nausea and various stomach ailments are regular traveling companions. I struggle against these things, and therefore I do travel on occasion, because I think people should. And also because there are some foods I really want to try. To understand the depth of my distaste for travel you have to know a few things. I’m going to share them with you, but you can’t tell anyone, and don’t be afraid to hang out with me or invite me to your homeland. Agreed?
I just want to make sure we’re clear. I went. I flew. I flew far away from home and then I rode in busses. I used strange bathrooms, ate strange foods and took strange taxis. I spoke in a foreign language for 18 days and rinsed my toothbrush in bottled water. We mixed with the local people ate where they ate and took lots of pictures. So get off my case that I wouldn’t ride in the teleferico (that horrible little cage they slid across on a wire from one edge of a canyon to another). Leave me alone that I didn’t want to drive the 3 hours to Puyo and see the gateway to the jungle. Cut me some slack for not taking a day or two to ride the bus to the coast and take a (retch) boat to the Galapagos. I can only do so much.
I am very prone to motion sickness. More than three passes on a playground swing and I am ready to barf. Driving as a passenger almost anywhere involves a fixed stare at the horizon. Do not ask me to look for something inside the vehicle while it is moving, or I will be toast for the rest of the trip. Traveling by train is tough unless I am facing front and looking out the window. It makes me sick, but it’s not as bad as travelling in an airplane. Take-off and landing are devices of torture which leave me sick for the rest of the day, and maybe the following day. The headache takes at least 24 hours to pass. The nausea is gone in a couple of hours.
Unfortunately, all travel seems to involve not only motion, but lots of motion, in long stretches and short bursts. I especially hate traveling in the mountains. But mountains are beautiful! That’s where people go! And that’s where we went. To the Andes, in Ecuador. We flew, took taxis, rode in death-trap-barf-o-riffic busses. Every trip seems to involve not just the intial voyage, but lots of mini-trips to make sure we’re getting the most of our vacation.
I didn’t have fun. I don’t like to travel. I. Don’t. Like. It. Be my friend anyway, OK?. I will probably leave home again but only if people promise not to try to make me travel while I travel. That’s just mean. I will go. I will land. I will take a taxi to my hotel and from there, I will walk or ride horseback to the grocery store, which is my favorite part of any travelling anyway. I will eat new food and talk to new people, maybe visit some stores and it will make me happy. And that which does not make me happy will surely make me write.