Lean in closely while I whisper something in your ear.
Please don’t overreact, and don’t SAY anything.
Wait for it.
Here it is.
“I don’t like to travel.”
“WHAT?? YOU DON’T LIKE TO TRAVEL?!!!”
Go ahead. Grab your phone and fire up your computer. Broadcast that blasphemous statement, and be sure to credit it to me.
To some people, my saying, “I don’t like to travel” is equivalent to saying:
- “I’m glad Bambi’s mother got shot.”
- “I dump my trash in the Ohio River, and I’m proud of it.”
- “Bring on higher taxes and fewer benefits.”
In her wonderful piece at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/i-dont-want-to-travel, Jenna Woginrich writes:
Somehow getting on a plane and going far away became the highest form of purchasable enlightenment. To experience real life is to experience it somewhere else.
If travel is being recreationally uncomfortable in a controlled environment ― I chose the opposite.
(Jenna lives as a homesteader and hasn’t left her farm for a single night in over five years.)
I’m with Jenna.
Leave me at home. Go. Have fun. Bring back pretty photos and funny stories.
I’ll look. I’ll listen. I’ll be pleasant, but I won’t envy you the trip.
Maybe I will receive less condemnation if I say, “I like being at home.”
At home I take comfort in knowing:
- Where my nail clippers are.
- Which restaurants I like.
- Where I can park.
- That I can savor a beautiful garden tomorrow if I skip it today.
- That I’m not interfering with other people’s plans if I decide to take a nap.
- That I can lay my book down and pick it up from the same place tomorrow.
My husband would travel 26 weeks of the year if he could. And, he could, with some limitations.
But he likes to travel with me. And I like to make him happy.
There, as the British say, is the rub.
The rub can chafe. The chafe can fester into a wound. The wound can become infected and kill the relationship.
Neither of us wants that.
So, sometimes I travel with him.
Here are my suggestions for non-travelers who vacation with avid travelers.
- Be honest: Say, “I don’t want to make that two-mile hike to the waterfall.”
- Compromise: “If I rest in the condo today, I’ll enjoy the luau tonight.”
- Ask questions: “How disappointed will you be if I don’t go on the boat ride?”
- Volunteer your preferences: “I would rather not attend the lecture on lava types.”
Dan and I are two different people. We are glad we are.
He will not convince me to enjoy war movies. I will not persuade him to read The Woman in White.
But I will not tell him that watching war movies is wrong, ignorant, stupid or a waste of time.
He will not tell me that reading The Woman in White is a moronic indulgence and I should be doing something else.
If I harp on Dan about watching war movies, I diminish his enjoyment of them. I take from him something that is not mine to take.
If he ridicules my enjoyment of British literature, he belittles my choice of reading material. He robs me of some of the pleasure that reading gives me.
He likes to travel. I like to be at home.
We live and let live.
That is because more than liking things, we love each other.