I blame my parents for very few things except my intense loathing to travel. As a kid, Mom and Dad threw me in the back seat of a hot car with no A/C and drove 3 days straight to see one of my siblings either at New York, California, or Mississippi. We’d stay 2 or 3 days, then head back to Kansas. Dad said company was like fish; after 3 days they begin to stink.
No radio. No iPods. No portable DVD player. All I had to entertain me in the backseat were coloring books and a squeaky Styrofoam cooler for the miles and miles of mind numbing boredom. To this day, I forbid a Styrofoam cooler to be on my property.
I am, by nature, a homebody. I like my recliner, my bed, my refrigerator, and my dog. I like other people’s dogs, too, but I’d prefer my dog curled up in her bed in our bedroom making awful noises all night as opposed to teenyboppers slamming hotel room doors not less that three-thousand-two-hundred and eighty-five times an hour.
However, it seems like the older I get the more I travel. I’ve traveled a LOT in my career the last few years and when I’m not traveling with my career, I’m traveling with my stunningly gorgeous wife on vacation. I’d just like to figure out, someday in my career, how to travel with my wife. That’s our goal. I’d like that. I’d like that, a lot.
Since I’ve spent a great deal of time traveling, I’ve learned to enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like to be away from my wife but instead of trudging along from point A to point B wishing I were home, I have learned to turn that time into productivity and enjoyment.
I used to dread the thought of getting in a car or on a plane, but here are a few things I do to make travel enjoyable:
- iPad- I could do without almost anything else but my iPad
- I can write (I take a mobile keyboard to help me type)
- I can watch movies
- I can listen to my favorite music
- I can read my favorite books or magazines
- I can look at photos of my family
- I can take photos or videos
- I can listen to audio books
- Pack light
- No more than 4 changes of clothes- I can usually do laundry or get them cleaned
- Scout in advance
- I read up on the history of places I’m going to visit
- I look at maps to get a lay of the land
- I read through the visitors guide
- Explore while I’m there
- Visit the places I’ve read about
- Ask locals for great places to go see or things to do
- Make new friends
- I’ve made a lot of new friends just by saying, “I’m not from around here. Can you give me advice on some really great place to go eat (or visit, or photograph, or tour)?
One very positive side effect
There’s also a side effect that is an unintended- but enjoyable- consequence: I’ve lost my desire to collect “stuff” because I’m not there to enjoy it, clean it, use it, or worry about taking care of it.
But I still refuse to let a Styrofoam cooler within a hundred yards of me.