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No Place Like Home (or, why i don’t like to travel, part one)

*Sigh.* There is no place like home.

We’ve just arrived back to our rural southeast Oklahoma property after a nine-day road trip which main purpose was to visit my sister and mother in Minnesota after four or five years away. The weather in Minnesota was cool in the morning, pleasantly warm during the day, and low humidity compared to where we live. Therefore, even in Minneapolis the air smells clean.

That part was hard to leave.

I didn’t have to launder clothes by hand. J didn’t have to dig any holes to bury the contents of our compost toilet, or fill up the five-gallon jugs from the rain tanks several times a day. We got spoiled using flush toilets, and while we were at my sister’s she offered to do what dirty laundry we had accrued.

That part was nice. And it was really good for me to have a few days of forced vacation – no work, no writing, no making videos.

But after a couple of days, I got bored. I missed the chores. I missed having control of my kitchen. I missed our familiar smoothie-and-salad diet. I missed puttering around in my garden. I was itching to get my indoor Kratky garden started.

I missed the natural exercise I get every day on the homestead, walking around and pulling weeds and such. I was faithful to do my core workout every day, but aside from strolling around at museums and zoos, I didn’t get any exercise.

By the end of the fifth or sixth day, my fingers were itching to start typing again, my brain to start creating new stories. I also wanted to get back to my guitar.

B missed playing the video game “Fate: The Curse Of The King.”

And I remembered why we took five years to return to my native place of birth: I despise traveling.

I know this goes against the grain of so many other bloggers and YouTubers who are either always on the go, or frequently talk about their “bucket list” to go to such-and-such a place. So let me explain why I’m not so keen on traveling.

Reason number one I don’t like to travel

In my mid-forties, I really don’t have any more longing to see different places. I’ve been to the Alps in Switzerland, I’ve been to Maui, I’ve vacationed in the Black Hills of South Dakota and seen the Badlands, I’ve driven by the rolling hills of eastern Kansas and cornfield after cornfield in northern Missouri and Iowa.

I live in what people call “the mountains”, which look pretty much the same as the mountains over in Tennessee and Virginia.

I used to live in one of the largest cities in the U.S. (Dallas), so you can travel to L.A. or New York City on my behalf and tell me what it was like when you come back.

“But New York City is SO different from Dallas.”

I know. And L.A. is much drier. But I’ve got a computer. I watched T.V. growing up. Between screens and my real-life experience in Dallas, I’ve seen all I ever want to of big cities for the rest of my life, thank you very much.

Reason number two I don’t like to travel

Another sigh. If I were single, it would be a little more fun. But J gets stressed out over every little thing, whether it’s in preparation for going somewhere or the actual traveling process. And yes, it’s equally bad whether we’re driving or flying. For the first two days of our honeymoon on Maui, he worried about his stupid cats, for Pete’s sake!

B might be nicer to travel with once he’s older. But…that’s all I’ll say about that.

Reason number three I don’t like to travel

I utterly loathe sitting on my rear for hours at a time. I am naturally active, so long road trips and flights (which I consider long if they’re over an hour) drive me half-crazy. And make my bum numb.

Reason number four I don’t like to travel

I am not good at spontaneity. Neither is J, when it comes down to it. I like schedules and routines. I like waking up every day and knowing generally what’s on the docket. I like being in control of what I do with my time.

Of course, life throws things out of whack sometimes. But when I’m at home, I am in a familiar environment and so I can handle chinks in my armor of routine more easily.

Reason number five I don’t like to travel

Travel is a lot easier when you allow yourself to just eat out for all of your meals. But I won’t eat just anything, which kind of ties in with the previous reason of not liking spontaneity.

I thought I would enjoy stopping at a Whole Foods every single day (yes, you better believe that was planned and mapped!), but that got just about as old as having to go out for every meal would. Plus, try putting together a meal for three on a wooden desk or dresser. (What happened to the tables that used to be in motels twenty years ago?)

I eat only what’s good for my body. And that’s hard to do when you don’t have a real kitchen, or at least enough space to put together a big salad.

Reason number six I don’t like to travel

This reason is more specific to my family. Nearly the only thing I have in common with my sister, besides blood relatives, is that we both are happily married with an only child.

She doesn’t get me. Thinks I’m wrong on several counts on how we are raising B (she denies it, of course, but I can feel it). Of course, the belief is mutual.

So on the rare occasions we visit, we have to be careful what we talk about. It’s like constantly walking on eggshells. Worse, we will never (in this life, anyway) ever be able to connect on a deep level because all of our conversations must remain superficial.

We are not part of each other’s tribe.

Then there’s my mom, bless her heart (those of you from the South know what that means 😉 ). I love my mom, and appreciate everything she’s done for me. But it frustrates the hell out of me that she still has her head in the sand about health and politics. And how is a daughter going to convince her eighty-year-old mother to change?

At least she likes to talk non-stop about inane things, so if I don’t get myself into a dither about the “sheeple” comments that she makes, I can mostly just nod and ask an occasional question and have a pleasant, albeit boring, time.

However, on this last trip she also said a couple of things that insinuated that our choice to raise B in the middle of nowhere was not the best for him.

So here’s the thing: why would I want to keep on visiting people who disapprove of my lifestyle?

What met me when we got home

I think the weeds doubled in both size and quantity while we were gone. I had three times as much laundry as usual for the next couple of days. It was hot and humid. The air does not smell as fresh as Minnesota air – and will be even worse the next day that chemtrails appear over our mountain.

And, of course, the Southern allergens immediately began taking their toll again. [I forgot to mention that my allergy symptoms (sneezing, snot and gunk in throat) that had disappeared by the middle of our visit up north.]

No more running water or flush toilets. Our tile floor needed to be swept and washed.

BUT…

I have my routine back. B has his video game back. I have my five acres – along with all the beauty, peace, and work that it entails – back.

J is done driving long distances for a while (he’s okay with sitting, but not driving). I can get up and move whenever I want (which, of course, is more often than not).

I can be a health-nut, unschooling, Libertarian mom with no one to look down on me for my choices.

Listen, if you live out of a camper van or R.V. by choice, or believe that is your ultimate dream lifestyle, by all means, go for it and be happy. But I like having a single spot to call my home. A place where I have dominion, where I sleep the best, where I feel secure.

And there’s no place like it.

PS – After finishing this post, I thought of four more reasons I don’t like to travel. Click here to read about them (or, if you’re reading this on June 12, 2017, wait two more days for it to get published).

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