≡ Menu

Four More Reasons I Don’t Like To Travel

In this post that I published a couple of days ago about coming home after a long road trip, I gave six reasons that the romanticism of travel is gone for me. Not ten minutes after shutting off my NEO2 and putting it away, I thought of three more reasons that I don’t like to travel.

A little while later, I thought of yet one more.

I considered adding those four reasons to the other post, but it was already quite long. So I decided to write a “part two” instead. Here we go.

Reason number seven I don’t like to travel

Unless you’re into hitchhiking with a backpack and crashing at hostels or with friends, traveling is expensive. And I’m not talking about driving four hours away and paying $12 per night to sleep in a tent at a state park. I’m talking about serious travel.

A few years ago, out of curiosity, I looked up how much it would cost to “go Greyhound” from Dallas to Minneapolis instead of flying. I was shocked.

When you’re talking round-trip, it costs almost as much to take a bus (or more, depending) as it would be to buy a plane ticket for the same distance!

If you drive a car that gets decent gas mileage and camp in tents or your vehicle at night, you’ll spend less than half the money you would if you had bought a plane ticket to go the same distance. But it will still cost a good bit of money. Decide to sleep in motels, and you’ll get close to, if not more than, half the cost of taking a plane.

What if you choose higher-end places to sleep that cost $80 and up per night? Depending on how far you travel and how many hotels you stay in, you could actually end up spending more money on a road trip than you would if you had flown!

Flying and renting cars and/or paying for shuttles or cabs is generally the most expensive way to travel, and unless you are planning to stay with family or friends you of course incur the additional expense of hotels.

Most people who travel also end up eating out for many, if not all, of their meals. We don’t, but we do allow ourselves splurges that about double the cost of the way we eat at home.

In case you’re new to this blog, let me let you in on a not-so-secret secret: I am a certified cheapskate.

I hate spending money. And no, “hate” is not too strong a word.

Travel requires spending money. Therefore, I don’t like to travel.

Reason number eight I don’t like to travel

Since doing some research on the topic in college for a term paper, I have been hypersensitive about the pollution issue. Airplanes pollute the air. Cars pollute the air. Trains that run on electricity are, unfortunately, not an option where I live – but even then, in the U.S.A. pollution is produced in order to generate the electricity for those kinds of trains.

Ditto for electric cars, by the way. In case you’ve been feeling smug about your hybrid.

So I don’t like to travel unless it’s absolutely necessary because I feel guilty every time I do. This is why I’m working so hard to not have to go to a Whole Foods every month.

Reason number nine I don’t like to travel

You never know what you’re going to get with a lower-end motel. And for some people, that’s all they can afford.

What about people who can afford Quality Inns, Mariotts, Holiday Inns, Comfort Inns, or even the uber-expensive exclusive hotels in the downtowns of large cities?

No matter how clean and spacious the room is, no matter how kind and friendly the staff, you can never really know (without doing some serious and inconvenient digging) whether there are toxins in the laundry detergent they use on the sheets, or if they just cleaned the carpet with a toxic detergent, and so on.

You are ultimately never in control of a motel or hotel room environment.

Reason number ten I don’t like to travel

In the first blog post on this topic, I had a reason that was specifically tied to the destination; that is, my family. This reason is another specific one that won’t pertain to a lot of people.

I don’t like leaving our homestead in the care of other people.

M is a nice guy. He’s our neighbor whose cat we’ve been feeding off and on when M has been down in Dallas. When I asked if, in exchange, he’d be willing to look after our rats and do a bit of watering while we were gone, he seemed more than willing.

He did a fine job. I have no complaints there. But I didn’t ask him to weed. I didn’t ask him to water the trees (which turned out not to be necessary because we had an unexpected storm a few days before we came home). I didn’t ask him to do two or three other chores that weren’t absolutely necessary, but that would have kept things under control so that we wouldn’t be overwhelmed with work when we got back.

I didn’t ask him, because I try not to take advantage of people. And, like I said, those other chores weren’t strictly necessary.

But because they didn’t get done for nine days, we had more homestead work than ever to do once we got home. And the broccoli and carrots were getting a bit yellow in places because I told M to water them just enough to keep them from dying.

If I still lived in a plant-free apartment, I wouldn’t care about leaving it for weeks, or even months, at a time. But now that we have five acres, a large garden, and a lot of fruit trees…I totally care. I don’t want to leave it.

It reminds me a bit of, years ago, having to pick up the pieces in my classroom after a substitute took over the day before (which is why I hardly took any sick days!).

When I was in my twenties, I didn’t have half the reasons I do now to dislike travel. Spending money, pollution, and sitting on my rear were probably the only ones.

But I’m older now. And settled. And, despite the humidity, despite the inconvenience of our location, despite my occasional fantasies of moving to a large town that would be close to a big city with a good health food store, this little piece of southeast Oklahoma is home to me.

The piece that my soulmate and I have agreed to retire on. And here I’d rather stay than visit any supposedly exotic or beautiful place in the world.

{ 0 comments }

*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).

{ 0 comments }

Yes, I Did It. I Wasted Food.

I wasn’t planning on decluttering this blue cooler:

I bought it several years ago when I was into making homemade yogurt, and needed something in which to incubate the warm liquid.

When we decided to use coolers instead of a refrigerator at our new place, this one was really too small to be much good. So I began using it to store certain dry good items.

Items like the ingredients for a homemade gluten-free flour mix.

These represented one of the biggest things that disgusts me about myself: my inability to stand up for my philosophy of healthy eating to other people. Long story short, for a while, B would play with the granddaughter of the folks who own the goat dairy where we used to buy milk. Well, this playtime would happen after she got home from school, when she would be hungry. So of course she had to eat store-bought cookies and nasty snack chips.

But we couldn’t leave B out of it. Instead of insisting that they could snack on fruit and milk – or insisting that B could snack on the healthy food while the girl slowly killed herself with the junk (yeah, I know, I’m one of those Evil Extremist Health Nut Moms) – I caved and said I would start baking gluten-free, sugar-free cookies for them to snack on.

It’s been a LO-ONG time since the two of them played together (a clash of personalities, and B holds grudges like a girl), and I’ve since discovered that flour products send B’s Candida supply into overdrive. But I still had those stupid bags of  flour.

Okay, so TVP isn’t flour. It was an attempt to get more protein into Mr. Picky’s diet a few months ago, but he didn’t like it, even mixed with grain and ketchup. When I tried it, it bloated me – not surprising, since it’s made out of soybeans, which cause me bloating.

I also had a bag of buckwheat, and another of sweet brown rice, and another with a tiny bit of white rice in the cooler. Foods that I can’t wait to get out of my family’s diet (see link above) – and foods that I don’t fix often (actually, the buckwheat is now only food for our pet rats).

I needed more room for the dehydrated bananas and dehydrated mangos that I’ve been using in smoothies.

The buckwheat and rice are now in one of the storage buckets under our bed, and the flour is now serving as compost.

Yes, Mother, I wasted food. If you can call it food. Which I don’t.

{ 0 comments }

In this post, I explained how I need to do some decluttering, and described how I made some space on a shelf in the Tuff Shed.

A few days ago, I continued what I will call my Slow Declutter. I got rid of…wait for it, wait for it; you might be astounded…

four Mother Earth News magazines!

Okay, so that doesn’t sound like much. And it wasn’t. But sometimes when you get rid of just a few items, it opens up organization and storage options that weren’t there before.

Check out the two tall bookcases in the living room.

Bookcase number one:

Bookcase number two:

Two things have been bugging me about them. First, all the picture books (see first photo) that B seems to have lost interest in. Will he ever want to look at them again? Of course, I would keep most of them in case of grandchildren, but in the meantime I would pack them up in a box.

Second, the mess of magazines. In the photo just above, check out the second to bottom shelf. Lots of back issues of Ranger Rick magazines slopping underneath and next to a science kit. Again, B hardly ever looks at the magazines anymore.

And the ugly pile is an eyesore, right in my face when I sit down to relax in my rocking chair. I wanted to make it go bye-bye.

But when I did this bit of decluttering, I actually wasn’t aiming to move the magazines. I began by going through the bottom shelf of this bookcase:

The first thing I did was to go through two notebooks, a folder, and the Mother Earth News magazines (the red you see on the right at the bottom), which supposedly held critical homesteading information I didn’t want to let go of.

I cleared out the folder – recycling almost everything in it; I hadn’t looked at its contents since before moving here – and then went through each magazine.

Out of all the articles – and there were eight or so that had been ripped out of other magazines and stuck inside one of these that I’d kept intact – there remained only one that I wanted to keep, the one about the makeshift ways of storing root vegetables outside in the winter.

After dumping the magazines into the recycle bin, I went through the DVDs and reorganized them so that the most frequently watched ones were in the front, and the rest were stacked in the back. Everything else stayed more or less the same, but between rearranging the DVDs and getting rid of the magazines, a large gap remained.

Just big enough to stow all of the Ranger Rick magazines!

Now, that shelf looks like this:

Here’s what the shelf that previously housed the magazines now looks like:

Neat, huh? One of the reasons I didn’t like the magazines there was that they were burying the long, brown box. This box contains a rock collection which nobody, but nobody was ever going to look at as long as they had to take the trouble of moving all the magazines out of the way first.

So if B suddenly gets a hankering to spruce up on a bit of geology, he’ll no longer have any excuse not to. 😉

Whatever happens in the realm of his education, I am happy that I can sit in the rocking chair now and not have to face a paper chaos.

{ 0 comments }

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)