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.