The Reluctant Traveler

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Today, on what should be our National Day of Travel, I am going to reveal another of my closely-held, SpongeBob-type secrets: Secretly, I’m not much of a traveler.

It’s true. This is one of several things, like cooking and cheese, that everyone is supposed to embrace, and I just don’t. I have done some traveling, domestically, and I’ve enjoyed the places I’ve been to — but I have never cared for the actual getting-there.

I have a very vague recollection from early childhood of a family drive somewhere and me throwing up. Thereafter, I was placed in the front seat and I was assured over and over that I would outgrow my motion sickness. And you know what? Everyone was wrong.

[Sidebar: Today I am suffering from a severe case of Feline Paralysis. No matter where I am, Na Ki’o wants to be on me, and it is hampering my typing mightily. This entry may or may not get filed in its entirety.]

Nowadays, riding in the backseat of a car to Almont is enough to make me not want breakfast (which was the point of riding to Almont). Riding in the front seat to Montrose can be stomach-churning. And the last time I got on a plane, to go to Wisconsin, I cut the trip short after getting only as far as Denver.

As I said, once I get somewhere, I generally have a good time, but for me, the “there” just doesn’t outweigh the “going” and “coming.”

As an example, let’s take a trip made probably two decades ago. The plan was to leave from Colorado Springs, fly to Las Vegas to meet a friend who was doing work there, then drive from there to his home in Los Angeles.

Instead, I drove through the worst blizzard of my life (this was in October) to get to Pueblo West, where my parents were, worried all the way about Terri, who was driving through the same storm toward them from Denver. Rather than flying out from Colorado Springs the next day, I sat in their house (Terri and I both made it safely, but five people died in that storm) and watched snow howl sideways across the windows. The next day we shoveled a couple of feet of snow off their driveway, and by the time I was able to get a flight, my friend Van had left Las Vegas, so I had to change my ticket to Burbank.

Back then, Van was doing special-effects work, so I went with him to some interesting construction-type shops, and I got the behind-the-scenes tour at Universal Studios, where his wife had put together the Waterworld show.

Here’s a travel tip from a veteran: go to theme parks in the fall — the weather (in California, if not Colorado) was perfect, and the wait for the Jurassic Park ride (recently decommissioned, I understand) was five minutes rather than the usual two hours. Two hours of your day at the park spent in one line — what is the point? But a wait of five minutes? We did the ride twice in succession.

Then came the trip back home. I took Dramamine, and I think I took the less-drowsy formula. I slept on the plane, barely waking up as we landed in Denver. Then there was a very bumpy ride along the Front Range to Colorado Springs, where my mom and John had driven my car to meet me. They suggested I return to Pueblo with them, but I wanted to get home. Which was a mistake. I did pull over for a short nap, and I stopped for some food, but from Monarch Pass in to Gunnison I kept falling asleep at the wheel, only to be awakened by the good Samaritan behind me who kept flashing his or her brights every time I drifted into the other lane. I got home safely, and without harming anyone else, fell asleep on the couch and didn’t wake up until sometime the next day.

Did I mention I did this on the day the clocks got turned back? I had no idea what time it was for about two days after that trip, since I switched time zones and had to fall back to standard time. And, for all the bad effects of the Dramamine, which took three days to fully get out of my system, it did not help with the airsickness.

I have tried ginger. I have tried little pressure bands on my wrists. I have tried peppermint and I’ve tried music therapy. I just can’t do airplanes anymore. I can go by car, as long as I am behind the wheel for the curvy parts, but then time becomes a factor. And sometimes work follows me even on a short trip. I spent one day in Denver mostly on the phone with work, trying to solve innumerable problems that cropped up that day. I was far more exhausted trying to do that from a distance than if I’d been in the shop, where it still would have been stressful.

And then I was going to expound on the Animal Factor, but let’s just leave that at: Na Ki’o has once again returned to my lap, and now Ozzyx is on my feet, and I can’t even get a blog entry finished today, let alone contemplate a trip around the world.

Here’s a technology update to go with yesterday’s post: I have now successfully attached an Internet image to my post (probably illegally, without photo credit even). And I have discovered that the non-legitimate news feeds that are following and liking my posts are only doing so for the ones in the “House” category. I don’t know if it’s the word or just that I have a category. And here’s a picture of a picture of Terri and me, enjoying my fall vacation in California at my parents’ house in Pueblo West.

Oct snow

 

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