Random thought for a Sunday

I hate travel.

Yeah, I know that makes me some sort of knuckle dragging barnacle, but it’s true.  To me, travel is just shitting on a stranger’s toilet.

I’ll go some place for a day or maybe overnight, but that’s it.  I’ll take a day trip to Birmingham or Nashville.  When I lived in the Mid West, I’d go to the Wisconsin Dells or Holiday World in Indiana.  When I lived in Florida, I’d do an overnight in the Keys or to Universal Studios in Orlando.

One night in a hotel is about my limit and I hate flying.

Ask me to leave the country and you might as well ask me to remove a foot with a hacksaw.

I had a coworker who went to Hawaii for a week.  I asked her how much that cost.  It was a “moderate trip” and only cost $7,000.

I almost had a stroke.  That’s a year’s worth of daycare or nine months of truck payments.  Fuck that noise.  I have the Travel Channel and a HD TV, I’m good.

With my weekend trips, everything was discounted.

My wife worked at a summer camp in the Dells, so we got 50% off everything (she was a teacher so this what she did over the summer).   My dad had a friend and client who had a houseboat in the Keys so would let us stay there for free.  With Florida ID, is it possible to get discounted park passes during the off season, and my mom would get us discounts through the vendors of the restaurant supply through the deli.

If I have to pay full price for a vacation, it’s not happening.  Even then, I’ve never come away from a vacation in not had some buyer’s remorse about it.

I’ve never gone on a trip longer than a day and said “I’m glad I spent the money on that, it was worth every penny.”

I was talking with another coworker on Friday about fishing.  I’m not much into it but he is, and I knew about some good places in South Florida.  A third coworker (not the one who went to Hawaii) said “why not go do Belize?”

He then explained weekend trips to Belize for fishing and snorkeling.

What the fuck?  Belize only ranks No. 3 for highest murder rates.  So yeah, fly to a jungle shit hole and risk robbery, kidnapping, and murder for some fishing.

Then he started talking about his other worldly travels.  The year he spent working as a dock hand in Australia.

Now, I don’t like this guy, for various reasons, but his Australia story really sunk it for me.  He did it AFTER he finished college.

I made up my mind long ago that if I ever interviewed a candidate for a job and there was a blank space on a resume and I asked why and the answer was some variant of “well, after college I decided to travel and see…”

The interview is over.  Done.  Get out.

You just finished school. All your knowledge is fresh in your brain.  What do you do? Take a year long vacation because your “young and have the rest of your life to work.”

Yeah… bullshit.  All that says to me is that you are not serious and kind of selfish.

Now, before you call me a hypocrite for being all over the country, I’ve worked or gone to school all over.  I have nothing against moving and being productive in various places.

You want to spend a year in Australia, the mines and railroads are always looking for engineers to work in the Outback.  There are all sorts of contract jobs you can take in rural parts of the world for a year.  Go mine Uranium in Yellowknife.

It is that vacation travel irks me and extended idol travel infuriates me.

Maybe everything is wrong with me, but by the last night of a three day weekend, I’m saying to myself “I have to get back to work.”

Travel is diametrically opposed to that and I hate it.

 

14 Replies to “Random thought for a Sunday”

  1. To each their own. Granted if I travel for vacation there will be meaning. Like my bi-yearly trip to the Philippines to see family and friends. A side trip to see sites in Japan. A weekend going down the Blue Ridge parkway. Etc.

    1. I do not consider trips to see family to be included in travel. We’d go to Miami and Indiana once a year to see my family and my wife’s family respectively. That’s not the same as going to Belize or Hawaii.

  2. Travel is not for everyone.

    Personally, have enjoyed quite a few trips myself, but there were plenty where the entire trip was walking and eating. Like I have to fly to Paris to eat overpriced food that tastes like crap? Seriously, I can buy crappy food right here at home. (And, yes, I had several absolutely vile meals in Paris. The best thing that I could say was that the wine was cheap, and the pastries were tasty.)

    On the other hand, went on numerous trips that I really enjoyed for a bunch of reasons. Some of them are not terribly good reasons, but they are my reasons.

    On the other hand, I work with a bunch of folks that think going to Hawaii every year is the greatest thing in the world, and when they get back… all they talk about is what they ate. Seriously. They flew to Hawaii to get dinner. And, worse yet, they act like this is some kind of accomplishment that only an elite few can attain. (HINT: Millions of people travel to Hawaii every year. Going there is nothing special.)

    I fully support your decision to avoid travel.

    And, I completely, totally, 1000% support your position on “taking a year off” after college to see the world. If you are really of the belief that you can learn more from travel than from college, you are not going to work for me. Ever.

    1. Given the current state of college provided one pays their own way I would take most any person who managed to fund a year of travel over a college grad who never had to pay for anything.

  3. “I’ve never come away from a vacation in not had some buyer’s remorse about it.” The opposite it true for me. I got interested in scuba diving in high school and later got my wife interested. Most of our trips were to new spots to dive. We’ve traveled to several spots in the Caribbean, Hawaii, and even a trip to the middle east to dive in the Red Sea. Each and every one was money well spent. Of course getting away from the ice and snow for a week on a tropical beach also helped.

  4. Best use of three weeks accrued vacation time I ever made was to scatter it throughout a summer giving myself a three (or four) day weekend every-other-week.

    Come to think of it, I’m not sure I’ve ever really had a vacation I fully ‘enjoyed’. Always felt like I was slacking off and should be doing something productive.

  5. Growing up, we never had “vacation” — as you did, travel was just to visit family. I’ve been lucky to get to go to many places, here and abroad, as part of my job. So, now I’m wondering if, supposing I never had to travel for work, would I have the wanderlust? I mean, I’ve seen a lot of cool places…

  6. I used to love to travel overseas, a few weeks max or I would get homesick.

    Now, if the destination is not within a reasonable driving distance, I stay home. Traveling by plane sucks these days, thanks to the TSA and the constant airline’s shenanigans.

    1. The worse part I think is when you hit that magical time and breeze through the TSA line, only for the airline to make up for your lack of hassle.

      Granted I’ve received stellar service from non-US carriers, and more or less figured when to go to the airport. Would rather spend four hours reading a book for my flight but not hitting the time period where EVERYONE shows up.

  7. I just got home from my family’s first vacation together. We rented a ‘cabin’ for 4 days at a state park out on Hood Canal (WA) to introduce my 2 & 5 year old boys to camping. With a water spiget on our lot and a well maintained bathroom about 50 yards away, we weren’t exactly ‘roughing it’, but it was a great experience for them. All told, we drove less than 300 miles and spent less than $300. Time and money well spent 🙂

  8. Wow , Im not alone in the world…..most of my past vacations were not fun due to what I was married to.
    I dont fly either. Couple years ago my new wife and I took off to Georgia( We live in Maine) .
    Drove there. We had about 2grand cash. Had an absolute blast and came home with about 800 left..
    Doing it again this year.

  9. I’m not much for a traveler myself, my idea of relaxing is not usually traveling to a strange place to do it.

    Also didn’t you just say he worked as a dockhand there?

    1. Part time with a newly minted degree in engineering. Pulling a few hours work for beer money while letting everything you just learned about mechanical systems just sort of drift our of your ears is not really being productive.

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