Jessie: In New Hampshire where the rain is pelting down.

above-1839587_1920Are you an enthusiastic traveler? Or do you prefer to stay closer to home where things are familiar? Did you feel one way about travel in the past and now are of a different mind?

Until a few years ago I was not a cheerful tourist. I dreaded the flights, the packing and the feeling of never quite knowing where I was or how things were done in an unfamiliar locale. But I married a man who gives absolutely no thought to throwing a few things in a bag at midnight to be on a long haul flight to Asia the next morning. I truly wanted to be a breezy jetsetter like he is, but the fact was, I was not.

Eventually, I sat myself down for a chat about it and asked whatever bits of one’s brain send out the sorts of worried signals mine always broadcast about travel, what was the real problem. It turned out it was one of longstanding.

My family moved several times when I was a child and as I was an extremely shy kid I absolutely loathed the upheavals. New friends, new environments, new school cultures. The goodbyes. Wondering if you will ever make it back. All of it left me in knots. Travel, on a subconcious level at least, felt the same. Even the packing and lugging things about.

As soon as I uncovered the reason I was so worried every time the opportunity to buzz off across the globe came up I was able to chat with myself about all the ways travel was not the same as moving house. I convinced myself with ease that a passport, a credit card and an age of majority make all the difference.

So, this weekend I am flying off to Scotland to visit one of my children. We have a place to stay for five nights but the rest of the trip is up in the air. The only two things I know for sure are that I fly back out of London and that I am really looking forward to going.

Readers, do you love to travel? Where is your favorite place to go? If not, why not?

31 Thoughts

  1. I have traveled extensively, Jessie, and still have places I want to go (Australia and Italy come to mind…). My travel bug started when I went off for a year in southern Brazil when I was barely 17 and it hasn’t abated. I used to be fine with unstructured. When I lived in Japan with an American boyfriend some decades ago, for example, I took off on several solo train trips, found myself lodging when I got there, befriended locals of my age, and soaked up the experiences. Now I tend to like things a bit more settled, but I did love roaming around New Orleans by myself before Bouchercon started, learning my way around the French Quarter, and so on. I’m so pleased you had that chat with yourself and are off to Scotland!

  2. I’m so jealous!

    I never traveled until the last few years. As a farm kid, we had cows, chickens, and horses that kept us close to home. Then my mom became the caregiver for my grandparents, keeping us tied down. Trips were a big deal. Make that a big ORDEAL. It wasn’t until I had a book coming out that I delved into being a frequent flyer. Or at least more of one than I had been. Now I love to travel, although I wish I could be more unstructured about it. I’m too OCD for that.

    And after a few back-to-back trips, I’m ready to just STAY HOME for a while. Until the travel bug bites me again.

  3. I love the way you looked your fears in the eye and told them who was in charge.

    While we moved a lot when I was a child, our vacations were pretty much limited to the Jersey Shore. When I got to college I shamelessly badgered a friend to take me with her the next time she went to France (she’d been with her parents more than once so knew the ropes), and I never looked back. I challenged myself to travel on my own in a foreign country, and I’ve done it many times since. And you all know the outcome: now I own a house in Ireland.

    But I’ll freely admit I hate the getting there part–all the planning, the packing, the issues with airports and jetlag, etc. I want a transporter that would zip me there immediately. Or a personal assistant would would sort it out for me.

    Have a wonderful time in Scotland!

    1. I think the key to getting there with any sort of ease is to pack very, very lightly and to simply have no expectations other than that you will experience memorable things. Eventually, you will get somewhere and it will likely be interesting. I do love the idea of a travel assistant! And a cottage overseas!

  4. It often feels like “On The Road Again” is the theme song of my life and I like it that way! Have a wonderful adventure on your trip, Jessie!

  5. I love to travel: locally, nationally, internationally–you name it. Road trips? At the drop of a triptik. Which is, frankly, why I’ve met you all!

    Never invite me to visit, unless you want me to show up. Because I’m geocurious, and love hanging out with cool peeps, and I will find a way to your door. I’ve visited online friends in France, Canada and England, and all over the US. One dear friend who lives near Chicago who I met online in 1989 even had a room for just me for about fifteen years.

    The airlines have monkeyed with things way too much, though, in the last couple of decades, and they have sucked most of the joy out of plane travel. It would be way more fun if they gave back a few inches of leg and arm room.

  6. Jessie, I know where you’re coming from. I loathe travel for the same reasons you did, unless I have a personal interest in the destination, preferably a conference about something I’m deeply interested in (mysteries!) or an issue I’m deeply concerned about (Palestine.) The only exception is Ireland. I have only to step out of the plane in Dublin or Shannon, and I’m home. Sheila will understand.

    1. Heidi, Iove visiting those places that feel like home from the beginning. I am not sure what explains it but I always appreciate it when it happens!

  7. No, I am not. Travel is a hassle. I get stressed out about everything from packing to getting to and then through the airport, arriving at an unfamiliar destination. Then with my chronic insomnia, I had such a hard time sleeping away from home (and at home too) that I’m not really able to enjoy activities because I’m exhausted.

    As a control freak, travel has too many variables that I can’t comfortably navigate.

    1. Travel can be fraught with difficulties, and it isn’t always a great experience for everybody. Not being able to sleep would be truly terrible, especially while you’re traveling. I’m glad you’ve made room to travel to Malice because it was really a pleasure to meet you there!

  8. I moved a lot as a kid, too, and my parents didn’t have money for but a few, well-remembered big trips. I love to travel now. My favorite form of travel is to take an apartment in a foreign city for a couple of weeks, exploring both the touristy places and the local markets, restaurants and life. We haven’t traveled much the last four years, except hooking on days to things like Bouchercon, or hitting Niagara Falls (where I’d never been) on our way to see one of Bill’s photos on exhibit.

    I hope we can arrange our lives to remedy that soon.

  9. I’ve grown to enjoy travel more as an adult – it’s an adventure. I certainly enjoy the flights – uninterrupted reading time!!

  10. I used to love travelling by air. I attended the Photokina and Comp expos in Vegas for 15 years. As the seats and leg room and amenities got smaller and the prices soared I stopped flying and we kept our travel method to the car. We now travel up and down the East Coast with a different state and tourist area picked each year.

    1. I think you are in good company with your decision to travel by car rather than airplane. With all the things on the news it does give you pause. I was trying to figure out how to return from the UK via cruise ship but I just couldn’t make the timing work. Tt certainly would have beaten a cramped budget flight! Maybe next time!

  11. I absolutely love to travel. I would do a lot more of it if I had the time and money. I love all modes of travel except boats (except canoes). I don’t like floating above deep water. I don’t even mind the hassle with airlines. I just accept it as part of the experience, although it sure used to be a lot nicer.

    I love South America and have been there something over 25 times, mostly to Peru, but to other countries as well. Now my husband and I travel around this country by car a lot. And we seldom have lodgings scheduled unless we have a particular place we want to stay. And we deal with whatever hiccups come along. We recently went somewhere for a week with the goal of a lot of photography. The WX was not conducive to good pictures and the car battery died in the boonies. We had a great time anyway. We adapt well.

    (And don’t ask me to come visit unless you really mean it. I’ll show up, guaranteed!)

    1. 25 trips to South America! What a record! I agree that taking a philisophical view of hiccups is the only way to manage cheerfully!

  12. Love to travel, especially to the UK. Now you will have a wonderful time in Scotland and want to go back! I’m envious!! Have a ball~

  13. Jessie, I hope you have smooth travels to Scotland, a place that is definitely on my bucket list. I love that you’re doing the trip with one of your kids. You’ll make wonderful, special memories.
    I adore travel but the airlines have made the “getting there” such a hassle. Can you sleep on planes? I haven’t learned that trick yet.

    1. I am really looking forward to the time with my child! Luckily, I can sleep anywhere! I expect the flight to be easy. I have flown with the airline I am using before and was pleased with it last time so I have high hopes!

  14. I love how you sat yourself down for a chat 🙂 I enjoy travel for the most part. I have been dreaming about seeing all of the U.S. National Parks.
    Enjoy your trip !

  15. I’m a stick in the mud. On the other hand, that means I will eventually get to all the posts you all keep blogging and the books you (please) keep writing.

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