Monday, July 19, 2010

Vacations Are Hard Work

You would think someone who works in the travel industry, and who by definition, travels for a living, wouldn't mind traveling so much.  However, if you've been following this blog for any period of time, you probably won't be surprised to learn that I hate to travel.  Travel is at the top of my list of least favorite things, along with creamy white condiments, roofs, and ladders.

And while this may seem contradictory, let me state with absolute clarity that I love my job.  The life of an airline pilot is far and away the most enjoyable life I've ever led.  Not that it always was, but where I work, and the company I work for, have played a huge part in creating the first job I don't hate.

Having said that, I still don't like to travel.  Let me be clear.  Working is not traveling.  It is work.  There is no stress involved.  I don't make hotel reservations, or rent cars, or wait in long lines for security, boarding, etc...  I go to work and I come home.  The minute I step off that plane, I leave it all there.

Vacations, however, are a different story.  I stress, like there's no tomorrow, over the most minute detail.  Especially if it is a flying vacation.  I would much rather drive anywhere.  Or take a boat.  I bring this up because I am facing my first actually scheduled vacation in more than three years next month.  Due to the uniqueness of airline crew scheduling, I've managed to stretch my one week into 15 days off (I'm shooting for 16.)  I have no plans.  I considered making plans, then Prissy Bower and his wife announced they were coming to Florida that very week.  Saved me the hassle of travel.  Perhaps Prissy and I will take a day at Universal Orlando.

The bigger problem, I'm afraid, is this week.  Once again, due to the uniqueness of airline crew scheduling, today is day one of seven in a row I have off.  Mrs. Sarcasm chose this week to visit her family in Michigan and I feel an obligation to join them.  I would very much like to see my sister, who lives in a lovely home on a lake.  But traveling to places where you know people always lends itself to that undesirable, guilt-stricken need to make an effort to see everyone.  And there goes any chance for relaxation.

I'm quite relaxed at home, in fact.  While Mrs. Sarcasm has been gone since Saturday, I told her I couldn't possibly get there before Wednesday.  I'm hoping for some natural disaster before then.  Otherwise I have to reserve a car; prepare family felines for a few days on their own; travel standby, or by a ticket and then feel guilty about spending money when I can fly for free.  And there are people coming over.  Have to be available for family gatherings.  See old friends.  Drive past the house where I grew up.  Visit the family barber........................

Ugh!  I wish I had to work.


Travener said...

I hate traveling. I especially hate traveling with the spousal unit. I'd rather have my teeth pulled.

Matt said...

I've had teeth pulled. Wasn't that bad.

Amy Saia said...

I like traveling, but that's because I am so homebound all the time. I really really really wish I could go to Colorado soon because I miss it like crazy.

You should just tell yourself that this is a good experience for writing, for your blog, etc. Then it will turn itself into a work project. Or . . . you can just drink a lot.

KLM said...

So, really, it's less about the traveling than the departing and arriving at said destination, no?

You think you've got it tough, imagine what bigamists have to deal with? Two wives, two families, even more relatives to see. That'll put your problems in perspective.

You're welcome for this reality check.

Matt said...

Wow! Thanks KLM. I hadn't thought of it that way. That makes Colorado City seem all the better.

Bossy Betty said...

I get it. I totally get it. Now go travel like a man and have a great time! You MUST have a great time, damn it. NOW!!!

Julie Dao said...

I know what you mean - I don't like traveling to see people, but I do enjoy traveling. I'd love to go on a solo trip and just do exactly what I want to do instead of worrying about everyone else.