I really do NOT like to travel.
It used to be fun, but that is no longer true for me. The elegance, the service, and the striking differences between countries all seem to have fallen out of favor. Being treated with care and respect as a valued guest only happens in very special places. At other times, we are treated like cattle. Pushed into holding cells, ticketed, frisked, and examined by Xray, our irises checked against impersonation; the whole experience has become nearly unbearable for me.
The world situation is so uncertain that I am surprised that so many people are willing to leave the country. It seems awfully risky to me, especially to go to what we used to call “third-world countries”. Does that term still exist? But I guess that those who love it really cannot be stopped by little things like wars and terrorists.
I am the stay-at-home type. When I lived in Europe at an early age, all that I wanted was to go home. Lucky for me, I traveled a great deal when I was young. At 19, a trip around the world instead of a second semester at college finished off much of my desire to learn about countries like Japan, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Thailand, and India. China mainland was not open to tourists (or anyone) in 1961, but we went to Hong Kong.
Later, with my husband, we often traveled to Britain and other countries in Europe. We enjoyed seeing friends for fun and to go fox hunting in England or stag hunting in France. At one point, my husband and I went to Africa for three weeks with a small group. We were on safari for much of that time in Kenya and Tanzania. I saw enough for a lifetime. I am so grateful for the travel I did earlier in my life because I don’t have to do it again!!!
One of my daughters and her husband recently returned from a trip to Egypt. I was worried about them because they were in a country literally next door to both Israel and Gaza when the terrorist attacks happened on October 7th, 2023. I was horrified by the events but even more by the fact that my daughter and her husband were nearby. She, on the other hand, was calm. Lilla texted me when she knew the situation scared me, “Oh, that is all far away from where I am,” But it wasn’t. And she was still there when she texted me.
Her stories about Egypt today and the artifacts, monuments, and history fascinated me. So much has been discovered in the more than half a century since I was in that country in 1961. I wish I could go again, but I won’t. The threat of violence and the prevalence of terrorists make me happy to stay home. Isn’t it lucky that we can visit so much of what has been uncovered and preserved by watching videos of various countries’ historical sites?
Now, at 81, I just don’t feel like putting myself through the hassle of being treated like an enemy of the state and put through lines showing my papers or having my eyeball scanned. I hate it. It is dehumanizing and also unnecessary. They never catch the bad guys. All they do is make people compliant with government surveillance and a superabundance of rules and regulations.
I will not comply with all that foolishness in other areas of my life. So why put myself in a position where I MUST do so?
Some of my relatives love to travel, though. And I am sure the travel business will prosper.
I guess covid helped in some ways because it made it impossible to get people to come out of their houses. There was a pent-up demand for adventure. Those who were chomping at the bit to travel once more are trying to make up for lost time. My travel agent from Five Senses Journeys tells me she cannot keep up with the many requests for planning exotic trips all over the world.
I am so grateful to be able to stay at home by my fire, cuddling my dogs, and entertaining my family and friends.
‘Bonne Chance’ to all those who are embarking on trips over the holidays.
Copyright©. 2023 Bonnie B. Matheson