Last year my wife and I took a two-week trip to Las Vegas, Utah and Arizona. Our trip was part vacation, to see the sights of Zion and Bryce, and part family, to see some relatives and a new baby. And it occurred to me this morning that travel is a lot like sex. (Don’t worry, I’ll keep it PG rated.)
First, there’s deciding whether or not you’re going to do it. We were invited out when the baby was born, last January, and we did think about going then. But traveling in January? After all the festivities of Christmas? It seemed too much. We didn’t want to say no. We wanted to do it, eventually. So we teased them — maybe we’ll do it. Well, not now, maybe later. And then we finally did commit, and did the deed in June.
My wife and I made sure we were traveling together. I mean, you can travel alone, just like you can have sex by yourself. But it’s much more fun with another person. (I won’t get into the group thing. My wife and I have no interest in traveling with a group. Like taking a cruise with a group of friends? Not for us!)
Actually, sometimes my wife and I will travel separately. She will make a four-day trip to Charleston to see her grandson. I typically take a little extra vacation by myself in Florida in the winter. But like I said, these are quickies. Whenever we go anywhere for any length of time, we go together.
Then there’s the anticipation. Half the fun of travel is making the plans, deciding on the itinerary, making hotel reservations, scheduling the airplane. Thinking about what you’ll be doing, imagining how it will be.
There’s also the anxiety. You have to pick the right clothes. Go to the right restaurant. Will we be able to perform? I worried about how much hiking I’d have to do at Zion and Bryce, given my bad knee. My wife worries about the airport and the hotels and all the connections we have to make. As it turned out, we were able to do the required minimums. I walked the flat paths and the walkways around the canyon. I didn’t even try to scale the heights of Angel Mountain, or plumb the depths of Bryce’s hoodoos. And my wife was happy that the airport, the car rental and the hotel reservations all worked out just fine.
Afterwards, of course, you wonder if the reality of vacation measured up to the promise. When you’re actually there, you’re probably not thinking about that. But afterwards, you look back on the vacation with fondness, remembering the good parts and not dwelling on the occasional hardships or uncomfortable moments.
Of course, there are always certain vacations when you just say — well, I enjoyed it, but I’m not going back there again. Or you might even say … well, that was a mistake.
Travel is an adventure. Sometimes we do it just for fun. Or when we travel with someone, it often brings our relationship closer together. Sometimes there’s a purpose. The point of our trip to Arizona was to see the new baby. Sometimes we forget that travel and babies go together.
And then, the very next day after I got home, I began to wonder. Okay, that’s done. I wonder where we should go next? Home life can be so boring. We want the next adventure. You see, travel can be addictive too!