You open up a window on your computer screen. A listing of airline prices stares not so friendly back at you. It’s actually more of an evil eye these days. You hesitate and close out the screen. A few days later, you come back to this same destination. You fill out the information, give the airline your whole life story, and circle the “Purchase” button with your mouse. Then an uncontrollable disease infects you. You hesitate about buying that ticket. You hesitate to move, not just the mouse, but yourself to somewhere else.
I’m not talking about hesitating because of prices or hesitating because the connection to Budapest is lousy. So what do I have to hesitate about? I am now just under 2 months away from taking off for a summer in Europe. Many other writers I read seem to be leaving within days, leaving their jobs, leaving their familiar lives to go around the world. Something must be in the air. I see some hesitation in them, but not of the bad kind. They are just facing something so brave, so inconceivable to many. Hesitation is only human.
However, I am not leaving a job to go travel around this summer. I don’t have to pack up my home. My car won’t be sold, or so I hope, little brother. I’ll be back, at the risk of sounding like the Terminator. I’m only going away for 3 months. I’ll come back for a few months and then leave again for somewhere else. So what is wrong with me and my travel hesitation?
Travelers tend to mask this hesitation. They cover it up and file it away, pretending it’s not there. They are supposed to be thrilled to go travel. They are supposed to be excited about buying gear for a trip or the task we all complain about yet secretly love, packing. The lines of being a person that likes to travel are drawn ever so darkly and sharply. Step outside them and you just may have a backpack thrown your way. (Ducking as I type)
I guess I should stop throwing out “you’s”. This is just how it seems for me. I’m not supposed to be hesitating to travel but I do. It isn’t money. It isn’t that my connection is lousy, although it does include a stop in Omaha so maybe it is (Sorry Nebraskans). Travel hesitation may just be another word for nerves or uncertainty. Sure, I think about what I leave behind by taking off for so long. If you had a black schnauzer like I do at home, would you want to leave? Then there are some concerns that I will be lonely. I have already written about my battles with the solo travel loneliness monster. He’s at bay for now.
I do think many hesitate because of money. I also believe others hesitate due to friends and family they will miss. We no doubt hesitate because of change, reluctant but willing all at the same time. Most of all, I think we hesitate, to keep travel interesting. Travel might wind up to be a big snooze if we didn’t anticipate it with a little nervousness, worry, uncertainty, and of course, hesitation. Part of that worry is what makes those destinations so worthwhile. Once you get there, your hesitation is gone, left behind and forgotten on the airplane seat pocket where most travel items go to die. Your new home is the road and not something so comfortable. Your life is instantly different. Then that travel magic steps in. You aren’t uncertain. You don’t doubt. You stop hesitating about your destination because you are experiencing it.
Most solve this hesitation by just frequenting the same places every year for vacation, those that head to Disneyland every June or Vegas every weekend. They get in a pattern of vacationing in the same spot every year. Why? So they don’t have to deal with travel hesitation. The place is familiar. Nothing is a mystery. What they forget is simple. They aren’t traveling anymore. Travel is supposed to be this unknown.
Well, I’ve blown my cover. I hesitate about travel and I love to travel, two ideas that shouldn’t be in the same sentence by travel’s standards. Have you ever noticed how hesitation and destination sound so similar? It might be that travel and mystery go hand in hand, that not knowing what waits at our destination forces us to practice some hesitation. I’ll just be on my way in 2 months, keeping my hesitation around to make the destination that much more worthwhile.
Do you ever hesitate about travel? If you’re afraid to show your face, feel free to take on a disguised name like John Doe in the comment box.