Gratefully Ungrateful

I've had the great fortune of traveling, often and far, over the past twenty years. When I return from a trip, people ask how it was. My mind goes a bit blank and all I can come up with is, "It was great." Then I say the great things about the trip. Then, because I feel compelled to be honest, I say some of the not so great things. Then I quickly change the subject and ask about what happened while I was gone, "What did I miss?" I have a love/hate thing when it comes to travel.

There's the love part:  sharing the experience with Bill, seeing new places and the different ways people live and eat and work and play, getting away from the regular of life, the food and drink and scenery,  and the people -- well that's the best -- we've met some pretty wonderful people and also shared travels with family and friends.

Then there's the hate part which, curiously, comes from the same list. Getting away from my regular life is hard. I like my regular life and my regular home and my regular day-to-day people. I like my bed and food and the ease of having my stuff all handy. For me, travel is a challenge: flying, making connections, packing and unpacking and packing and unpacking, the tension of negotiating it all with Bill and whoever else is along with us. Invariably Bill and I  have one big blow up: tired, cranky, hungry.

I've just looked at the two paragraphs above and realized, the second is longer than the first. I'm sounding like a whiner, "Oh...poor me, I have to take a trip to a beautiful or interesting place."  I don't mean that. I love travel. I wouldn't give up one trip I've taken. And when I remember a trip, I remember it all. And I smile every time because the good memories just get better and the bad ones, they get funny.

Jackie Shannon Hollis