Unless vacations involve work, they’re something I generally dread.
Studies and experts extol the virtues of taking a break because they supposedly mitigate burnout and make you more productive.
But I’m not boxed in a cubicle 8 hours a day doing something I hate.
Vacations to me involve going to the gym after doing something else I love to do at home.
I’m away from cameras, computers and cellphones, but now I’m surrounded by weights, gym noise and other stuff I find equally fulfilling in a different way — and it doesn’t cost me a dime of inconvenience.
I always come back energized, and my therapist tells me this helps cut back on pharmaceutical bills.
My workouts are followed by a healthy lunch at the gym that takes 5 minutes to prepare and won’t kill me in under a week, unlike most restaurants.
I drive home, take a 30 minute nap and I’m back in the saddle. What’s not to love?
My single friends love to travel because they’re addicted to fantasy. They also don’t have to make arrangements for other people or pets because there aren’t any.
I might also add that they love to drink in spite of being health nuts.
There are exceptions.
Rock climbers have to leave Houston.
If I have an opening or a book signing in another city, I know it will offset the pain in the ass of disturbing my routine.
If, however, someone suggests going to the Bahamas or Cabo for the weekend, I don’t get it.
Why would I want to do that?
Again, if I were single and living in an empty apartment, I might.
No worries. Get an airline ticket using miles, land on a beach and start drinking.
When I got back, I’d stare into an empty space that reminded me of why I spent so many years of my life on the couch, and would immediately start fantasizing about my next weekender.
My entire career was spent pretty much in the air.
I traveled constantly.
Many times I caught myself asking flight attendants which city I was landing in, and occasionally, which country.
Soon, everything started looking alike. One city had modern architecture, another a blend, and still others just plain grass huts.
After a while, it didn’t matter. I just wanted to be home.
Perhaps I’m jaded. No, I am jaded, and I’m okay with that.
I remember reading all those online ads written by single women who inevitably stated a preference for endless travel.
Of course they did. They hated their lives. They wanted fantasy, romance, excitement enough to shock them out of the nightmare they faced every day they opened their eyes to another faded litany of dreams.
For me, travel is kind of like this:
1] Book 2.5 tickets to California [we have to bring my girlfriend’s Pomeranian because she can’t sleep without her].
2] I have to hire a house sitter to check in on our two cats and French Bulldog who gets depressed when he’s not entertained.
3] Go through airport security with a Pomeranian that doesn’t take kindly to strangers with wands.
4] Hope the flight isn’t delayed because the Pomeranian is on a pee schedule.
5] Get to the destination, look for luggage, hope to find luggage, get in a car that takes us through traffic to a hotel.
6] Arrive at hotel and hope the suite we booked is ready.
7] Go to said suite and discover there is no edible food. So we call room service, which takes 30 minutes and charges $100 for some fruit and an assortment of cheeses.
Then we go to dinner across town — exhausted — but not before waiting 10 minutes for an elevator during dinner hours, paying valets just to open a cab door, and trying to communicate with a cab driver in English.
I could go on and on with this, but you get my point.
Back at the farm, we could be waking up from a nap before jumping in the pool, playing with the dogs, having a clean, healthy meal over wine before dabbling in work – or engaging in extracurricular play – before immersing ourselves in a Jacuzzi in preparation for an hour or so of Criminal Minds on our Macbooks or tablets.
People are so funny.
They go someplace for a weekend and the first thing they do is post selfies of themselves on a beach with a margarita in their hands, surrounded by “friends.”
Most will never tell you they contracted food poisoning, sat in airports for 5 additional hours, or fell on the floor when they looked at their hotel bills.
They want you to think it was all a wonderful, wonderful experience they had and you didn’t.
No wonder so many of them look beat to shit.
With this as a backdrop, I’m going to be completely honest with you about something:
If I had the funds for a full-time house manager, a private jet, and unlimited resources to spend without the slightest concern, I would pro0bably travel more than a couple times a year.
But not many more.
No wonder my brief stint with online dating was a dismal failure.