I hate traveling. I just hate it. Give me the choice to visit any destination versus just staying home, and I will choose staying home every time.
It's not an easy thing to admit. It sounds provincial and narrow-minded and anti-intellectual. I would like to think I am not any of those things. I AM interested in other places and cultures, but would much prefer to learn about them through books, news, film, and exploring the treasure trove of online resources. I am not even sure that the right set of books and movies and documentaries wouldn't educate you much more about a particular place than actually visiting it would.
My experiences traveling have convinced me that just about anyplace you decide to go, you will be greeted by a sanitized version of reality that is only marginally edifying, and highly similar to any tourist destination anywhere. Wandering off the beaten path might get you closer to the 'real' people and culture of the place, but of course when you do that, the locals will loudly wonder why you are not at the tourist destination, and soon enough you will be wondering the same thing.
I hate packing. Traveling to airports. Airport security. Lines. Delays. Crowded, cramped planes. I hate jet lag. I hate not speaking a local language, and having to rely on locals who speak my language. I hate the feeling of not belonging, of being an interloper and treating someone else's life like an amusement attraction. I hate hotels, even nice ones. They are not my comfortable home and bed.
Most of all, I hate the feeling that I am supposed to feel bad about hating to travel.
That's really interesting, OP.
I'm the same way, OP.
Get a blog
Count me in, OP and R2 - my reasons are different than yours, but I'm also not thrilled about travel. This attitude is more common than you think.
I'm with you OP. I don't like travel either. I also suffer from severe motion sickness so it makes travel very unpleasant and difficult. I'd much rather read about a place than actually go there.
I used to like going to other places on vacation and may do the cruise scene before I take the dirt nap, but by and large now, my travel interest has diminished in large part due to many of the reasons OP listed. I dislike flying, especially if there are screeching ill behaved kids on the flight, people are more rude and pushier than they used to be and quietness and safety are becoming valuable rarities. OP makes a good point and my travel bug has bitten far less frequently with age, but I do have a few more travel goals however I won't expect it to be perfection, I know better.
That's fine. Not everyone gains their "valuable life experiences" from instances of tourism.
you're not alone, OP. My mother is the same way, for the same reasons you listed. She likes the comfort of home. Traveling entails all sorts of inconveniences that in her older years she can't tolerate.
I travel "for pleasure" once a year. I actually do kind of hate it, but I feel like it's necessary to enrich my spirit or whatever. I don't want to die without experiencing some of what this world has to offer...even if I have an awful time doing it.
Totally agree, OP.
You sound like a fun person.
I like going on road trips, driving through scenic remote areas of the western USA. No traffic. The only schedule is getting to the next night's accommodation. I can find a nice quiet place with a gorgeous view and sit there for hours with nobody else around.
Me too, R12. Let's go somewhere!
R9, that is an interesting philosophy.
I'm glad you expressed it. It helps me to understand a friend who is similar to you.
Your philosophy makes sense in a way.
I agree with you, OP. In theory, the idea of traveling is appealing and very much something I like to do. But my idea of traveling very rarely matches up to reality. Instead of authentic, enriching experiences in interesting places, I get the typical tourist treatment in cookie-cutter settings.
I do like to visit places for the purposes of doing an activity. For instance, I love going to places where I can hike. But even that is becoming a touristy thing to do. Zion in Utah used to offer challenging hikes for experienced hikers. Now, every trail is covered with people, many of whom do NOT belong on a hiking trail. It's like an infestation of humans. I find this to be the case at most of my favorite spots.
There's not much I can do about it, though, so I will just continue to find new, interesting things to do or visit.
Traveling does suck, though.
R15, so you're saying that even though traveling is not enjoyable, you still want to do it?
By traveling, do you mean the process of getting to a destination or do you mean what happens once you've reached your destination?
You just described me. I used to travel some. Then it became a day trip was doable.Now I hate to go anywhere.
I grew up in a very small rural place where books took me somewhere else.
Have always lived vicariously. Would rather you call me the next day and tell me about a party than go myself. I would be eager to know who was there, what food there was and so on.
I am like the gal that wrote the Andy Warhol diaries.
It's comforting to know there are some people who feel the same way, thanks for posting.
Generally, when I think of time off from work, I am looking to relax and decompress from the stresses of life to the greatest extent possible. In my mind, traveling merely changes the nature of the stress, and hardly ever ends up being relaxing. I come back stressed and exhausted. And poorer, too.
I prefer my vacations meaning staying home, sleeping in. Spending a couple of hours reading in a quiet coffee shop. Guiltlessly watching tv in the middle of the day. Napping. Catching up with a friend over a long, leisurely lunch. Seeing some part of town I've been meaning to see for a long time, etc.
[quote]My experiences traveling have convinced me that just about anyplace you decide to go, you will be greeted by a sanitized version of reality
You've obviously never been to India or Africa or Cairo...
R15, when you say "traveling sucks" do you mean the process of getting to a destination or what happens once you've arrived at your destination?
I love to travel, except for the damned airplanes. I've come to hate modern air travel, with its discomforts and insane-yet-useless "security". I hate it so much that I'd rather drive all day than deal with an airport. There's so much to look at when you drive across country, or take the train.
If I could drive to Australia, I would.
I have almost two million miles, but never get around to using them!
I completely agree with OP.
Traveling is also difficult if you have a delicate stomach. You always have to be aware of where the nearest public bathroom is and it's also harder to control the foods you eat.
OK, go ahead and flame me!
Traveling sucks for people without social skills. That's what your problem really is, OP. You probably have very little patience with people being a loner. It's best you stay home. You're not going to delight those you come in contact with so why bother?
Traveling this Christmas sucked hugely. Seems like I had poor weather & flight delays at every turn. Just got back home late last night & was overjoyed to be back in my own bed again. I found myself getting very frustrated & angry. I'd like to swear off traveling during the holidays, but I know I'll end up rebooting & doing it all over again next year. I'd feel too guilty not seeing my aging parents.
I can see where the Scrooge & the Grinch were coming from!
I also do no like to travel. I like the comforts of my own home. I hate the smell of hotels and hate the idea of all the people and their related germs and "stuff" that have been in there. I won't fly any more (airsickness and general phobia of flying) but I also hate long car trips. I wish there was a way I could transport myself Star Trek style and be able to get someplace in a flash and then come right back home.
I don't dislike to travel, but I enjoyed it more when I was younger. Honestly, the biggest reason I don't travel more is money. It costs a lot to travel, even if you do it in a less-than-luxurious way.
[quote]You're not going to delight those you come in contact with so why bother?
Whereas you sound like a real charmer yourself, r24. I don't know how you got all that from what the OP posted. He simply said that he dislikes the inconvenience of travel and that the experience never turns out to be what he imagines it would. I think many people feel the same way.
[quote] I hate hotels, even nice ones. They are not my comfortable home and bed.
I hate traveling for many reasons but you lost me on this point. Come on, of course a hotel room won't be home. That's the whole point. To get out of your shell. Have a little excitement in your life.
You are provincial.
Yeah...I hate spending money on travel, but I pretty much love hotels.
I like hotels. I love traveling.
I can't imagine not wanting to go to different places and experience different things.
The problem with OP's post is that you can't evaluate the accuracy of what you have read without a trip. Even a short, superficial visit can help you critically understand what you've read.
Likely the classic "ugly American" that thinks he has social skills
[quote]My experiences traveling have convinced me that just about anyplace you decide to go, you will be greeted by a sanitized version of reality that is only marginally edifying, and highly similar to any tourist destination anywhere.
You obviously don't know "how" to travel, OP, if you think you'll be greeted by a sanitized version of reality everywhere you go.
I've balanced on a board over an open ditch of sewage in a village in Ecuador. A small town in Peru consisted of huts with walls woven from palm fronds. A market in Guinea Bissau and a stand where all the meat was covered with flies. I was in a village in The Gambia where they had one street light for the town center. That was the location of the one television in the town. I was on a ferry boat in Sierra Leone that was overloaded with cars, wagons, pigs, chickens and too many people - the kind you hear about on the news that tips over and 160 people drown. I've eaten with farm families in Austria, hiked the Alps in Germany, and wandered on trails in the Peruvian Andes. At the other end of the scale, I've been to opera houses in Sydney and Montevideo and museums in London, Paris, Rome, Salzburg, Brazil, and Istanbul.
A lot of Americans are just too stupid and too damn lazy to find their way out of this country to go on a road to adventure. Most of them don't even know their way around the USA.
41 states 53 countries
I hate airports. HATE them. The idiotic strip-searches in everything but name, the taking off of the shoes, the fucking screaming kids and idiot parents. HATE it.
But I love to travel. I lived in Europe for a while (work) and I went exploring all over. Sometimes I didn't know where my end destination would be, I just got on a train and looked at the "departures" board then bought a ticket and hopped on. It was a BLAST. I really, really miss that.
It's the whole airport bullshit that I hate.
Oh, and I loved Cairo, too. It was exactly as I had imagined.
"Traveling sucks for people without social skills"
What a stupid statement. Social skills have nothing to do with disliking traveling, you dumbass. Traveling invariably involves a lot of annoyances and some people are more willing to put up with them than others. "Social skills" have nothing to do with it.
I just hate airplanes.
I cannot withstand being on an airplane for 8 hours to 24 hours to get to Europe or Asia or Austalia or South America.
I have withstood 8 hours in the past to get to Europe, but I don't think I could take it in stride now.
And 22 or 24 hours on a plane to Asia or Australia is unimaginable.
I do not understand how people do it so easily and willingly.
After a 3 hour flight and I very happy to get off the airplane.
[quote]Traveling invariably involves a lot of annoyances and some people are more willing to put up with them than others.
I think this is fairly true. I love traveling and I always make an effort to avoid going to the tourist traps, the best thing to do is to hang out where the locals hang out.
But I am generally an easy going person, I've had lots of random mishaps but they don't bug me. All part of the fun experience.
I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth.
OP is right in a lot of ways--post 9/11 the world is a lot more hostile towards people who would like to travel as freely as they did several decades back. Being searched/scanned before entering even a museum is a necessity nowadays, but it still is a pain for a lot of people.
Travel fun used to begin with the trip to the airport, continue with the happy anticipation before boarding, then the fun of finding your seat, stowing your gear and settling down to wait for take off.
Then, take off! Off to the destination! Drinks, a meal or snack, more drinks and then a movie. Maybe not exactly top drawer, but always the same.
Landing! Disembarking to the smell of a different place! Off to the hotel!
Now, its the drudgery of packing to TSA standards, dealing with the agents and the search, being jammed into terminals that offer only price gouging respite, being packed into planes often over booked and delayed as agents try to bribe people out of their seats, an uncomfortable journey in a tight seat surrounded by too many children and an end at which it feels like the plane has spit you out.
Will the hotel give me bedbugs? I thought I was in Paris -- where did all these middle eastern people come from?
Getting home is a relief until the bill comes from the rental car company with a charge for "damage" that equals two months rent...
"Traveling sucks for people without social skills"
I have not posted yet, so I take the above comment to mean, the ability to start a conversation with almost anyone when the inevitable frustrations of travel occur.
Believe me, it makes a huge differemce. I flew from Milan to Philadelphia several years ago with multiple fractured ribs and no pain medication. I did ok until a 4 hour lay-over at New York's JFK. I went to get something to eat, and had an interesting several hour conversation with people at the next table...completely forgot about the pain.
That's only one example....
OP is afraid of bed bugs
You're supposed to enjoy tourism. Travel is for people made of sterner stuff. It can be enjoyable in the conventional sense, but there's a lot more to it than that.
There are amazing things you will never see and do if you have to be a tourist rather than a traveler.
"Traveling sucks for people without social skills. That's what your problem really is, OP."
Is R24 trying to tell us that he doesn't travel very often?
R34 is precisely why travel gets a bad name. Look at how obnoxiously he brags about the things he's done. Thanks to the ramblings of people like R34, the image of the modern traveler is that of the vacuous fortysomething who believes passport stamps and photo ops to be more important than intellect and personality.
Wow, R34 sounds ridiculous. Is that what New York sounds like after a few martinis?
I like to travel to new places for events, sports, music, film etc... I live somewhere where there isn't much of that happening, at least things that interest me, so combining these live experiences with the culture and atmosphere of a new place makes the hassle of travel worthwhile. I do understand that it is not for everyone and I couldn't do it more than once a year or so.
From "Why is Everyone Going to Cambodia?" (link below)
[quote]Once you ride the vintage Mercedes limo outside the gates of the Amansara compound, you are unmistakably, unavoidably in Cambodia: crumbling roads, frequent floods, implacable heat and tour guides who coolly unload personal tales of Khmer Rouge horror. It's not as if you can, by dint of a fat wallet, hide from this reality.
[quote]And why would you want to? The draw for millions of people is not just plush beds and nimble-fingered masseuses; it's these three countries' uniquely messy histories and the ways all are struggling to move forward.
[quote]In the end, what that fat wallet does get you is simply the opportunity to travel - which is, as Henri Mouhot understood, the greatest luxury of all. "Even if destined here to meet my death," he wrote in his journals, "I would not change my lot for all the joys and pleasures of the civilized world."
I'm a loner who never talks to people and don't have social skills yet I like travel.. go figure.
Why is that embarrassing to admit? I spent six years in the Army and after that I don't like being more than a 15 mile radius away from my house.
I have a three bedroom house. On 10 acres. Gardens. My pool. My dog. My family all in the same town and great neighbors. My forsythia hedge is now about four feet wide and ten feet high all around the property. Love it when the yellow first blooms.
The rabbits love it to. In the summer I love waking up early in the morning to see the mothers and babies marching across the lawn. And my gentle collie following at a safe distance watching and wishing she had puppies.
Seriously, you thinking I'm paying money to go anywhere? The World is overrated.
Although I've traveled with as much frequency and depth as r34, at my age, I sympathize more with OP and find r34's tone to be arrogant and pretentious, much like I was.
The concept of reading books, using my imagination, and experiencing the simple but often profound joys of experiencing what's available in my community is far more appealing to me these days.
Exotic adventure travel used to be an expensive addiction that provided a buzz and an ego stroking.
There are still a few priority places on my bucket list, but for now I'm happy to take a new bus route or a train I've never been on across town to plant trees in the ghetto, listen to local gossip, and eat fried catfish.
I can get home to my own bed in a matter of minutes and yet I've gained new perspectives on what's going on outside of my normal comfort zone.
Don't need to see Guatemalan police beat the shit out of a family who couldn't pay/protested their water bill (the water was tainted) again. Wouldn't trade the spicy fried chicken livers I ate in an alley in Rangoon or the thrill of inner tubing through a glow worm cave with my Maori fuckbuddy in New Zealand for anything, but I'm done.
Am getting out of the frequent flyer miles game by sending younger family and friends away with the awards I've been hoarding.
It is a sad fact that the few Americans who could afford to travel don't do so... when it could open up their minds and hearts to gain political change. Perhaps certain destinations are better off without them.
The open-minded OP is not the one who needs new travel experience.
Sanctimonious bitches like r34 need to look inward.
[quote]the image of the modern traveler is that of the vacuous fortysomething who believes passport stamps and photo ops to be more important than intellect and personality.
Sorry to disappoint, Cellar Dweller R46, but I don't do photo ops. That's for your tourist friends who can't deal with being more than a mile from the nearest McDonald's. I don't want to view the world through a camera lens.
It's the packing that I hate. I was meant to have a valet.
You have lots of people who hate you already, dear / R34. You're doing something wrong, but because it doesn't involve your white ass and 200 Senegalese orphans on a catamaran, you're having trouble seeing it.
I hate packing and I hate the drive to the airport and I hate getting through security.
The rest, I pretty much love. I have a very dull life and travel is the only really exciting thing I do.
Post more about your Tom Bianchi-style love for the one-legged Angolan captain you met while pearl harvesting in the South Pacific, R34. Your carefully crafted uniqueness puts us to shame!
I hate flying, but I love traveling by train.
As a former hard-core traveler, let me clear up some naive, romantic misconceptions about travel in general:
A. Traveling a lot DOES NOT make you a better, well-rounded person. Because whether you have good or bad character, those things go with you no matter how many different, disparate places you visit. And those qualities (good or bad) remain with you no matter what geographical coordinates on which you happen to be standing. That is a simple fact. Travel itself doesn't magically educate a sinner into a saint.
B. The most heavily-traveled people I've ever known are the WORST human pigs I've ever known (in every way, shape and form): spoiled, snobby, elitist Eurotrash backpacker vermin. Europeans have traveled to more countries than anyone on earth and they STILL manage to be soooo far up their own assholes, I believe that putrid continent of empire-losing, Islam-fellating, soccer-rioting alcoholics probably drinks recycled booze from their own small intestines. There simply doesn't exist more well-traveled, hypocritical parasite, phonies than Zeropean pigs (At some int'l. hostels I've actually had to have the management throw out some of that English/French/German filth because of their psychotic bullying over nationality). And the proof is, all these Euroswine hate each other too! I really want fellow Americans to trust me on this cold, hard fact of life because I've seen it with that subhuman continent of pigs ad nauseum. Fucking drunken, World-War-starting phony Eurotrash, pretentious cocksucking filth. This "seppo" wishes cancer on the lot of you.
C. I've had so many horrible experiences with Eurotrash spoiled punks abroad, this "ugly seppo" wishes you lot would die of whichever form of cancer is the most agonizing. So I can do a c-walk shuffle on your graves. Continent of subhuman life. You Euros are such parasites, you use the USA for every personal advantage you can while spewing your bigoted filth at it at the same time. So please die, you phony, morally bankrupt Euro maggot walking diseases.
Ergo, this former traveler thinks that travel is one of the most unrealistically romanticized human activities I've ever seen and just as crooked, lying and scumbag-ridden as any other human activity.
Very interesting OP.
I do like museums and restaurants and some of the sights, but not everyone has to immerse themselves in the full local culture or the culture of tourism to enjoy travelling.
You may need a fun companion, and to set your limits, and then go beyond them. Staying home is fine too, but everyone needs an ocean or a narrow street or an expanse of trees or fine architecture for the soul sometimes.
We don't all want to scale mountains or have our hair braided, or to explore jungles or see Cher in Vegas. The world is a crowded oyster.
Think about what you like, and take it easy when you get there. Sleep and wine and books are good away from home too.
Seaside shacks are wonderful.
Untying the knots is what travel should accomplish at the very least. If it doesn't, then they must be tied pretty tight.
I doubt that is the case with you.
Sightseeing is for the birds, they have the best view and no waiting.
See yourself somewhere else. It's ok to get cranky along the journey, less comfortable to be uncomfortable - returning home is nice too.
[quote]It's not an easy thing to admit.
It's actually very easy. You just did it!
Anyway, clearly you jut want attention. It's perfectly fine that you don't like to travel. You're hardly alone. Yet, you've told yourself you are alone, and thus the need to start a thread.
I LOVE to travel. Want to do more badly, can't at the moment. Hope to do more. I haven't been to a million places, just some places that mean a lot to me because of what I have read in terms of history, art, architecture, literary history. Love to see the settings, places, art that I have read so much about. I love it all from getting my passport photo taken, the planning and onward. I even get excited just being in a railroad station or airport. Yes, security can be a pain, but air travel is pretty amazing if you think about it. Everyone has become so jaded. I also get a kick out of the few words I have with people, sometime there are little interesting conversations.
R60 = Anthony Bourdain
I think R34's content and tone are fine.
No need to unnecessarily pile on criticism of R34. It is not deserved.
R34 / R65 discovered proxy IPs!
Travel hasn't done anything to make R60 a better person, has it?
A little of both, R20. Who on this earth could say that traveling by plane these days is even partially enjoyable? The US has mucked up air travel, big time.
I do enjoy a good car trip. But sometimes, what happens after I arrive doesn't make the trip worth the effort. You know what I mean?
I think a big part of it is that people have just gotten to be so damned rude and narcissistic. I will use Las Vegas as an example because I was just having this very conversation with a friend.
Vegas has always been a popular destination, for as long as I've been around. When I first visited in 1990, the experience was enjoyable because you could walk the Strip or downtown, see the sights, eat cheap, good, food and see some pretty crazy things. Fast-forward 20 plus years. Have you tried walking on the Strip in recent years? At night, it can be downright frightening because of the behavior of the other tourists. The last time I was on the Las Vegas Strip last year, I was physically and verbally accosted by complete strangers simply because they were drunk and nasty. I saw others get hassled by these tourists for no apparent reason. This may be an extreme example but it was at the forefront of my mind.
I think it is like this because of current attitudes about personal responsibility and behavior. Even a few years ago, you could take a trip somewhere and have an enjoyable experience because you were surrounded by others who helped make it so. Not so much now.
I won't give up on travel because I like new experiences. But I have certainly curtailed my trips in the past few years.
Las Vegas is an assault on my sense of taste.
R68/R69 I visited Vegas for the first time a few weeks ago and thought it was filthy, ugly, and strangely ordinary. Will never go back.
It's funny. I stated in a forum at city-data.com that I think Las Vegas is a hellhole.
One of the moderators censored and reprimanded me saying 'Do not call someone's home a hellhole'.
The moderator erased my comment too, of course.
I thought it was funny that the moderator was so insulted and took such great offense.
I agree, R70, that Las Vegas is ugly.
I love travel experiences which fall somewhere between the traditional tourist stops and "balanced on a board over an open ditch of sewage in a village in Ecuador."
For example, I once drove a couple of days through the Australian outback with a few friends and had some great stops along the way.
If I can get away from any kind of group activity, I do.
And I can afford it or can use frequent flyer miles, etc., I go business or first class on long-haul.
Lounges, dedicated check-in and security lines, separate boarding...
There is one airline in London which has drive-up check-in for business class customers. Someone takes your bags, an agent takes your passport, you have a seat, fill out the landing card for U.S. immigration and then walk about 50 feet to a private security channel which takes you right into the terminal, not far from the lounge. When the flight is called, the business class section of the plane has a dedicated boarding lane through a different door on the aircraft.
It makes a huge difference.
Same with arrivals in London. Fast track allows you to skip the regular passport control lines and get to a separate immigration area.
And then there are the flat beds for the long flights...
I didn't care when I was a gayling but at my advanced age I value the lower-hassle experience...and I can usually figure out how to do it relatively cheaply.
Eldergays know a *lot* of people in the travel business.
Then stay the fuck home. You will not be missed.
But I bet you have a smartphone, OP!
I bet he does, too, R74.
[quote]Now, every trail is covered with people, many of whom do NOT belong on a hiking trail. It's like an infestation of humans.
What a hilarious statement, R15. What are they doing that leads you to believe they don't belong, and YOU DO? It's not like hiking requires some special skill. Now, if you said you hated skiing because of all the noobs on the expert trails....well, that I'd understand.
r60 sounds like a miserable, unpleasant person. Imagine encountering this guy while you're on vacation. Yeesh.
Actually, I thought r60 made a pretty good point with A.
It was when he got to B and C it all started to go south for the poor dear.
R60 sounds mentally ill and severely mentally disturbed.
You know what this is really about, OP, and all you other folks who hate traveling?
YOU. ARE. OLD.
It's okay, I'm old and cranky too. It just creeps up on you. Through lots of trial and error and just... living life, you've learned what you like. You've arranged your life and your home to suit your needs and quirks. You have aches and pains that you have learned to manage by controlling your environment. You're sick of hustle bustle and just want to relax with a glass of wine and a good book or movie.
Hey, it's okay. You don't have to be a globe trotter 'til you're 80. Embrace your inner curmudgeon and indulge in the things you truly enjoy. Life is too short to live someone else's dream.
I don't like traveling either. I'd rather read a book.
[quote]I do like to visit places for the purposes of doing an activity.
Me too. I am planning a trip to backpack the John Muir Trail this summer.
I may hike the Camino De Santiago in 2014.
Retiring in May
Traveling is like sex. It's for the young.
OP I like travel less & less as I get older. I'm an "eldergay" at 54, but I especially dislike foreign travel. It's inconvenient, uncomfortable and ridiculously expensive.
We travel by car in the USA, & try to stay in nice accomodations, but I'm still anxious, because nothing is as clean as your own house. The beds, etc aren't yours. The coffee sucks, I always bring my own teabags.
I know I'm unreasonable, but I just no longer enjoy traveling. I've been to Europe several times, Mexico, Hawaii, the Carribbean, etc. I have no desire to see Japan, China, or, God forbid, India. The Middle East & Africa are off the table too.
I still enjoy Montreal in the winter for a few days, but that's it. Last time we went to Florida, we rented a condo. That wasn't too bad. But for the most part I can do without it. The trips we do take are shorter & shorter.
[quote]You don't have to be a globe trotter 'til you're 80.
By God, I plan on dying on the Gatwick Express. I'm going to travel until I can't stumble out of my wheelchair. The greatest thing in life is having a passport in one hand and an international ticket in the other.
I like R51's post. I'm reminded of that verse in the Tao about the people being unconcerned with what's going on in the next valley or something. Anyone remember that one?
I don't think that was what the OP was rebelling against. I could be wrong but he seems like a cultured dude finding hassle and commercialism wherever he goes, and taking the 2 dimensional route of internet and books.
Americans do not recognize tourist problems in their own country, the home of commercialism and percolated friendliness. Too many toilets.
If you are worried about the bedsheets, it is always best to stay home, even in the US.
Japan is a wonderful place to go for a full culture shock and awe and better manners than any american can provide.
My country, Canada is not so bad either. But if all other places present some discomfort and possible rudeness then weigh the rewards verses the discomfort.
Travel has three basic desires. Lie on the beach escape from the fast life and pressure at home, or enlightenment and exposure to other cultures, not just their maids.
Third is the desire to see the great things of the world whatever that means to one.
Travel does get harder as one gets older, but gay men forget that the people who travel for pleasure the most are retired. People who have had kids and snot and barf and endless bedsheets and hockey gear and sleepovers for forty years are not as prissy as single or coupled gay men who travel for theatre or sex.
I am gay and a pretty easily inconvienced but the world is not set up for us unless very wealthy or very unadventurous. Tourist dollars are welcome most everywhere however.
This does not change one's nature, but have some perspective.
Even on buses people bring their own pillow, but not everyone is a diva. India would be freaking fascinating to me but I know my limits, in terms of how much discomfort I am wiling to risk.
Why not recognize that much of this is personal limitations. Most cannot afford the Ritz in Paris and most don't want to climb Everest, or swim the Amazon.
There are other places to go and things to do and see.
There is also no shame in deciding to stay home. But know why that is your choice.
Maybe because I was born and grew up in a poor country, I don't mind going on vacation and seeing the sanitized version of a country. Unless you're going there as part of the peace corps or aid group there's really no need to be a spectator in other people's lives. Now if you can get tips on the most authentic or best places to eat or shop that's always good.
I agree with the OP that travel can be uncomfortable and I also don't do that much of it. I think the trick is to do whatever you feel like in your travels and not try to meet the expectations of others. For instance, I think I'd enjoy a 'Enchanted April' style vacation like the one the women take to Italy where they basically just loaf around, lay out on the grass and soak up the atmosphere. That looked so incredibly relaxing.
I also don't mind touristy vacations. Growing up we often visited relatives in New York. One year we decided to do a road trip, ignore the relatives and just visit New York like tourists. We did everything from the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Bldg, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, the museums etc. It turned out to be the best vacation and the most fun we ever had visiting New York.
It's always a choice. Some people have lots of fun on staycations as well. If you want to get the feel of travel without actually going too far, you can always get a room at a nice hotel, resort, condo in your area and just treat and pamper yourself with whatever you'd like. The concierge could probably give you lots of tips on fun things or people to do.
'People who have had kids and snot and barf and endless bedsheets and hockey gear and sleepovers for forty years are not as prissy as single or coupled gay men who travel for theatre or sex.'
Just to give you a different view. I am proudly gay, almost seventy-years old, and am traveling to Sarajevo, Belgrade and point south in late May. I certainly do not expect to stay in first-class hotel rooms. If anything, I have chosen over the last 10 years to stay away from the most obvious European destinations (Paris, Rome, London).
Fantastic, R89. Have fun!
Sir, I spoke some truth and included myself somewhat in it. You seem to have cherry picked some insult.
I hope to be so adventurous at your age.
Have a great time.
I love going to new places, but it's all the nonsense you have to go through at the airports that I despise. All the long lines and rude people that work the security checkpoints, passport control, and customs is enough to really put a damper on things.
[quote] I wish there was a way I could transport myself Star Trek style and be able to get someplace in a flash and then come right back home.
This is exactly how I feel. There are many places I'd love to see but I'd be more inclined to go (although I fear flying) if someone else who had lots of experience traveling made all the arrangements and guided me around to the right spots. I wouldn't know what I was doing and would probably get cheated or scammed somehow. I really just want to see the great sights of the world, stay in each city for no more than a day and come back home.
Another problem, I've seen too many stories about how nasty hotels are, even the five-stars that I could never afford to begin with.
I like R88's attitude.
R91: it's unusual to get such an evenhanded response. I appreciate it. I did agree with most of your original post, but thought you were citing limits that can easily be overcome.
It's much easily to travel in Europe now with airlines fares so low, even for long distance flights. The secret is to plan very far ahead before the cheapest flight are sold out.
I tend to use Lufthansa to get back and forth to Europe. It's amazing what deals you can get with the right sales rep. The trick is to call back again, until you find someone who really knows the system. Yes, I have seen way too much of the airports in Frankfurt, Munich and smaller German cities! Maybe Angela Merkel and Boris Becker have me beat.
I hate flying but love to travel. I would travel all
The damn time if I were rich.
Crossing a sewage ditch on a board and riding an overcrowded ferry is clearly a reply to OP's ignorant notion that one would only find sanitized places for tourists when visiting another country.
No doubt OP and several others in this thread could never even manage a night in a tent in a national park that was only 50 miles from home.
[quote]I am not even sure that the right set of books and movies and documentaries wouldn't educate you much more about a particular place than actually visiting it would.
This claim by the OP indicates the stupidity of basement dwellers in this thread. They're the type who would buy "Art for Dummies" or "Music for Dummies" and consider themselves well-acquainted with art and music.
R60 is Mitt still brokenhearted over "Euroswine" Pierre forty-four years later.
I would have to say that traveling definitely is not all it's cracked up to be. Oh maybe it is, if you're very wealthy and can afford the best treatment and the best hotels and the best food and the best shopping and entertainment. But if you're not...well, it can be more of a pain in the ass than it's worth.
I've heard of people who think that joining the military will be their ticket to "see the world" and lead a glamorous life of travel. Boy do they get a big surprise, poor chumps.
"Crossing a sewage ditch on a board"
Give it up, R30/proxy R97. You will never convince anyone that that is a fun activity.
R101, that wasn't mentioned as a 'fun activity'.
It was mentioned as something that is not a sanitized version of visiting a place and something that takes you into the actual living activities of a place.
The fact that you are giving it as an example is false equivalency and stupid illustrating your lack of brain matter.
I'm new to this party but just wanted to mention that I have been a travel agent for 37 years. Due to the attrition of the Mom and Pop type travel agencies, our business is thriving. Just wanted to say my love is history. I sell a lot of Alaska cruises but personally my motto is, "No battlefields, no dice." The B.A. is European cultural history
from University of Wisconsin.
There is a certain thrill to leaving your happy place for a while.
SHIT!!! Packers vs Vikings. I have to go.
Why do people from the midwest say things like:
"The wife" when they mean my wife?
"The B.A." when they mean my B.A.?
R102 is still a strident cunt. Perhaps the vapors from the sewage pit have her in a self-important, foul mood.
R105, I am not the poster who originally posted about walking the board over the sewage pit. I am merely defending him from undeserved criticism.
R101 and R105, you seem particularly stupid and unable to understand concepts and ideas.
God, is R34 / R102 still going about that amazing sewage pit? Does he have a sewage fetish?
I love traveling. I even love flying (not the airport, mind you). What I hate is sleeping. I'm a total insomniac and when I travel east, I can sometimes be wide awake at three of four in the morning.
R104, I'm from the East Coast, and have heard men say "the wife" fairly often. I think regional lines must be kind of blurry with that one.
O/T rant: one annoying thing from the Midwest I've heard is, when people haven't understood what you've said, they say "do what?" instead of just "what?" and it's nuts. They deny that they do it, too.
That's one of many reasons I can't recommend recreational travel to the Midwest.
The South also says "do what?", R110, and yes, I'm guilty of that as well.
Well, it's refreshing that you admit it, R111. Others have been all Twilight Zoney about it.
I hate traveling too. I'm glad I traveled when I was younger (and before 9/11). The airports/airlines a nightmare.
I'm curious as to why many of you find airports and security lines a nightmare.
[quote] I'm curious as to why many of you find airports and security lines a nightmare.
I have a brother who lives in another city. On its own, the flight takes just over an hour. A train would take 4 and a half.
The airline expects me to be there 90 minutes before boarding. I have to travel from downtown to the airport, sometimes an hour or more in bad traffic. Then from the airport in his city to his place downtown, even worse.
Or I can take a 10 minute taxi ride to the train station, board, ride for 4 1/2 hrs, get a better meal, and another 10 minute cab ride to his place. All cheaper and more comfortable than flying.
I know the problem is me. As I get older, I'm more fixed in my habits and my expectations aren't unreasonable, just not compatible with a lot of travel.
I've enjoyed seeing Napoleon's Tomb, the Tullieres, Versailles,the Louvre, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Windsor Castle.
I loved bartering in the souk in Istanbul, and walking to the top of the Acropolis in Greece. Wandering the streeets of Florence, seeing Michelangelo's David, St. Peter's Vasilica, sitting outside watching the world pass while enjoying an espresso in the pallazzo on Capri.
I've been on cruises, met interesting people. I've had picnics in Central Park, and seen Broadway and off -Broadway plays.
I'll always believe the blue/green of the Carribbean is much more vivid than the waters off Hawaii, but nothing in the world compares to the blue of the Mediterranean off the coast of Messina and around Mykonos.
I was unexpectedly moved seeing the sunken hulk of the USS Arizona @ Pearl Harbor. While I'm definitely not a sportsman or an outdoorsman, I love looking at mountains from a distance. my interests are more cultural.
I've seen wrenching poverty,the underside of tourism, in Acapulco, Cancun,Ochos Rios,and Nassau, Costa Rica and Rio De Janero. It was upsetting to understand they depend on our tourist dollars and live so abjectly.
I'm not sheltered or unfamiliar with traveling. I've just lost my taste for it. Once, I wanted to go to Russia. To Moscow & St. Petersburg. I wanted to go to Vienna for a music festival. I wanted to see the Great Wall of China. Now, I just don't care.
I enjoy domestic traveling less than I used to because everything has become so boringly uniform.
I was in LA the other day, and I felt like I was in one of those old Hanna-Barbera cartoons where the background endless repeats. Every 5 minutes there was the Home Depot, followed by the Panera, the Starbucks, and the Olive Garden. Once you see the Best Buy start looking for the PetsMart, because it's sure to be close by, probably next to the Office Depot.
The hotels are the same, the restaurants are the same (there's a fucking Bubba Gump in the New Orleans French Quarter for Christsakes! And don't even get me started on the one in Times Square). It's just so boring.
I understand that you can break through all that and find the charming local hotel or the fantastic restaurant, but overall there's so little sense of place anymore. Even in that great little hotel or restaurant you're often hard pressed to know if you're in Chicago or Charleston.
wow, r118. you are SO right!
Well, nothing ventured nothing gained. I feel the same about travel, but life rewards the bold. You could be missing out by being self indulgent, pampering yourself near your cozy bed, near your tastey yum yums and your favorite toilet. I'm just saying, yeah, we all like to be cozy, but a lot of insanely amazing shit had to occur in the cosmos so that this world and your life could come into existence..... and all you want to do is stay home and be comfy wumfey?
Suggestion. Don't take short trips. Don't stay in hotes. Don't go to popular places. Rent an apartment somewhere and stay a month, it will be cheaper, you can get familiar with your bed and the area slowly. You can read your books in a new surrounding. It will make coming home a real treat, and you might meet a person and get laid!
Too bad OP. Sad when people limit their own lives and give in to their fears and neuroses.
(By the way- it is very easy to travel to anyplace in the world and get away from the "tourist" status you perhaps represent- if you make an effort. After all, immigrants are basically permanent tourists, are they not?)
I was in ___________ the other day, and I felt like I was in one of those old Hanna-Barbera cartoons where the background endless repeats. Every 5 minutes there was the Home Depot, followed by the Panera, the Starbucks, and the Olive Garden. Once you see the Best Buy start looking for the PetsMart, because it's sure to be close by, probably next to the Office Depot.
[quote]I'm curious as to why many of you find airports and security lines a nightmare.
I agree. A nuisance, sure, but a nightmare?!
Nah, a nightmare is balancing on a board over a sewage pit in Ecuador.
R118 is right, we're becoming one homogeneous place. Linguists are even saying now that we're losing our regional accents. Pretty soon besides every town in America looking the same, we'll all talk and sound the same.
And this is not just for domestic travel. You could probably find a Mcdonalds and a Starbucks wherever you travel. I guess that may be why some people are so desperate that they walk across sewage and call that a good time. So they can claim, see I've been somewhere different.
I remember traveling by car on vacation as a kid in the late 60's and early to mid 70's.
There was regional radio back then...different accents, different music, different news reports. It was interesting and exciting to go from state to state, region to region.
And when you got to the Holiday Inn and turned on the TV.....same regional differences, but with pictures! Best ever was a news station in central, rural Michigan that looked like it was in someone's panelled basement - obviously a one man operation. The guy would read the news, cut to commerical and when they came back the guy would be settling in his chair with his super bad hairpiece listing to one side. It would move from break to break. The news consisted of farm reports and "The Brown's cow is missing again, if found please return or call them and they'll come get her."
I kid you not.
Why yes, I'm Old.
Maybe I'm in the minority, but despite TSA, and narrow seats, and bad food, and all the other horrors of air travel, there's still something magical about going to Europe, especially on an overnight flight.
To get on the plane in Chicago, fly through the night, and be in London or Frankfurt the next morning drinking coffee in the train station early enough to watch the locals commuting to work is something I'll never tire of.
I agree, R118! Unfortunately, it gets no better overseas. As I was coming in from the airport on my first visit to Milan, some years ago, there was a huge Blockbuster Videos sign to greet me as we entered the city. Milan.
I used to like travel quite a bit about 10-15 years ago. Now I could utterly careless. There's something voyeuristic that really irks me. Western/Northern hemisphere privilege and it makes me feel guilty and a tad ashamed.
The generation of my grandparents, jumping on jets and going to all corners of the globe was not common practice. They we're not culturally deprived nor "less complete" as people.
Really, I'd rather take the kids and the dog out for a nice walk in the woods near our house, exploring and having fun.
I feel the same way, R126!
I always try to make travel fun by requesting the full body cavity search from a TSA agent.
"Pick me! Pick me!"
I travel a lot and once felt as if it was the end all. I am presently traveling in Mexico and much prefer sitting in my 12 dollar hotel reading Data Lounge than going out and looking at churches.
Have I traveled enough?
No R131, this feeling will pass.
I like to be and see new places and things, but the process of getting there is becoming less and less enjoyable over the years. Some of that may well be that I'm not as young as I used to be, but I think that at least as much is that travel -- whatever the means -- is more crowded. Roads are crowded (for road trips), and airports are... Well, if you've been through any US airport in the last 12 years you know what I'm talking about. At least a road trip doesn't involve a security check that would insult anyone who had retained a shred of self-respect. (Fortunately for the TSA, Americans gave up self-respect long ago.)
And then there's the real reason that traveling just isn't all that much fun. It's just too expensive. It's hard for me to feel good about spending a month's income on a week-long trip, particularly when all of your regular expenses just keep on coming.
Travel used to be glamorous -- like dialing the phone with a pencil. Those days are long gone, and that's not what bugs me.
Have had a ton of frequent flyer miles with some remaining, but no incentive to travel now that I am single and need to save for retirement. I've sent countless nieces and nephews out of the US because I get off on it and felt they needed to experience otherness. And I've already exhausted most of my bucket list. Am bored with Europe (A White Peoples' Problem) and have covered parts of other continents which interest me.
Would love to visit Iran, India, South Africa, and Alaska. But they're all either too dangerous or have expensive ground costs.
Would love to tour Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands and go SCUBA diving, but that would be spendy and I don't want to do it solo.
What's a retired travel queen to do?
When I was a kid I couldn't wait to travel snd see the world. Well, I tried. But it turns out I have a very bad GI tract. Air sickness. Vomiting and diarrhea at destinations. I even get suck for a few days when I go to FL. I came down with some kind of eye problem overseas where my eyes continually watered and the photophobia was so intense my eyes hurt and teared constantly even when I wore 2 pair of heavy duty sunglasses. I was virtually blind for almost a week.
I live I NY, so eventually everyone comes here and we meet up. I've had friends send their foreign friends to stay with me in the city, and that is fun. I like playing the tour guide and showing people around. And they like having a free place to stay. And none of us gets sick.
I love to fly, but hate airports, boarding, and disembarking. More than 5 hours I get a little crazy.
I've been taking car trips - 2, 3 days - and loving it. So I'm really looking to relocate to where I can own a car ans set out on adventure at will.
Trains are wonderful, but not in America.
There's plenty of places I've been in Europe, but nowhere else outside of the Americas. But I'm okay with that...except maybe Montevideo and Punta del Este, Uruguay.
OP, seek therapy.
Well, I love to travel (except the long flights). I go for the enlightenment, the adventure, the memories, the break from my 'regular' life.
By the way, I was just in Morocco last week.
Woah , what I experience there first hand, is truly educational, an eye-opener. An erotic and exotic journey ;)
My work took me all over the world and I had plenty of time off to enjoy the culture and get to know people. In recent years, dealings with U.S. airports, airlines, and boarding drives to to the point where I'm ready to explode. Transportation seems so much easier, better, and more relaxed outside the U.S. but having to deal with getting there has cut back on my travels. I've enjoyed travel in 67 countries but probably won't renew my passport.
Since I discovered room service I enjoy travel a little bit more.
It's the eating in restaurants three times a fucking day I especially hated. I hate restaurants mostly, so it's torture for me.
I hate the evenings when I travel. But staying in our room having dinner is much nicer than going to a restaurant and then going on to somewhere for 'coffee', sitting in a cafe, watching 'the world' go by bores me to death.
Traveling during the 80s and 90s was a breeze compared to today. Airports were so laxed and carefree back then. You could usually get to the airport 30 minutes before a flight and make it without a problem. And I rarely had a problem using airline and hotel points for free stays. Now everything is a nightmare.
I genuinely hate how traveling has become a pissing contest with my generation. I love learning about other cultures and am multilingual but I have to agree - give me a few days at home to work on a creative project over airports and traffic.
If you don't like to travel, that's totally fine and you shouldn't feel like you have to. It feels like a competition or that people judge when it shouldn't be so.
I like travel myself since it's enriched my mind and opened me to other places though. Airports I dislike too though.
Same here, OP. For work, I'm happy to travel anywhere, but if it's just for enjoyment? Eh, I'd much rather stay here in NYC. I hate leaving, really.
mixing it up "with the locals" in whatever third world country you choose is akin to "hanging out" around 8 Mile in Detroit... NOT my idea of a good time. I have been all over the world for business, and have been uncomfortable on a number of occasions, both for being seen as a "tourist" (eww), and for observing the locals at their "work" (much like an anthropologist might observe a family of hyenas). I find being a traveling anthropologist a bit strange, as it seems to place those I "observe" on a lower plane. Conversely, these people look at ME as a mindless tourist seeking self-redemption someplace OTHER than a place I should be, so charging me 100x what something costs is a small price to pay for my self-serving ways. If your travel destination is SO GREAT, you might as well live there, in my opinion. Someone who just HAS to be on the move all the time is known as a "fugitive". I am not a fugitive, so I actually seek to be "home" instead of on the run. just my humble opinions...
OP is either auditioning for the dinner theater production of "Accidental Tourist" or suffering from Depression. I'm guessing the latter.
Mass tourism, TSA, overbooked flights, xray machines and groping, no to mention bedbug
infestation, and how overpriced everything is.
I've traveled alot in the past.
And now, the bloom is off the rose.
OP, have you ever considered making some place else "home?" My cousin was like you. She's a retired teacher. Now she spends her time living abroad for a couple of months every other year.
This allows her to settle in and get to really know a place and meet people. She spent three months in Italy last year, and studied art and took cooking classes, all by prearrangement, and she loved it.
Her plan is to visit the UK and spend time. She wants a short term rental, maybe 3 months, in a nice smaller town, and explore. She will find some kind of course to take.
As a retiree, she substitute teaches, so these enrichment courses are tax deductible to some extent. She's quite an operator.
I love to travel, but I think there's actually a lot of wisdom in what the OP says. "Tourism" can all but destroy the joys of traveling, and people who loudly insist they're not tourists are just as obnoxious and annoying as, if not more so than, the stereotypical 'obnoxious, loud tourist.'
If you're traveling to a place to see it for pleasure, you are a tourist. Own it.
I pity people who live in oft-visited destinations: no matter what they do, some tourist, insisting he's not a tourist because he's going where the locals go, will try to invade it,
And I don't think the OP should worry about being provincial or anti-intellectual. The idea that travel is always good and expansive, and that staying put is always provincial and limiting, is actually pretty facile.
I think r148 has a point. It's nice to visit one place for a longer period, to rent an apartment, and when I travel, I've taken to doing that. Combining it with study (or even volunteer work) as r148 describes seems like an especially good idea.
[quote](By the way- it is very easy to travel to anyplace in the world and get away from the "tourist" status you perhaps represent-
No it isn't. If you travel to a place for pleasure, you are a tourist. You can find less trammeled spots, but you are still a tourist.
[quote]After all, immigrants are basically permanent tourists, are they not?
Uh, yeah. In the same way that Gwyneth Paltrow buying a bag at Bergdorf's and a Guatemalan woman buying grain at the market are both "shoppers."
That has to be one of the stupidest things I've ever read.
Devil's in the details, hon. Being a tourist and immigrating to a new country are entirely different.
Travelling is no longer fun. It's arduous, humiliating, and grueling. Just no longer worth it. We travel by car and within 8 hours of our home. So much to see in an 8 hour radius.
r34 puts me in mind of that scene from "Six Degrees of Separation" where the main character, a wealthy, progressive Manhattan matron, self-knowingly and jokingly imagines visiting South Africa. She says she'd end up rushing from village to village, asking her hosts for reassurance, "Are you sure THESE are the poorest and most oppressed? We don't just want to see any poor and oppressed people. We have come all this way after all."
Traveling to see poor people's sewage pits and then adorning your personality with it and holding your experience above others who don't do the same is just dreadful. Toxic. Horrendous. That poster is an asshat of the first order.
I dislike traveling alone because it's a pain dealing with restaurants who really don't want solo diners, and I don't always want to eat at the bar.
Security is a pain, which is why I keep airline status and usually fly first class; lounge membership helps, but that has gone downhill.
My problem is that I'm indecisive on booking trips, with over a million devaluing miles banked.
I love reading how, even after a staggering amount of travel, some people still haven't learned to be anything other than a pompous ass.
Hey, guys -- I've ridden my Harley all over the US, and I plan to ride in a few other countries after I retire (hopefully, about 7 years from now).
There's nothing like having your face in the wind, experiencing everything about a place, a road. Finding the side roads, the middle-of-nowhere restaurants, the wild animals just standing by the roadside. You wouldn't believe the beauty I've seen solely by accident.
And the people you meet! Everyone wants to chat with you when you're riding a motorcycle. If you like small talk with strangers, you'll be in heaven.
I've always wanted to do a motorcycle tour of Australia, just fly there, rent a motorcycle, and ride. Hopefully, I won't be too physically beat-up to do it in my 60's.
I get sick when I travel. Diarrhea, vomiting, just plain stomach aches. I had that Bob Costas eye crud in Russia, along with giardia. I also get airsick. Clearly, I am too delicate a snowflake for travel.
[quote]My experiences traveling have convinced me that just about anyplace you decide to go, you will be greeted by a sanitized version of reality
Then you don't know how to travel, OP. Just because you can't plan a trip to find unique, original, and interesting places to visit, doesn't mean you should give up. Find some friends who know how to travel and get suggestions from them -- unless all your friends are also dull and boring.
I was grilled by the Immigration Officer at the Frankfurt airport after he asked me where I would be traveling in Germany, and I told him I was spending the whole trip in Frankfurt.
He told me that "No one vacations in Frankfurt, people just pass through on their way to somewhere else." I could have kissed him, because he confirmed that I was doing exactly the right thing." I had a fantastic time, met some great people, and never saw a tourist bus.
Las Vegas is what the whole world would look like every Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war. This was the Sixth Reich.
Love to travel by car, especially if I can aimlessly check out any place I like along the way.
A buddy and I left New Orleans and meandered up to the Black Hills area then across to San Francisco, then to Lake Tahoe and back across to St. Louis. It took us over a month because we stopped and sometimes stayed in so many different places but it was so much fun.
Stopping in small mid western towns for breakfast or lunch was great fun because we would eavesdrop on stranger's conversations. "I don't care if her cat is crapping in your vegetable garden Howard, you know when she was young she beat that guy to death, the one who broke into her house, don't mess with her, she has anger.". My friend mouthed OMG. For the remainder of the trip everything was "this has anger".
The first half of R34 travel log sounds absolutely horrific, (esp. balancing over a SEWER DITCH)? Those are life-enriching experiences?!? You mention nothing of what had to obviously be the STENCH that had to be present with each of those experiences. Surprised you didn't regale us with the sight of a Guatamalen woman standing on a dirt road with shit running down her legs. Sorry, but if your so-called enriching experiences are to be believed, you sound like a pseudo-intellectual, affected jerk to me.
I've met people who travel like R34.
Invariably most of them are rich and "employment challenged".
People with real jobs, and everyday stress don't go seeking it out on their one chance to relax (vacation). Yay, let's go pat ourselves on the back for roughing it with the authentic locals!
I like to travel occasionally, but I see op's point.
Staying home is elegant.
Every airport on earth is crammed with idiots. Look at "airport novels". Written for and by idiots.
I suspect R34 is wishing he'd kept his sewage to himself.
The problem with travel is the fact it is almost impossible not to encounter poor people.
I've traveled most the world for work and still enjoy international vacation travel. R34 is probably the type of individual I could relate to.
OP, from experience, I suspect you may be the type who would enjoy travel if you were to rent/exchange a house somewhere in the countryside near a major city. This can be a very comfortable way to travel.
I earn Swiss Francs and we have many vacation days a year so this of course makes a difference. If I were earning dollars travel would be more difficult. The dollar is worth approximately the value of cow shit on the international market.