In a recent survey, it turns out that about half of the British adults who were asked really, really look forward to their holidays. Like, they seriously live for them! And get this, around a third of the folks are stuck doing jobs they’re not exactly fans of, they grin and bear it, all so they can save up for a vacation – you know, a temporary escape from the daily grind and all the job-related gloominess. But wait, it gets even more interesting: another third of the bunch actually mentioned that among all the not-so-great stuff about Covid, one of the things they missed the most was not being able to jet off somewhere far away. Can you believe it?
Going away, I am sure, can be therapeutic for many.
At one time, I thought going away with people I know, friends, would be a lot more fun – and more therapeutic.
Ha, you could have knocked me over with a feather!
I once made the mistake of traveling with friends, and during one short trip to Nepal a long long time ago, not a single day passed when I didn’t wish I could just abandon the whole foolish idea and make my way back home. Yes, jump ship and head home. Hightail to the nearest airport and jet back pronto! There wasn’t a day when I didn’t long for the trip to end so I could return to the routine of everyday life, which, while perhaps mundane, was at least predictable.
Traveling with someone means stuck with someone 24×7; now, I have realized that I don’t enjoy that at all. Not one bit. There must be moments when personal space is provided for. Enforced proximity can break relationships. Even at home with your spouse, you are not stuck with each other 24×7 – in fact, most days I meet my wife only when we are both home at night – but on the road, you could be in the company of a very highly-opinionated and stubborn kvetch, a grandiose narcissist high in extroversion and low in agreeableness, who expects others to share his similar likes and dislikes, or who thinks he has a great sense of humor, and so he tortures everyone with his lame one-liners. Worse when his ugly prat of a girlfriend, who’s a world-class nut case with verbal diarrhea – (spouting random shit like: “I don’t drink from plastic cups” or “I am a vegan” or “I am a pescatarian” or “I am a vegetarian” – make up your mind, bitch! – or “people who consume shark fin soup are monsters” or “I hate people who eat meat” ad nauseam) – tags along. (Cringe! Eyeroll!) This obnoxious Karen should be hanged, drawn and quartered, cremated, pulverized and ashes flushed down the toilet.
How much fun can traveling with these retards be? What fucking therapy? Most people forget to pack their manners when they travel or forget to be sensitive to the needs of their traveling companions! At least eight hours a day together, only to separate to go sleep in our own hotel rooms at night. Indeed, how much fun is that? Trust me, it could be the worst nightmare of your already fucked-up life. It gets really horrible if your companions and you have different traveling styles – you go for high-end, they are all about cheap and budget. You want Michelin-starred restaurants, they only eat at fast-food chains. You fly first class, they do budget airlines. You stay only at luxurious suites but they are happy with backpacker-type lodging with no ensuite toilets. You go for chauffeur-driven limousines but they will only use the trains, even though it means lugging several pieces of heavy luggage up and down train stations!
No wonder many depart as friends and return as enemies.
I have come to the conclusion that traveling alone is the best. Expedia, in a recent survey of more than 12,000 travelers, found that 38% of them primarily value relaxation, and 37% are searching for “contentment and mental well-being.” No vacationers – unless they are masochistic – are looking for an increase in their stress and aggravation. So, embrace the solo adventure because your best travel buddy is you!
But having said that, we must all understand that there is no location far enough to escape from yourself.