Why I hate to travel, all the time and every single time I do it. After nearly a year of not traveling, I had forgotten just how much I truly hate to travel. I spent more than twenty years as a road warrior, every week on the road, Sunday night out and usually, if I was fortunate Thursday night back home with Fridays spent catching up on expense reports, conference calls and all the rest of business activities necessary to keep my life in order. This was my life for over twenty years. I wanted out, I made a conscious decision to get out, that did not quite work. Now I am reminded why I wanted out.
All the reasons why I Hate Travel, in no particular order.
There is the schedule itself usually dictated by clients leaving you with approximately 16 waking hours unless previously scheduled on Friday to see; doctors, hair stylists, manicurists, dentists, friends and family. Of course, did I fail to mention during this short time home there are also things screaming for your attention such as house cleaning, laundry and shopping because frankly whether or not there is a spouse or family one still must have at least some food in the house and in my experience, no one but me is ever going to put it there.
Why do I Hate Travel? Because this is absolutely no way for a normal person to live, it is not romantic, it is not exciting and it surely does not make me at all happy.
Let’s talk about hotels, just for a brief moment. When you travel for business you are not staying in Five Star hotels, no most of the time you are staying in chains, sometimes they are fallen stars. If you are like me, you only have a few requirements some these days are harder to meet than others. I don’t want to leave my room in the middle of the night for a cigarette, don’t hate me I smoke and believe I should be able to do so in the privacy of the room I am paying for. But let’s talk about the rest, shall we? Starting with closets without enough hangers and those f’ng hangers that do not come off the rack, I am constantly fighting them. Then there are the mattresses, has anyone ever slept in a hotel and gotten a good night’s sleep, I toss and turn all night and wake every morning feeling like I have run an Iron Man. As a coffee drinker, I ask only one thing please, leave me more than one small packet of real coffee; I have learned to ask for more on check-in and every single night when I arrive back. Then there are the dangerous as all hell shower/baths, why in all that is holy don’t hotels simply install showers stalls rather than these tubs with showerheads? Narrow tubs, no traction and add to this flimsy curtains that stick to your skin actually climbing into your crevices when you are trying to bath, gad I hate bathing in hotels.
Finally, why do I Hate Travel so completely and entirely?
Airports and flights, it is getting worse and worse. No matter where I travel, I notice the ‘cost cutting’ measures first, the lack of human interaction when checking in. If you need assistance, you had better plan on a long wait. Then there is TSA and the security process, come on boys and girls, you have anywhere from 3-5 lines you could open up and you have a line of people waiting to get through security, tell me again why is only one of the lines open? By the way, please explain to me why I have to take my computers out, my shoes off, my coat off, my sweater off; damn do you want me naked? By the way when it comes to TSA, could we please have a line for seasoned travelers and another for those who are on vacation with families, I know very elitist of me but really the next time I am behind a family of four struggling with children, strollers and too much carry-on luggage I think I will scream, loudly.
Finally, we get to the airlines and the flights themselves. They are in another round of cost cutting and they are idiotic in their methodology. I can only talk about the one I fly the most often, bet you can guess given I live in the Dallas area. Now I have flown this airline for most of my career, I am a Million Miler on them, retain my Gold status for life even if I never fly again. In truth I have flown more than 1.5 million miles on this airline alone, this doesn’t count other airlines, all together between the four primary airlines I fly I have well over 2 million air miles, this means miles I have flown not all the additional miles I collect in other ways. The benefit of being an ‘Elite’ member of the club is upgrades when they are available, when they aren’t the flights are even more miserable. These days though even First Class flights are fairly low class, there is no service unless you ring your bell repeatedly and demand attention from the apathetic attendant’s, there is no meal service for any flight under 2.5 hours, even if that flight is during the dinner hour, if you are lucky they will throw you a bag of peanuts. Drinks are served in plastic cups, coffee in paper.
Don’t get me started on Coach where you are kicked in the back, stuffed together as if you are an anchovy and must keep your elbows so close to your ribs you can’t breathe for an entire flight. Service? Forget about it.
So far, no flight has left on time and thus no flight has landed on time!
Now I remember I hate travel; truly, I do. I want a real life. I want to be home after a day at work. I want to write and read, sleep in my own bed. I want the opportunity to have dinner with friends, family or someone I love. Hell, I want to enjoy travel because I am going someplace romantic to get away from it all.
Just a slice of life!