Excluding the three I’ve lived in, I’ve been to eight states in my lifetime. If I take out the destinations of childhood family excursions, that leaves only two. I’ve never set foot on international soil or even the non-continental U.S. To put it simply: I’m not a traveler.
But to complicate it a bit:
I used to love going places as a kid. Hopping on planes to go visit the family in Louisiana, driving to the beach or Disney World or my aunt’s in Delaware. There were umpteen hours spent in the car with my parents and my younger sister, and I was a big fan of the whole setup—except for rest-stop bathrooms. *shudder*
Then I got glasses in the fourth grade, and for some reason, it flipped a switch. I suddenly anything that required having my feet more than a few inches above the ground. Ferris Wheels? No thank you. Roller coasters? I’ll sit this one out. Airplanes? Forget about it! I’ll stay rooted to my little piece of planet Earth.
Despite this development, my naïve little brain still thought, “One day, I’ll see so many interesting parts of the world.” I watched whichever season of America’s Next Top Model it was where they went to Thailand and decided, “Yes! I’m going to go there and ride an elephant!” After college, I’d go to all the obvious places in Europe and eat all the food. As long as someone knocked me out for the flight, I’d be fine!
But life, in the form of my crippling habit of overthinking, intervened. I started coming up with all sorts of reasons to never visit any of the places on my list. It gets too hot in Thailand. According to a friend of a friend Paris smells weird. As a Texan, Europe might blame me for Bush. Do they even have black people in Norway?
I eventually hit the mother lode of anti-wanderlust with this thought process: What do people even do when they go on a trip? Take pictures? If I ever went anywhere, I’d go to all the same places that everyone goes when they go there, so I’d take all the same pictures. Which means that someone could just Google whatever thing I’d taken a picture of and probably find thousands of way better pictures. To that end, I could just Google it and see pictures of what I would’ve seen, had I gone anywhere. So what’s the point of going anywhere when I can just use Google?
These are, obviously, not the thoughts of a sane and well person. But here we are.
It’s at this point that people try to tell me, “It’s different when you’re there! It’s a whole experience that you can’t get from a photo.” But just the thought of being somewhere, trying to figure out what to do with myself once I’d exhausted all picture-taking opportunities, gives me anxiety. I mean, for God’s sake, one of my favorite memories from my honeymoon (to Portland, Maine) was the day we stayed in and binged the Harry Potter movies because it was snowing. So even when going somewhere to celebrate my blessed union, the best activity I could come up with was something I could easily do at home without having to spring for a hotel room.
(Sidebar: If you’re ever in Portland, do yourself a favor and go to Nosh Kitchen Bar. The fries there are RIDIC.)
When it comes down to it, I just don’t think I have it in me to care about traveling—not the kind that involves soaring precariously over an ocean to get to my final destination, anyway. The most I can muster is a nice little road trip to one of the many states that are within a few hours’ reach—and even then, a 4 hour trip to see my brother-in-law in NYC feels like more effort than I’m willing to bear.
Plus, how will I know when we’re driving through the parts where racist people live?
Never mind. I’m staying on the couch.