Thursday, July 16, 2009

Traveling in my MIND

I have, fortunately, not left Los Angeles since last Saturday. I was starting to feel like I was leaving every day and going somewhere far away and even for me, that would be a lot of traveling. As soon as someone invents a transporter, I am so there, even if it's one of the preliminary models that, 6 out of 10 times, leaves you spliced with someone else's DNA and growing a small but attractive third arm in your sacrum. It would be a small price to pay if it meant being able to zip over to see friends in other states for an evening, and then zipping home. I would alter my pants. And, frankly, I am not rich enough for this jetset lifestyle.

Even though it doesn't take a lot of money to fly around anymore, it still chips away at your savings bit by bit: a hundred dollars here, two hundred there, the infuriating taxes that make a $700 ticket cost $2000 and don't even get me started on baggage checking fees, which are exorbitant, just so you can have someone break your stuff. So is it better to save it all up and go on one big splurging trip that lasts several months and leaves you wrung out like a dirty washcloth? Or is it better to take lots of little trips here and there?

I don't have much choice about it, actually. It seems like I keep HAVING to take smaller trips: I have to speak at a Rotary club, or get a medical checkup, or visit someone. I guess I don't HAVE to visit people. I could just stay home. But they're my peeps! I love them! And also Southwest gives you free peanuts! And doesn't break your stuff, like United!

So I've been speculating about this whole "one big trip" idea postulating that it's actually a little bit better for your soul. One of the downsides of "living" somewhere and then traveling away from it every weekend is that you're in a constant state of change: it's like moving house every week, except instead of taking everything you own, you're only taking a few things, and no liquids bigger than 3oz. So you're on a shoestring of stuff, which is good because it teaches you to love minimalism and reject capitalism and The Man and all that hippie bullshit, but you also don't have anything you need when you need it (god, I missed my cute summer tank tops when I was in Europe, unexpectedly longer than I thought I would be) and then you end up buying things to replace the things you already have at home.

That's a lot of "things", but it all boils down to: they say one of the most stressful things in life is CHANGE. Actually, they say moving, or divorce, or death are the most stressful for younger adults, but especially as we get older, what stresses us the most, physically and emotionally is change. Things being different. If you're on a longer trip, things started different from back home, and they stay that way; you adjust, get used to being on the road, and the shirts you have, and slap a little more duct tape on your sneakers. If you keep going on shorter trips, your body freaks out and gives you a cold.

So the moral of the story is: go big, or go home. Literally.


Jain said...

BE home.
- from an Old Hippie

Rahul said...

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