My mother and I had some great trips to Italy and France, New Mexico and Canada and I loved them. I’d like to spend more time in those places. But I have to say, while those “big” trips have some glamour and excitement and–if it matters to you–more panache when you talk about your travels, I’ve come to have a great fondness for the ease and comfort of travelling the smaller distance to my home town.
I don’t travel with great ease. Although I’ve been working on the mindsets I have about travel, I tend to get pretty overwrought about the packing and the schedules and the airport rules and finding my way around in strange places. When I travel with my mother it is ALL up to me and, while I have great appreciation that she’s enabled me to go places I could not have gone on my own, I’ve not been quite sure the pressure of it was worth it to me.
Although a few freeways have been added to Flint since I grew up there, it really is pretty much the same, so from the first trip there was a certain amount I remembered. And I could go off course and easily navigate back. Since we’ve been going annually, I’ve got pretty much all the routes down.
With GM gone, it’s not nearly as populated as it used to be, so traffic is generally pretty quiet and parking tends to be quite easy. Especially those visits to old friends with driveways 🙂
We have a list of restaurants we already know we like and what to order. Nobody is ever annoyed because we’ve violated some mysterious local custom; we are the locals and the customs are pretty basic.
Since we drive, all that making the airport early enough to be probed and patted and put through machines is not part of the scene. And I CAN PACK WHATEVER I WANT!
When I was growing up in Michigan, most of our vacations took us to Kentucky, which is home town for both of my parents. Those visits to family and old friends are some of the fondest memories of my life. We were all a lot more tense and cranky when we took “bigger” trips (maybe the origin of my “story’ that travel is hard and unnerving?).
We may not get to see a world-class art museum or be dazzled by castles, but I’m calm and at peace. I don’t make these trips with my stomach tied in knots worrying how to find a restaurant or get to the next place. We see old friends and visit old familiar places. There’s a quiet joy in this kind of trip that I’d match up against those more glamorous trips any day.