Friday, March 8, 2013

’Twas the Night Before Travel


“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”  So warned Ernest Hemingway, and, for the most part, I’d say that’s pretty sound advice.  Traveling, even for short distances and time, can be nerve-wracking,travel 3-7-13 and people are not always at their best.  If you and your companions don’t share a pretty strong bond when you begin the journey, you might just kill each other along the way.

Still, over the years, I’ve found myself breaking that rule quite a few times, especially with business-related travel.  Heck, sometimes I didn’t even like the people I traveled with, much less love them.  But I always survived, and usually got to know the folks a little better on our travels, which was almost always a positive.  (Almost.  I’m not living in some kind of dreamland alternate reality; there were a few times when travel made perfectly clear why I didn’t like someone to begin with.)

Image courtesy of sattva at

So, today I am packing in preparation for a weekend journey with a few more people that I don’t love.  Oh, the members of the ΦΘΚ are nice enough, sure, but I don’t really know any of them all that well.  But, even in our short time together, I know them well enough to know that some have quirks I’m not overly fond of—especially to be jammed into a vehicle for five hours straight.  But I try not to focus on the negative parts of things.  And, I’m not so naïve as to assume I don’t annoy others in some way, too, so I suppose it’s all a trade-off.  Plus, Hemingway wasn’t the only one with some thoughts on travel.  Disraeli opined that “travel teaches toleration”.  That seems pretty reasonable, too, and is sometimes a lesson that has to be learned even when you do love your travel companions. 

More to the point, though, I love to go places—even if it is just to the next-door state for a couple of days of school-related meetings.  There’s just something exciting about being away from home and the normal routine, something fun about sleeping in a hotel bed, and something intriguing about meeting new people—or getting to know someone better.  You just never know what moment of fun might pop up during a few days of travel, but I’m ready to find out.