On Your Mark, Get Set…

They get ready to go and, as always, she’s far more excited about it than he.  They will travel south.  South is nearly inevitable, given their starting point. He approves of the plan to travel by train.  Planes are faster, but their windows are smaller and the view is always clouded. Trains are like rivers and he’s almost always lived near rivers. He appreciates the train’s rhythm and the slow progression of alternating countryside and cityscape, the appearance and disappearance of landscape, the approach and retreat of horizons.

She recognizes that he’s not all that excited about traveling. He tells her that he likes to be places, just doesn’t really enjoy going to them.  It would be best, he says, if he could just go to bed, close his eyes, and wake up away. She tells him she’s happy that he tolerates it as well as he does and always reminds him that he can stay home if he wants to. He almost always replies that he’d rather be with her than without. Still, he appreciates her graciousness, letting him off the hook easily when he opts for hermitage over gregariousness, for stillness over movement.

They disagree about desirable destination, too. Most of the time, when she talks about travel she talks about beaches, cities, and hotels; but all the time she’s talking, he’s thinking cabin, lake, woods.  Even so, the thought of even the nicest cabin by the most pristine lake, deep in the deepest woods does not compare to his love for his own home, where he can lie down, close his eyes, and go wherever he wants.

He doesn’t really care where he goes or doesn’t go. He doesn’t care where she goes, either, as long as she always comes home.

7 thoughts on “On Your Mark, Get Set…

  1. I love to travel by train. And the reluctant traveler can always enjoy the enhanced pleasure of home brought about by the return to it after an absence.

  2. I share some of your feelings about travelling – the process can be extremely tedious – hurry up and wait. Do you have sleeper trains where you are? I went by sleeper train to Florence, Barcelona and Berlin – all journeys were an enriching experience. Don’t forget to take a picnic supper and breakfast!

  3. as you said to me once, I’m crying and smiling at the same time.

    im like you, i’d rather stay home and nap on my own couch and eat whatever is left in the fridge. travel involves clothes that can be seen in public, staying home involves clothes that no other human should ever see. The comfy ones.

    A friend once explained why he and his wife take separate vacations: “that way”, he said, “we have adventures and can tell each other stories about them when we get home.” It seems an eminently sensible way to view things.

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