Thursday, March 02, 2006

Speed travel

Spring has suddenly gotten the best of me, I think. I've been harboring fantasies of travel. I catch myself thinking about high speed trips across the flats of Wyoming to some unknown destination in the East, or about getting lost on a long hike in the San Rafael swell here in Good Old Utah. All that sounds quite reasonable in that I might just wander out one of these weekends now that it is warmer and do that very thing with all my camping gear in tow, but it is more than that: I've come under the affliction of a desire to speed travel again. "Speed travel? What is that?" I hear you ask. Read on.

The other day I found myself staring at a copy of National Geographic wondering how much a flight was to Venice for a weekend a month or so from now. Of course I immediately went and check it out ($1098 round trip), and felt extra-foolish since I know I would never be able to see anything in Venice in the mere 6 to 12 hours I would have there. Then again, I think I would much prefer to visit the city and move on as quickly as possible--even if it meant coming back pretty much the same time one arrives.

You see that used to be my modus operandi when traveling: get there quickly and then move on. I've done this since I took various trips with my brother as a teenager and college student. We would drive all night and day and night to get somewhere and then once there we would do whatever it was we went there fore and then hit the road again. No malingering for us! We spent, for example, 3 days getting to Toronto and then spent like 12 hours in the city--and half of that was sleeping.

This behavior, of course, is an extraordinarily bad and annoying travel habit, especially if you are traveling with someone who wants to soak in the local color, or wants to sit and watch the natives, or even just a pretty sunset. Nope, none of that for me. In such situation I always desire to be 200 miles further down the road: always on the move--never stuck to one destination.

What is the cause of this travel depravity? Why do I lake the desire to go to a place and "soak it in?" There is something Zen and something ADHD in my response to those questions, but I'll just keep that to myself.


  1. Part of travel is the getting there, no? Especially road trips. Flying to Venice, however, is a different matter. Trans-Atlantic travel is so brutal that I want to stay there long enough that my body forgets how punishing it was to be on that plane for a gazillion hours.

    My favorite kind of travel is to go somewhere and stay put. Like, literally. I feel that if I go somewhere to stay, I want to stay there--like leaving the place we're staying is somehow cheating myself of the staying. My ideal vacation is renting a house somewhere and pretending that I live there.

  2. It's called being a guy. You inherited this trait from you father and he from your grandfather and so on... When Montana had no speed limit it was tempting to go up there, not to see anything in particular, but to be amazed at the great time you were making.
    Reminds me of one of the vacation movies where the Grizwalds travel cross country, show up, stare at the Grand Canyon for about thirty seconds and hop back in the car. Viva la travel.

  3. I'm glad i'm not the only one.