Travel? Meh

Venkatesh Rao (Ribbon Farm)°:

One of the biggest changes in my personality with middle age is that I no longer really enjoy travel beyond local weekend getaways. Almost no destination has a pain/novelty ratio that makes it worth it… Even though travel has gotten way more convenient overall (smartphones, eSIM cards, cashless payments, Uber, Google Translate — though at the expense of phone-loss anxiety), my tolerance for discomfort has plummeted. I don’t like shitty hotels/hostels, awkward couchsurfing, wrangling luggage, driving unfamiliar cars, figuring out transit systems… I especially don’t like wading through lots of options figuring out food options. The net effect is that I’ve gradually gone sessile.

I used to think I was supposed to love travel. Everyone else seems to. But I’ve realised it’s just not my thing.

I like the idea. Seeing the world, trying new things. And I love travel shows – Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown is a favourite. But the reality doesn’t live up to the hype for me.

Unknown places? No thanks. Spending tons of money? Pass. Flying? Hate it.

Every trip I feel a sense of dread and regret for booking it. Even visiting somewhere great, like my upcoming Seville trip, I’m just not that excited.

I don’t hate travel. But the joy I get doesn’t outweigh the things I don’t like.

And I feel embarrassed admitting this. People judge you as boring, lacking passion. There’s so much pressure to love travel.

Maybe when I’m old I’ll regret not traveling more. It’s a common deathbed regret.

But for now, I’m owning it: Travel? Meh. Just not for me.

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