Monday, June 2, 2014

A Disgruntled Would-Be Trip

About a week and a half ago, I was supposed to be off on a trip to visit with some of my family in California. Because Sam was unable to get time off from work, the plan was to take one of the dogs and drive out on my own. Our weather patterns have been very typical of spring in Colorado and I wanted to make a dash in between storm fronts because heading through the mountains with hail and rain is not something I enjoy. I had packed up the necessities for both myself and the pup, and put one of the bikes on the back of the car as I prepared to head out. Throughout the planning phase of this trip, I could feel that I wasn't completely on board with the trip, but I assumed once I was on my way, everything would resolve itself.
As I got out on the road, I realized I had no desire to be making the trip. As we were driving, a radio announcer had spoke about a road closure on the pass I was heading over and I pulled off at the next exit. Was it even worth the effort to try to get across? I called Sam and after some back and forth, I decided to come back home. Since that day, I have been trying to convince myself that I need to just go - that everything will be fine once I'm on my way, but I just cannot seem to want to make it happen. I don't sleep well or it seems another storm will be rolling through and I find a reason not to go. Even as I sit typing, my stuff is packed and ready, but I find excuses not to get on my way. I pondered the idea of flying, which would make things a little easier and reduce time spent away, but it would mean leaving both dog and bike behind, and I'm honestly not a great flier either, so I'd rather have someone along for a flight to distract me.

What I have come to understand over the passing days is that I do look forward to some time away and to seeing family and friends; however, I have no desire to be inside a car for so many hours. The thought of being in a vehicle for 20+ hours is so unappealing that I can't seem to get passed it in order to get where I am supposed to be going. I recall very much enjoying road trips not so long ago. I would look forward to taking off on extended (or even short) road trips to see where it would take me. But, something seems to have changed and morphed over the years. Instead, I find alternate activities or destinations to avoid the motorized travel - or perhaps things have become more simple and I realize that needless trips in a car aren't doing anything for me? I seem to be able to tolerate a relatively short stint in a vehicle, but it exhausts me to even think about driving hour after hour... after hour.
This weekend's ride was beautiful. Spring definitely abounds and it is apparent that summer is on its way quickly as the lighter lavender hues die out and a different color palette begins to take over.
At first, I believed I was dreading this particular trip because the journey to the end is not horribly exciting and is one I've traveled far too many times to count. In reality, I think I would rather be on a bicycle, or at minimum, not burdened with the what would be in front of me driving alone. All I seem to be capable of is thinking that once I arrive to the destination, I will then have to repeat the trip back and it will be the same number of hours trapped in a car - again. Instead, I could stay here and enjoy bike rides and beautiful days such as over this past weekend above.

I am well aware of the fact that I can ride my bike in California, and in truth would likely get in even more ride time because I would have no responsibilities during my time there (other than my dog, of course), and as exciting as that sounds at the moment, the drudgery of the drive is making the trip sound completely unappealing. We have discussed the possibility of waiting until late in the summer and making the trip as a family time away, but that trip would be extremely short because of other obligations and limitations, making the drive seem even more pointless.

In the current moment, I am attempting to resolve whether this trip is going to take place or not, but I am also curious if anyone else goes through these periods of time in which the idea of travel is simply not motivating or interesting. This is a completely new experience for me because I have always enjoyed those often too-rare opportunities to get out and see things. I am not certain if my hesitation is based more on traveling without someone to talk to, the length of the trip, or something else entirely. While I am grateful to have the flexibility to choose a different time to go, I am amazed that I seem to have no desire to actually move forward with the trip. If you have thoughts on the matter, or have had your own moments like this, I welcome your experience(s).

12 comments:

  1. I can relate. I have no desire to take long meandering car trips anymore, but dangle a train trip in front of me and I'll jump at the chance.

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    1. That sounds like SO much fun, Cecily!

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  2. I can understand those sentiments. I made one 16-hour car trip (moving from the Midwest to the East Coast) and told myself I would never do anything like that again. It was just never-ending. Also, I despise being "in transit." However, I will say that once I arrive at my destination, I am almost always glad I made the effort.

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    1. An excellent point. I am trying to focus on the end goal and not the in between, but it's been particularly challenging with this trip for some reason.

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  3. I despise long car trips. But, once a year, my spouse and I drive to a destination 2-3 days from our home. The only reason this is bearable is because once there we stay for almost three months before making the return trip! (Ah, the beautiful rhythm of the academic life. Summers away from the heat and humidity of home are priceless.) No way I could convince myself to spend that much time in the car for a much shorter visit.

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    1. I can't imagine a 2-3 day trip drive at the moment. I think having someone with you probably makes it slightly more bearable, but still not ideal... and, being able to stay put for a few months is also nice. You must be getting ready for this trip soon, so hopefully it will be as pleasant as it can be. :O)

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  4. Fly, and take a folding bike. Twenty hours alone in a car is torture.

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    1. No doubt! Of course, then I'd have to go on a hunt for a folding bike... which could start an entirely different post. :O)

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  5. Your post stuck a chord with me, one I haven't voiced because I too don't quite understand my reticence. Perhaps it's because vacations are short and I'd rather be cycling, hiking, walking, etc. than stuck in a car. For me, inactivity also kills my motivation. When inactivity is spent in the car, driving 65-70 mph for ten hours, then I must take breaks along the way, inhale caffeine If I'm the one behind the wheel.

    But, with that said, We made the decision last fall to drvie 10-11 hours, two days out of 10 to experience the C&O Canal and Great Allegheny passage. I'm glad I did. However, for an overnight bike ride, I ride from my door step or take a bus out of town. I can't be bothered to drive even two hours to see something further afield.

    Maybe it's because you are taking your dog that you must drive. Or, you will miss your husband. I bet your pet doesn't like 20 hours in a car either. Consider Anonymous's idea. Fly and take a folding bike. Or have one sent there. Or borrow a family member's bike. You'll still see your family and won't have any vehicle issues. It's painless and might appeal to you.

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    1. At this point, I probably will just fly out at some point. I simply cannot seem to get the motivation to make the drive - even knowing that I can ride once I'm there (and there are some beautiful things to see). I know the drive will be even longer, especially with the dog because she'll want to get out and walk and stretch and that takes time as well. Of course, that may make it less painful for me as well.

      It's nice to know there are others who experience similar feelings though. At least I don't feel as though I'm completely insane for not wanting to make the trip. It will be nice to see family, but at the same time, a flight might simply be the easiest way around all of it.

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  6. G.E., I've been this way for at least 10 years now. Maybe it's age, but I do not like long driving trips anymore. I sort of have a rule that if it's over 4 hours away, I fly. I also love the train. Of course if I need to take a dog, I can't do that on a plane or train. Much like Annie I haven't said much about it to anyone. (I guess that's changed now :>)

    One interesting note in my ambivalence to travel is I feel a strong attachment to being at home. Sometimes it feels unsettling to leave everything that's comfortable to me. I'm not sure what that means, but probably that I'm a home-body. Logically I find it very odd and unexplainable. When I travel in the motorhome and take the dogs, I usually feel much better about it.

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    1. I can identify with your feelings of strongly being attached to home. I have always considered myself more of a gypsy or nomadic sort of person because I've always enjoyed moving around a lot and even just traveling... but something has happened to me over the last several years and I find that I very much enjoy simply being home. I find myself "nesting" more than perhaps I have in the past and while I still appreciate seeing new things, I'm always glad to be home again.

      I think having a motor home to travel in with the dogs is likely very enjoyable. We've discussed the idea of getting a very small camping trailer to be able to take the dogs with us when we leave, which I suspect could take away some of those feelings as you've suggested. It would be a sort of home away from home.

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