Some people are adventurous travelers, putting experience above comfort and exotic locations above familiar terrain. Some people spend their lives just waiting for the next trip, vacation or expedition that will take them away from their everyday lives and into the unknown with exuberance in their soul and a carry-on bag for 3 weeks away.
I am not one of those people.
I have traveled, yes. I’ve been on many trips and jaunts and weekends, but I have been to few far-flung locations. Most of the traveling I have done has been to old favorites (New York City) or convenient spots (Las Vegas, Hawaii). I am not complaining. I have enjoyed most every vacation I have been on, and while traveling for work is not something I love to do, I have gotten something out of every blogging conference I’ve attended since I began writing in 2011.
My next vacation is a trip to France.
Getting my husband to go anywhere for any length of time these days is not easy. His job is very demanding and he doesn’t like being away from the office for too long. Convincing him to take a full week off to go to France, a place he didn’t really have much desire to visit, hinged on the fact that we are going to a family wedding. Family always comes first, even if it means flying 13 hours to be with them.
I am not much of a worrier anymore. I have come to the realization, in my middle-age, that the worst that can happen rarely happens. The kidnapped children, the home invasion, the car crashes and market crashes and lost valuables and lumps found – so far, knock on wood, so good. Spending time worrying, especially about what is out of my hands, is not something I do much anymore. I have to say, it’s a huge relief to have let go of that particular bad habit.
And yet, I am a teensy bit worried about going on this trip. Ok, maybe more than a teensy bit. Because there are some variables that I cannot control, no matter what I do.
Will I survive the 13 hour plane flight, despite being in a seat that doesn’t lay flat? Will I sleep at all on this flight, since I never sleep on planes, even when my seat does lay flat?
The truth is, I’ll survive. I may be tired, but I’ll survive. I am not a baby! I am not a whiner! I can do this! I can do this!!
Will my chronic headaches be made worse by flying/time changes/French wine? Forget the fact that the headaches are caused by muscle spasms – will my trip be ruined because I have to be medicated or, worse, napping? As for the wine – I don’t even drink wine. But I will on this vacation, because, well, French wine.
The truth is, I probably will get headaches, because I do get headaches. I would get them whether I was on an airplane or in Beaune or Paris or my living room. So I’ll take a pill and deal with it. And if I have to stop for a few hours, I’ll stop. And that will be ok.
Will my husband be able to disconnect and have a good time? Will he relax and enjoy the French countryside, the wedding celebration, the boat ride on the Seine? Will he take a week out of his life to not worry about work?
The truth is, there is very little I can do to help him with this. What I have working in my favor is the time difference and his love of good wine. Also, his love of meeting new people. He’s a very friendly guy. Also those international calls can be pricey.
And the biggest worry of all: Will I be killed by a terrorist attack on the Champs Elysee? That’s where our hotel is and that’s where the terrorists have been lately.
(For those of you saying “If you’re worried, stay at a different hotel,” we are paying for it with miles, which is too good to pass up).
The truth is, the terrorists could be anywhere and everywhere. They could be down the block from me at home or outside my hotel – this is something I have come to understand with sad clarity. And you know what? If my last moments, at the age of 55, are spent strolling on a summer evening in Paris, hand-in-hand with my husband, who by the time we get to Paris should be very relaxed and happy, then my life will have ended on an especially good note.
Bonjour. I’ll be back soon!