In his book “Far and Away,” Andrew Solomon writes:
“I cherished travel for the way it stopped time, forcing me to
inhabit the present tense.”
Solomon loves travel. I loathe it.
I travel as little as possible and would be happy never to do it
Here are 7 things I hate about travel:
1–Travel stops time.
Solomon says travel stops time for him.
It does for me too, except not in good way.
When I am in my home office happily working away, the time just
flies by … and so I am never bored.
But for me, being in a strange place, especially overseas in an
unfamiliar country, is a bit surreal.
Times moves at glacial speed, and I chomp at the bit until I can
finally get on a plane and go home.
I’d just rather be home.
2–Travel interferes with work.
Because I am only at my full writing productivity when at my
desktop computer in my home office, travel interferes with my
I hate that.
I am a high-speed touch typist, so laptops are not an option for
On the plane, when the guy in front of me leans his seat all the
way back, it pushes the screen down so I can barely see it or get
my fingers between it and the keyboard.
If two obese people are sitting on either side of me, my arms are
shoved close to my body, which also interferes with my keyboard.
3–Travel puts me out of reach of my stuff.
At home, I have everything I need — food, a refrigerator, books,
papers, files, computer, landline phone, umbrella, coat, boots,
When you travel you must make the choice between having the stuff
you want with you vs. having just one suitcase small enough to
put in the overheads.
Hence I never have all I want and need … and feel deprived, like
a hobo carrying his worldly possessions in a sack on the end of a
4–Travel is inconvenient.
I long for the days when I didn’t have to take off my belt and my
shoes, or carry only tiny bottles of needed liquids in a clear
plastic case, to get on a plane.
On a recent trip, when I removed my belt, I realized I was
wearing pants that fit when I was 30lbs heavier, and without a belt,
I had to hold them up with my hand to prevent them from falling
below my knees.
Then in the scanner the airport security guard says — “Both hands
up in the air.”
And there are other inconveniences.
When I traveled on business as a young man, all I needed was my
briefcase, a legal pad, and a pen.
Now we carry so many electronic devices and their adapters and
power cards, I feel like I am lugging the Apple store with me.
5–Travel is risky.
I’m not afraid to travel, either of flying itself or of airplane
malfunctions, hijacking, terrorists, or whatever.
But because there is very little pleasure in travel for me … I
completely lack the desire and do not enjoy it … even a little
danger makes for a lopsided risk/reward ratio.
And I dislike the risk of my schedule being at the mercy of the
weather, which may suddenly strand me for a too-long period in a
place I do not want to be.
6–Travel is uncomfortable.
This discomfort has ranged from being in a hot, stuffy cabin
while the airplane sat on the tarmac for an hour delay before
…to having to run across a huge airport from one end to another,
because my connecting flight is at the most distant gate
I also dislike cramped airplane bathrooms and the fact that the
planes are virtually always a full flight …
…which in turn puts in doubt whether I’m going to get overhead
space for my bag.
7–Travel wastes my time.
Flight delays for me are intolerable, as I am in a rush to get
home, back to my office, and back to work.
On a flight from the USA to Ukraine, I had a 3 ½ layover in
Munich between connecting flights.
“So what? Don’t you like to read Bob?” you may ask.
Yes, but in my favorite chair in the comfort and privacy of my
living room — not surrounding by masses of people in a noisy,
A Kindle reader, then? Not for me, thank you anyway.
I love speaking and giving seminars so much that in the 80s I
considered making training my primary business — but because of
the travel requirements, I quickly abandoned the notion.
Now, thanks to the internet, I can write copy for clients all
over the world without leaving my house — giving me precisely the
lifestyle I seek.