Why we take joy in unexplained travel relaxation
There are so many things I miss about easy, uncomplicated travel relaxation
Yes, these days, even annoyances like airport lines, cramped seats, and flight delays seem so quaint. On the other hand, I miss total travel relaxation.
Of course, I miss seeing new places, I miss seeing friends, I miss great hotels and especially rooms with a view. But one of the things I miss most oddly is something we can theoretically do from home — doing close to nothing. It's just not the same doing nothing at home and doing nothing while traveling.
I love doing nothing while traveling
Let me explain travel relaxation.
Like many Americans, it's hard for me to unplug. Even with travel being a fraction of what it was, there's often still work that can be done. I can chase down refunds, make sure tickets are safely stored for reissuing, and provide advice on what can and can't be done now. Sometimes just trying to answer clients who want answers none of us really have about future travel gives us plenty to do.
Plus, there's volunteering. Many follow the news. And no doubt most readers here have their own reasons to avoid relaxation at home. Even those of us fortunate enough to still have jobs and who theoretically could make time can make time to relax.
But on a plane, even with the Internet, there is downtime. Inflight WiFi often isn't great. And it can't be used for the entire flight. So watching a movie, or doing a puzzle, or reading anything from a novel to a magazine feels appropriate.
And at a hotel or resort, somehow it feels different just to sit and read a book. Or look at a view, or, even occasionally have a glass of wine or an umbrella drink in the middle of the day.
The simple fact is that away from home, whether or not it's a different time zone, there's a sense that the rules don't apply. When my son was young, it wasn't just that Fruit Loops suddenly became a possibility for breakfast, but also, once or twice, I may have allowed him a morning package of Skittles bought at the airport.
The ability, yes, even the joy of having the permission to do nothing, makes travel relaxation unique
Even for us adults, there's a sense of freedom. Ice cream for lunch? Why not. Snorkeling without a watch? Sure (to a point). Randomly dozing off in a pool chair? Absolutely, with sunscreen.
Take time to just put down a book or whatever and gaze at the view. Whether it's the water, or mountains, or city traffic, or whatever.
It is just not the same at home
Of course, many of these things are available in our living rooms at home. Except, depending on where you live, generally not the views.
But it's harder.
I'm writing this on a Saturday afternoon where I theoretically could just carve out a little window of time to read uninterrupted. It just doesn't feel the same. And when anything resembling a chore needs doing, well, it's hard not to think about doing it. (Not necessarily DOING the chore, just being distracted thinking about it.)
And, somehow eating or drinking anything unhealthy isn't nearly as much fun at home as on vacation. When was the last time you had a sweet cocktail with a tiny umbrella in it at home? Or, how about a big warm brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream slathered with chocolate fudge? I don't remember having anything like that at home. But, I certainly have enjoyed them even when traveling just to my favorite restaurant. Even more, when dining after sunbathing on a tropical island beach.
I want to feel travel relaxation again so I can guiltlessly do nothing
Now, for at least a while, even after travel really starts to come back. We'll still have to be careful. Masks are here, if not to stay, then for the foreseeable future, at least until a vaccine is available to all. But I can't wait. To get back to sometimes doing nothing.
Janice Hough is a California-based travel agent a travel blogger and a part-time comedy writer. A frequent flier herself, she’s been doing battle with airlines, hotels, and other travel companies for over three decades. Besides writing for Travelers United, Janice has a humor blog at Leftcoastsportsbabe.com (Warning, the political and sports humor therein does not represent the views of anyone but herself.)