Travel is Uncomfortable and I Don’t Like it

Pardo, C.

ISSUE NO. 2 •  ARE WE THERE YET?

This magazine counts down the hours to the beginning of the rest of my life. As I stare into the chasm from the brink of adulthood, I wonder what awaits me at the bottom.The concept of wanderlust is foreign to me.

I never wanted to leave where I was. The idea that it’s interesting to see other places when I could just lie at home and watch anime is atrocious. What are you people doing? Why are you spending so much money to leave the comfort of your everyday dwellings? I don’t understand. The discomfort of airplanes, of 12 hour car rides, of airports and unfamiliar gas stations, it just doesn’t seem worth it. I like the security of my place of residence. Unfamiliar places are scary! Who knows how uncomfortable it will be?

I know I sound like an asshole complaining about the mild discomfort of modern travel. I know how lucky we have it now - I’ve played the Oregon Trail. So looking back historically, the fact that I don’t risk shitting my brains out when I go to visit my friends in Arizona is actually an astounding technological feat that I should take advantage of. And for my friends? I will risk the discomfort and thank God that we have better road infrastructure and literal flying with sanitary toilets that I can make my journey upon. For my grandparents, I’ll spend a few days gazing out the car window while we cruise down the coast to the tip of the Floridian peninsula, occasionally rolling in to rest stops that have clean running water I don’t have to pay for. It’s quite a modern luxury.

So though I grouse, I kind of feel ungrateful complaining about how hard I find it to travel. I have so much going for me at the moment - my youth, few debts, no job or family to plan around. But still, there is something about travel that feels particularly daunting to me. Even without a family and work and bills to worry about, there are so many variables. So much organizing to do- where do you wanna go, when do you wanna do it, how much will it cost? Where will you stay, how will you get there, how will you get home? And what happens, if God forbid, something goes wrong while you’re gone? Even with how things have changed, there are still so many variables, so many ways things can go wrong - and what happens when everything goes to shit while you’re all alone in a place you’ve never known?

I’m graduating this year. By the time this is published, I’ll have two months until I am thrust out into the unknown - bounced out of my social safety net into a world devoid of the scholastic infrastructure that has dominated my entire existence. Sure, things are better than they used to be. My parents worked hard to establish themselves in lucrative fields so that when I grew up, I could fulfill my dreams, not dream about having a full fridge. I have their financial stability to fall back on if things don’t work out, properties that they will own no matter how far south the economy falls. But I’m not uncomfortable where I am. As ambitionless as it may be, at least it’s safe. I know what to expect, and I know how little is expected of me. I am afraid of what is out there - to imagine the future is very uncomfortable. I have the chance to achieve things that my grandparents, my parents, never could. How selfish is it to squander that chance?

I’ve never liked to travel, and I don’t like change. Although I know that my family and friends await me at the end of the journey, I freeze in despair at the first step. I look out over the winding path before me, and I can’t see them at the end. But I know they are there, waiting for me. So although I don’t know what may lie ahead, I hold my head high and take that first step past despair and begin the journey of the rest of my life.