Travel & Leisure – Oxymoron?

For me, travel and leisure, like sweet and sour, is an oxymoron. I don’t find travel relaxing. On the contrary, I find it stressful, frustrating, and too much like work. My worst nightmare is the thought of packing a suitcase. It’s on par with The Exorcist and the Night of the Living Dead, in terms of sheer terror. I feel as if I have been assigned the task of pounding round pegs into square holes or playing tennis with an unstrung racquet. It just can’t be done (by me anyway)!

Then, there is the planning and worse yet, re-planning, because this date isn’t available, that hotel is booked up, and this flight is full! It’s enough to challenge your patience, if not your sanity.

When all these obstacles have been conquered, you must then attend the post 911security theatre playing now at an airport near you!

Honestly, if some entrepreneurial genius would just launch a new airline (they could call it “Air Naked”) for nudists or anyone, for that matter, willing to fly sans apparel, the security lines would move faster than Roadrunner dodging Wile E. Coyote’s falling anvil because even nuns would shed their habit to get past TSA (Totalitarian State of Airport) with some alacrity.

Are we over-reacting, or what! I really don’t understand the mentality. One nutcase tries to set his shoe on fire and now we all have to shuffle barefoot through airport security. I’m half expecting to be forced to fly “commando” after the underwear bomber incident. What next? Some nerd uses his laptop battery to convert his Dasani to hydrogen and oxygen (ala the Hindenberg) and we all have to give up water on the plane! Where does it end? Who among us will draw a line in the sand and say, ‘I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!’ It has reached the point that being protected from terrorism is more terrifying than terrorism! What happened to the United States of America, whose president defiantly quipped, ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ Did that United States of America crumble into same dismal pile of rubble as the twin towers? If so, then the terrorists have chalked up a victory and we are a defeated nation that simply has not acknowledged it.

If I’ve offended anyone with this expression of my views on current travel issues, I do not apologize. I am entitled to my opinion. If you find yourself in disagreement, write your own article. Yes, we still have the right of free speech, although anti-terrorist legislation allows it to be “bugged” sans warrant.

Until these aforementioned problems are resolved, I am determined to become the quintessential “staycationer”. A leisure pursuit designed just for people like me. No stressful preparation, planning or packing. Just come home from work one evening, settle into the recliner with a six-pack and turn on ESPN. A week or two later, shower, shave and head back to the office. Perfection!

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