The Worst Part of Traveling

20150409_BAS_The Worst Part of Traveling
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I think I have mentioned before that I am not much an avid traveler. Not any more, I have to say. I used to, but age has transformed me into a terrible routine person.

There are a couple of reasons why traveling is as much a nuisance to me as it is a pleasure, such as not being able to sleep in my own bed, work out at my gym or eat exactly when and what I want. Oh, and nowadays, I am also worried sick about the lovely old cat back home.

But the worst part of traveling is packing my suitcase. Even the thought stresses me out. I’ve been working on the hideous task for the past hour now, which means I am surrounded by stacks of dresses, pants and sweaters, about 12 pairs of shoes—which are all perfect candidates for this trip—and the presents I am bringing. Oh, and then there is what feels like 20 pounds in protein shakes, energy bars and supplements I have grown used to since training for my first marathon.

I tell you, as much as I am looking forward to being in Frankfurt—if I could bail out of the trip right now, I probably would, just to avoid squeezing all that stuff in my huge suitcase, hoping it’s under 70 pounds, and dragging it down to the towncar. (Obviously, as I also have a carry-on case, I am not even thinking about taking public transport out to the airport.)

This is one of those moments where I totally hate traveling. It is usually also the moment when the man of my heart reminds me (which he can’t do today because he has other out-of-town obligations) that it is pretty easy to declare you are done with traveling when you had the good fortune of growing up smack in the center of Europe and with a father who took you to most central and western European countries and Russia too before even graduating from high school.

As a university student and on my first job afterwards, teaching college in the U.S., I added a couple of classic European party and beach destinations, as well as 34 of the American states. I have been to Africa, Asia and South America only once each, but I admit that’s due to my very Europhile lack in interest in cultures that don’t touch me on an emotional level.

There are a couple of must-see countries on my list, and I will go there eventually, but I am in no rush whatsoever. I have been discussing trips to Alaska and Hawaii with a few people, and I am interested but I haven’t committed yet. Because for the time being, the only destination I can fully commit to is “home.” Frankfurt is where I wanted to go all winter, and today is the day. So I will stop whining and bitching now, and get my suitcase packed!

Maybe I should add some Dr. Bach’s rescue drops and sleeping pills to my carry-on. After all, the moment I am done packing, I am in for the second and third most annoying thing about international travel: making my way through all these lines at the airport and spending ten hours on a plane. But when I get too annoyed, I just need to remind myself that I am going home—and that’s all worth the trouble!

Olivia de Winter is most of all an avid writer and reader. Though she likes to consider herself a cosmopolitan, she is quite European - or German, to be honest - in many respects.

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