Everyone has something that creeps them out, I suppose, and mine is travel.
Trying to process why, I've found two things that contribute, though I suspect they are related:
First, I do not cope all that well with the unfamiliar; it takes me days to start to be comfortable in a new place. The family vacation of my youth, based on making at least 500 miles a day by car and rarely spending a week in one place, was a sublimely disorienting and unpleasant experience. Closer to home, even large stores space me out; through the years, I'll pick one location on the Target/Wall-Mart axis for all my big-box shopping, and even then, I'm pretty dazed by the time I get to the checkout. (Sports stadiums are a nightmare, especially with a crowd in them. I do reach my target heart rate pretty quickly....) Our recent BlogMeet at Claddagh? It wasn't 'til the walk back out that I really had a good look around at the place. "Vacations" I have been able to make a short trip and stay in one place for an extended period of time, it's not been so bad; but the bulk of those were tech schools, and by choice, my routine didn't include sightseeing.
Second, driving. The freeway has never been my favorite, but it's getting worse. Maybe it was the series of minor wrecks in '06, '07, and '08, which respectively messed up my right knee and wiped out two (nearly disposable, I admit) '02 Hyundai Accents, but I have become risk-averse behind the wheel to a terrible extent. I recently had occasion to put in about 30 miles on the freeway, in the dark, at speeds in the 55 to 65 mph range, and I had to keep reminding myself to loosen my grip on the wheel: I was holding on so tightly, I was getting hand cramps. Some of that's got to be from still driving a tiny Accent, this one in worse shape than its predecessors, as opposed to, say, the used '81 XJ-6 my ex and I owned; older Accents are entirely adequate city cars but on an interstate, they feel very fragile. I've not been able to afford contact lenses since I bought this house (in hindsight, a very bad idea, given the way the economy and housing prices crashed afterward) and with eyeglasses, my peripheral vision is essentially non-existent; without a lot of conscious effort, merging traffic can come as a surprise. (It's amusing to me when the better sighted remark on how much I look around, trying to keep track when traffic is merging in from all sides -- they do it, too, but their visual field is a lot wider).
Whatever the reasons, I hope to avoid any travel that's not absolutely necessary. Maybe it broadens horizons for most people, but it narrows mine.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
5 months ago