Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Stay on These Roads

Two good friends are considering a joint trip to l'Espagne (which I recommend to anyone, by the way.) As part of their negotiation process, they have been revealing neurosis in a game of bizarro one-upsmanship.

Recently, I spoke to my favorite Good Ole Boy and encouraged him to come to Ireland with me in August (a law school friend is getting married there.) As much as I'd love to hear the Southern drawl meet the Irish lilt, my spontaneous offer has caused me to think about the things that make me a, um, "more challenging" person to travel with. In no particular order, here's the list:

  • I am not a morning person, but I come off like I am. I can't really interact with people in the first 20-30 minutes that I am up (and woe be unto you if you try.) That is very much me time, and I like to spend it quietly. After that, I can be pretty gregarious. Because I tend to wake up way early, things are out of synch: I'm superchatty while the other person is still hatching. Not pretty.
  • I am, in some ways, more of a vacationer than a traveler. My father is of the school of thought that if there are 10 things to see in a city and you are there for 1 day, by God(s), you will see them all. I, on the other hand, would rather see 2 in the morning and spend the afternoon in a cafe watching people walk by. This is one reason why I like traveling alone - I went to Paris and skipped the Louvre because the line was too damn long, but spent 5 hours in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. When it's just you, you're all you have to think about.
  • I'm randomly neurotic at meals. I can't sit with my back to an open room. I can't stand it when a table is covered in eaten dishes - I have to stack them. Both of these things are true right here at home, and don't change when I'm on the road.
  • I'm very laidback, but that can make me resentful. Generally, if someone else has a strong preference for where they want to go for dinner etc., I'll go along with it because it's usually not a big thing for me. BUT, when I'm traveling with someone who is pickier than me, I eventually reach a point where I become enraged. Why should I, by dint of the fact that I'm not that picky, always have to cede? And it's entirely my fault. It's my fault because, of course, I don't have to. If when I push back, the person resists, I really seethe. All me, all me. I know.
  • I'm a brazen hussy. Okay, not really - but I am much more forward about meeting people when I'm abroad. If you're a fellow traveller, or staying at the same hostel, or look like you speak English - I'll invite you along. (This isn't so different from what I am like State-side, just ... more so.)
  • "Turning Japanese"(as one travel friend calls it. And, yes, I do know what the song is actually about.) I take a lot of pictures, and it's not always obvious what I'm snapping away at. I have a penchant for metalwork, flowers, and food. I have entire trips where I have no pictures of the actual people involved.

Um, so who's up for a road trip????


cookiemonsta said...

me me!
wait.. i can't.. i am broke as a joker :(
Enjoy the traveling..

oodles said...

There is no one-upmanship, brimful is the winner, hands-down.
Also, Ireland? That's another place I want to visit!

brimful said...

Yeah, I'm the winner in terms of more horrifying.

I too would like to visit Ireland, but I suffer from a lack of vacation time. Grrr...

I do think, in general, we tend to make a lot of our little particularities- for the most part, if the people traveling together are laid back and not very passive-aggressive, things tend to work out. If for no other reason, you're somewhere you really want to be, and that can smooth over a lot of things that might usual annoy. :)

MAC said...

Don't even think this post will scare me off! I'm not that easy to intimidate... ;)

Law-Rah said...

Oo oo oo...me! I will be in Ireland around the middle of August. When are you going?

Ms. World said...

I travel the same way! Ireland rocks.