100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself #38.

This one is a no-brainer, especially when you consider what I do for a living.

Well, truth be told, the line should be, “What I do for barely-a-living”, but you get the point, right?

#38: Travel.

Personally, I feel travel is about both the journey and the destination, as both can change you irrevocably. Though let’s be honest, they probably won’t; a weekend in Niagara Falls isn’t likely to upgrade your entire existence, even if I’m your bellman. But then again, it doesn’t have to.

Just getting off your couch and interacting with some of this planet’s other denizens will help give you perspective. I always find it helpful to meet people who are more screwed up than I am. And yes, these people actually exist, thank you very much. Granted, budgetary concerns may be keeping you home but that’s nothing that can’t be solved with some spending scrutiny or maybe a simple trip within your own city rather than a global excursion. The key here is to travel anywhere, okay?

From the pyramids of Egypt to the cobblestone streets of Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, England, to the gleaming glass towers of Dubai, this world is loaded to capacity with points of interest for individuals of all tastes and backgrounds. It doesn’t matter what you’re into or where you’re form originally, you can travel to a point of the globe where like-minded people reside. Yes, the internet allows us to “travel” anywhere for the cost of a wi-fi connection, but there’s no substitute for the open road. Or a plane. Or a sea-faring vessel.

I’d rather have been on vacation with Chevy…

 

Of course, I remember the few family vacations we took back in the day – but only because I’m not willing to block the memory out with government-sanctioned weed, other drugs or good ole Canadian beer. In fact I have a theory that most alcoholics are just trying to drown out the sound of one their parent’s screaming:

“I swear, if you kids don’t knock it off back there I’ll not only turn this car around, I’ll run it into the next tractor trailer we cross paths with! And the debris will spread for miles and miles!”

That, by the way, was an actual quote from my old man during one of the two long-distance trips we took as a family. In true Hookey tradition my daughter has already decided she’d rather walk than get in a vehicle with my wife and I for longer than a half-hour.

But this doesn’t have to be you. Maybe you’re single or maybe you and your spouse aren’t nuts (though I doubt it; true love just has that effect on people) but either way, it’s still worth leaving your comfort zone to see what the world has to offer. You can start by checking out any of the millions of travel blogs/sites out on the web. (Yeah, I know I told you to leave the web behind but you should consult it before you go outside, Poindexter!) There are some pretty amazing individuals out there who can provide dozens of options and first-hand accounts that will prove invaluable.

I know several and I don’t want to play favorites, but Susie Lindau and Dave Ply are both exceptional travel writers, though as I’ve said, there are more out there than you could ever hope to read in one lifetime. In my case, as a bellman I see travel from the destination end, especially since I rarely travel myself.

But I can tell you this: most people are so stressed out from their journey and their inability to disconnect from their devices that they never fully embrace the experience they’re paying thousands of over-priced dollars to enjoy. And so they walk around Niagara Falls while staring into their phones and complaining about the “funny money Canadians use”, or the legally blind valet driver (trust me, we actually had one) or the runny eggs at the breakfast buffet.

Don’t be one of these people. Get out of your house and see, and most importantly, enjoy the world around you. Traveling can help us forget our problems for a precious moment or two and those moments can be all we need to embrace life over death. Plus, think of all the stuff you can swipe from the hotel room.

See you in the lobby, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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42 Responses to 100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself #38.

  1. Generally n the company of my wife (then) I’ve been to 38 countries. We stayed in 5* hotels, we stayed in 2 quid a night flophouses (more normally). We met a man called Helicopter, and got offered twin dwarf hookers (true story, that.). My wife as was was the best person in the world to travel with, adventurous, not averse to taking the odd risk. We both suffered from depression, as I still do. But boy did the travel take the edge of it

  2. Traveling changes our perspective, and helps us understand others, and even better, perhaps understand ourselves more. I love to travel …. to a point. Flying is a pain anymore and adds stress tenfold. But once I arrive somewhere, I keep my phone OFF (except for photos here and there) and sink into the world where I’ve arrived. The best way. Perhaps hotels should offer a basket by the front door in the lobby where all guests must leave their cell phones while they leave to ‘explore’ and “be a tourist.” It would make their time so much more enjoyable.

  3. Dan Antion says:

    I am looking forward to not having to travel, as I approach retirement, but I still love a road trip with our daughter. I’ve been on many long family vacations (from childhood) and they were always fun. My dad was like a little kid behind the wheel.

  4. So sensible and on target. Easy to get ground down by the daily and get so far stuck in a rut you think that’s all it is. Get out there – and BE there ( turning off the phone is a good thing…the world will not stop turning and it all can wait)
    Great insightful post

  5. Exploring things outside one’s closed circle is always good for mental health. Good point, Hook.

  6. Good one! A change of scenery can do wonders.

    • The Hook says:

      Most definitely.
      But only if one unwinds and is open to new possibilities.

      • True. Also, I never appreciated living in a first world country until my work took me to second and third world countries. I now appreciate things I formerly took for granted, like indoor plumbing, clean water, electricity that stays on most of the time, opportunities to earn the same paycheck as my male counterparts when I worked on deep sea ships, free public education, etc.

      • The Hook says:

        You are most wise, my friend.

  7. I went to NZ in 2010 with one carry on and one case in the hold (I was allowed three, but only took one). I came back with one larger carry on and 2 cases in the hold, one of which contained token souvenirs of various restaurants and the airline………….. I didn’t stay in a hotel but with family and friends for the 2 months duration.

  8. Fall Fraust says:

    I agree. Traveling is an amazing perception stretching, growth sprouting event. I’m not big on flying now, but I’ll happily jump into a car any day. The last roadtrip was when I drove across several states. My sister lives in London and met me in New Mexico. I left several days ahead of time so I could take my time getting there. I love to stop and explore when my spirit lures me. When I got back home; I was off again two days later to drive into the mountains of Idaho for a best friends wedding. The pastor had cancelled and Dan (said friend) asked me to get ordained and marry him to the girl he met online. She lived in Europe, he lived here in WA state. I married them on a lovely rocky beach in October, with the snow crested mountains around us. When the guests were tucked safely in their cabins, the married couple, Dans best man, his cousin and I were chatting in the newlyweds cabin when a bat flew in. Yep… bat. After trying to get the poor thing to depart, including trying to use the shower curtain bar as a herding tool, we all gave up and it spent the night with the newlyweds, hanging out in the rafters of their cabin. Heh heh.

  9. Doug in Oakland says:

    I’m not a big traveler, but I did a bit of it a long time ago when I raced motorcycles. I do like the feeling of grabbing only what I’ll need and taking off, though, something I’ve done a few times out of necessity without much traveling involved.
    I find that feeling to be liberating, as responsibility for non-living items is voluntary but sometimes every bit as stressful if you let it be.

  10. Jennie says:

    Well said, Hook. This advice can change a person. Talk to your neighbor, strike up a conversation with someone. Drag hubby to that event, and he’ll have a good time. Go see something new, like an art museum or a park. You don’t have to go far.

  11. Doug in Oakland says:

    OK, I just saw one of those big brass luggage carts. I was waiting in the parking lot of the vet with the cat for it to be his turn to get booster shots, when across the street someone came out of the hotel with one loaded all the way up to the arches.
    They were immediately followed by someone with more luggage and loose clothing in one of those rolling baskets you find at laundromats…

  12. List of X says:

    I guess not all travel is created equal, and judging by you father’s quote, can occasionally make people more likely to kill someone or themselves, not less.

  13. Dave Ply says:

    Hey Hook, thanks for the shout out! Needless to say, I’m fully on board with the idea that travel is good for you, if you can swing it. And if you can’t make it to the next country over, try the next county over – if it’ll get you to look at the larger world and the idea there’s more than one way to live happily.

  14. susielindau says:

    Thanks for the shout out, Hook! I love meeting all kinds of people while on vacation. Traveling not only refreshes me, it sparks all kinds of creativity when I get home!. it’s one of my favorite things to do!

  15. Tara says:

    Hubs and I do a lot of road trips, and I look forward to them (once I get past the anxiety it initially produces – packing, planning, waiting for house/dog sitter)…. it’s all new and inspiring, not to mention getting to see more of the landscape we inhabit. Upcoming: a 4-day excursion to NYC > Syracuse > Buffalo > wave at you from the US side of Niagara > Erie > Cleveland. Excited and already exhausted.

  16. curvyroads says:

    Amen!  “The key here is to travel anywhere, okay?” That quote says it all!

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