My name is Keira Dominguez and I hate travel. (Hi, Keira.)
I don’t know why this feels like I’m admitting to kicking puppies or not being a foodie, but there you have it. All you Cool Kids Love to Travel. And I love watching you unearth and discover and taste and savor. It is so awesome for you. You and the colorful Instagram feed you rode in on.
I find it stressful and disorienting which isn’t a thing people say out loud. When I am away from home, I long for signs I can decipher and water pressure that feels familiar as it beats against my head. I pine for food I recognize and I’ll sift through a dish like a coroner standing over a dead body, looking for the expected catalog of internal organs. I spend the week before water trips clenching my teeth at night as I imagine the calamities. Not knowing if I am in danger of breaching social norms and rules of politeness drives me banana-crackers.
I am not proud of this. Casting my mind back on the moment I begged my sweet husband to pop into the Venice, Italy McDonalds after one too many culinary adventures does not bring me joy. (Artichoke pizza broke me, that day. My penance was ordering tomato/potato/anchovy something-or-other on the coast.) And, besides, travel is a really good thing.
It does all the stuff The Cool Kids say it will. Broaden. Enrich. Pit your own Way of Being against the intractable Way of Being of others. And there’s always that moment, several days in, when you find yourself lost and know just how it happened and how to get yourself found. I love that moment.
But I have another moment. My sweet spouse is happy as a cow in clover and I’m grumpy and tired and hangry and kind of want to murder this man I have pledged a thousand eternities to because he isn’t as miserable as I am.
Like a robo caller who keeps changing his number, it showed up on my latest adventure.
“I’m the worst,” I say.
My husband smiles like I’m not. “It’s funny that you don’t quite settle down until you realize we really will have a shelter over our head when we arrive. You never imagine we will.”
“I can’t even imagine there’s anything outside the doors of the airport. It might as well be an airport on the edge of a black hole.”
He rubs my back. “You like nests,” he tells me. “You want to find your nest.”