I don’t globe-trot, I globe-trip
As much as I love to travel, Iâm not very good at it. Motion sickness, homesickness, and a weak stomach make me a far from ideal travel companion. Despite that, over the years my husband, Secret Agent Man, has taken me along for some of his missions.
My first foreign travel experience was an extended trip to Venezuela. It took me a month to acclimate to the food. After any meal I felt was not going to sit right, I would drink straight from the bottle of Pepto I carried with me, in order to stave off any untimely intestinal difficulties. I was expecting Mexican-style food in this Latin country, but what I got was carajotas and arepitas. Donât know what those are? Just let your imagination run wild. I have to admit though, that after a while I came to enjoy hallacas and years later, I would do anything for a plate of pabellÃ³n criollo.
One place I didnât need time to get used to the food was on a cruise ship. Itâs amazing to have 24/7 access to unlimited pizza and ice cream, not to mention expertly prepared gourmet meals.
My first cruise to the Caribbean was cut short. I was in my first trimester of pregnancy, which kept me from taking any anti-motion sickness medication. I ended up flying home when we docked in Puerto Rico. Although the sail was relatively smooth, this land-locked, expectant mother couldnât handle the gentle rocking motion that would put the more seasoned sailor to sleep. Seeing the Back Street Boys in the Puerto Rico airport was a poor consolation for a cruise run aground.
Our next cruise went a lot better. I wasnât pregnant, for one thing, and I wore the anti-motion sickness patch. The patch worked great! I danced in Mazatlan. I snorkled in Cabo. I even went down a waterslide shaped like a giant alligator in Acapulco!
It wasnât until after we were home and I took the patch off that I got post cruise motion sickness. It sounds crazy, but it is real. For a day and a half after the cruise, I laid prostrate on the family room floor with a bucket next to my head while my three small kids sat around me, watched TV, and periodically passed me crackers and 7-up.
At least I had my children with me on the Mexican cruise, unlike our trip to Singapore. Secret Agent Man was there on assignment, so I spent most of my days wandering the city alone. He still has no idea how much time I spent in our hotel room being homesick and crying for our kids.
Despite missing them terribly, Singapore was my favorite destination. It is clean, safe, and modern, but it still maintains a small tropical island charm. Best of all, everyone in Singapore speaks English! I would jump at the chance to go back, except this time, Iâd take the kids.
Singapore ruined me forever when it comes to public transportation. Their subway system is sparkling clean and efficient, unlike New Yorkâs. During a recent trip to the Big Apple this past December, I said to Secret Agent Man, âHow is it that we are the greatest super power in the world, but there is excrement in our subways?â?
The small island-country may have us beat for public transportation, but I have never had more of an emotional reaction to a location as I did in Times Square. I have heard it described as being the center of the universe, but when we first visited it during the day, I wasnât impressed. Tall buildings, lots of people whatâs the big deal?
It wasnât until we returned the next night to see the musical The Lion King, I felt an incredible vibe that is difficult to describe unless you have felt it. That energy people talk about when they describe New York City and Times Square. The constant motion of people and traffic, the bright lights, and the multi-cultural atmosphere, I really did feel like I was standing in the center of the universe.
Next month, I am going to be standing in the center of a volcano. Well, not really. Secret Agent Man is daring to take this reluctant traveler to Hawaii. I want to see a volcano, but I donât actually want to stand in the center of it. Vertigo, nausea, and hot feet? No thanks. Iâll keep my hula skirt and Dramamine at a safe distance.
What are your favorite destinations? Where do you like to travel with the kids? Where do you like to go without the kids?