The Dark Side of Travel


This is my “new” travel article. I may start a column for Travel and Leisure magazine 😉 Stay tuned…

Let me start off by saying, I am quite a positive person. I don’t think the world is coming to an end and I don’t think there’s no point to life. Life is amazing. I also happen to be harshly realistic.

To all the pilots out there! Let me say you are the unsung heroes of a very ungrateful, rude, entitled, abusive, cranky culture of people who only bitch about all the negative issues with traveling. (I know this seems like I am contradicting myself but be patient I am bitching about something totally different here). You take everyone where they want to go! It’s truly incredible, that we can board a plane on one side of this great earth and within hours, be it 7 or 27 and be on the opposite side of the world. It really is something to marvel. I personally would like to thank you all. I have never understood how people can be in an airport and be so disgustingly rude to the airlines when there is a delay or when there is a mechanical problem with the AIRPLANE that a flight is cancelled. For OUR safety. I am actually thankful, but I digress.

There are people who love to travel and the I am not one of them. Like my insane 70 something mother in law Myrna Goodman Gotfrit, who is always planning her next one month trip to the Congo or a cruise through Alaska, a one month tour of Burma or a Sherpa escorted ascent of Everest. This woman has more energy than ten women combined. With a wonderful curiosity of culture and discovery.. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up knowing travel. The furthest place I ever went until I was 22 was Hallandale Florida. And most of the 10 times I went, we drove there in my parents lovely brown Granada with leather seats. My sister , brother and I in the back seat for 3 days. With my father searching for White Castle burgers and Church’s fried chicken. Then there was the always required stop at South of the Border for a sombrero ashtray even though none of us smoked ;-). You do the math. Maybe it’s because I live in what I consider to the one of the best places I could ever imagine on earth. Whatever the reason is, here is my rant.

No one ever talks about the dark side of travel. I am here to expose the deep dark dirty underbelly of all those Glamour shots of the beaches you see. All you see is the wonderful, smiley, selfie stick posed pictures. I myself am guilty of this. (Minus the selfie stick, tony refused to indulge me with one) All we share are pics of the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum in Rome and all the amazing shopping. There is a dark side people! And we have all been there. Everything about travel is awful. Cramming what you think you’ll need for 2 weeks in to one suitcase, the airports, clearing security, the flying part, crying babies, there is always ONE, the unidentified germs, the flatchulence, the porters, the taxis, the hotels with hairs in the shower or even better on your sheets, the busses, the trains, the bathrooms, the foreign languages, the foreign currency, the jet lag, the list goes on. And all of it for what? I honestly don’t get it. As far as I’m concerned Italy looked like Temecula on a sunny day. Very pretty but…Unless you travel like Donald Trump on your own private jet, and are in the 3 % of the population that are able to do so, the reality of commercial travel is brutal. And don’t even get me started on people who even insinuate that they have ever joined the MILE HIGH club!!! If you have had sex in an airplane lavatory at 27000 feet, you are one crazy MOFO, who probably has some form of STD, and should be quarantined.

Now don’t get your knickers in a twist, I am talking about leisure travel, not the people who NEED to travel, for work or for family, or for any other necessary reasons.

Thankfully most of us choose to remember all the good parts. Not the delays, people sneezing on you, the pushing and shoving, the disgusting third world bathrooms that are clogged and have piss on the seats and the wretched excuse for food that is sold to us in every airport across the world. The truth is, as with everything in this world, everything is up sold. Like the way McDonald’s can make a 700 day old burger look juicy fresh appetizing and healthy for you. Or the way the ads for trains in Europe can look like the classiest cleanest best way to travel, when in fact they are utterly disgusting fast metal tubes that are as archaic as the trains that ran in the 1800s with an outhouse for a toilet and one of the most unsanitary displays of seating I have ever been witness to. Ps this was in the 1st class cabin!

Now, I am not a spoiled brat as some of you may be thinking. There is a difference between Paris Hilton requesting a red carpet on the runway and having a hotel filled with 6 dozen of my favorite flowers along with 4000 green m&m’s. But that’s not the point of this rant.

The point is this has nothing to do with how grateful I am, or how spiritual I should be, it simply has to do with the fact that I am very lucky and very happy to live where I live. I don’t feel like I am missing anything. I guess I’m creature of habit, but guess what… that’s not a bad thing. At least not to me. As far as I’m concerned, all the people who travel for a living are heroes. Life on the road is NOT glamorous, and certainly not as luxurious as everyone’s pictures portray. I am very happy staying put.

We had fun on this trip. We really did! I loved every minute of it. We laughed a lot and played a lot, But it wasn’t because we travelled to Rome, it was because we enjoy each other. We got to be alone with each other in a way that we have never experienced, we never even had a real honeymoon, we had two of our three children at our wedding 🙂 We do most of the same stuff at home. Maybe we have a few more challenges with work and kids but for the most part, he mostly makes me laugh almost everyday ;-).

As for me and my travel adventures, I would be quite content if I never left SoCal ever again. I love history and I appreciate all the beauty this world has to offer, but i am quite content enjoying all of it from the comfort of my own home watching it on National Geographic, or reading about it in a book. Unless were talking about Paris. I would go there again anytime 🙂 Tony Blauer…been a world traveller for over 30 yrs #newrespect ✈️😘