Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A Trip to Fargo?

I sat and read over an interesting piece by the L A article covering the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

Course, they don't tell you much on the commission....who makes it up....or if there is some agenda item that the Commission pushes on behalf of some lobby group or political faction.

The emphasis of this study?  They've done enough statistics and say with some authority.....that travel is the best medicine for stress.  They have the numbers to say you have fewer heart attacks and less heart disease.

They kinda recommended that one vacation every six years isn't enough, and you ought to take a couple of days off every six months, and go somewhere.

I sat and pondered over this.  Evidently, they haven't traveled with me, and felt intense travel pressures.

There was the time when I was traveling through JFK in New York City, and Delta canceled my flight in the late afternoon.....leaving me to dangle and get all stressed in finding a hotel, and traveling deep into the heart of Manhattan.

There was the trip to Turkey, where I questioned food purity and safety almost daily.

There were the various trips where the plane was delayed, or the AC units barely functioned.

There were the fateful days before GPS when you had to keep one eye on the road, and one eye on some small-font map.

The thrill of getting to an airport these days and messing with the TSA folks?  You feel like you've entered some Nazi-controlled territory and you'd rather skip the experience.

Entering the country and dealing with customs?  After standing in line for ninety get some dimwit asking you where you went and if you possibly have some issues.  You'd like to just slap back five shots of Jack Daniels and have some guy wheel you through the business in a wheel-chair.

 I worked with a guy who'd been given an old RV, and he was driving to north Arizona one weekend from Tucson.  The RV broke down sixty miles into the trip, and he spent three days getting it fixed and returning to Tucson.

The truth is.....trips and travel are stressful...just a different variety of stress.

When you check into a four-star hotel and end up being pleasantly surprised at the condition of the's a rarely-felt feeling.  When you sit down at a breakfast cafe while on a trip.....eating a non-greasy breakfast is a shocker.  When you do finally get to a great scenic spot, and sit for an hour to consume to the's mostly a shock that you have to leave.

There are three trips in my life where I felt totally relaxed at the very end.  I spent two weeks in a car and traveling from Louisiana to California.....up highway the Cascades of Washington state....and back through the Louisiana.  It probably took five years of stress out of me.

My weekend trip to Ireland, concluded with a half-day drive around the "Ring-of-Fire".....which probably took an entire year's amount of stress out of me.

And that weekend trip to Rome?  Yeah, it relieved me of a year or two of stress.  Just by walking around Rome....eating Italian menus for a weekend....and chilling on a bit of heavy Rome coffee.

Maybe these guys doing the survey are right.  Maybe we ought to be taking a couple of days off every six months.  Maybe we ought to take a three-day weekend trip to Branson.  Maybe we ought to jet off to Aruba and sip cheap cocktails drinks on a marginal beach.  Maybe a trip to Fargo for a week might relieve us of a year or two of stress.