I’ve been meaning to post pictures of my trip to San Luis Obispo for weeks now, but I’ve lately fallen into the rabbit hole of self help books. I know, I know. it’s incredibly good for me, incredibly bad for this blog. And, as we all know, at some point you just have to stop all the processing and journaling and weeping about it and just get on with the business of living. So, here it is. The start of my trip.
Were the discovery of the New World up to me, were I asked by the moneyed elite to captain a rollicking, gigantic vessel designed to cut through vast expanses of bumpy sea, were I handed a satchelful of gold and a crudely drawn map and promised fame and glory, were I told innumerable riches, exotic women, and lush climates awaited me in a beautiful new country, I would have considered the offer with a deep and sober humility. I would have calculated the promise of honor, and weighed it against the risk of death. I would have allotted the proper amount of pacing back and forth with hands behind the back and tugging on the chin. And then I would have turned to my benefactors, shrugged my shoulders and said, “Meh. I’ll skip it. I’m starved. What’s there to eat around here?”
Not that discovery and travel don’t excite me! In fact, they are the only things left that excite me! (Well, that and new flavors of cheese puffs). It’s the getting there that puts me off. And not because of time or boredom or anything like that. In all matters of cross continental escapades, it’s the motion sickness that is the undoing of my enthusiasm.
I haven’t talked much about our boat (may she rest in peace with her new owners) on this blog, and with good reason. We bought it, I nearly peed myself in anxiety when we moved it to another slip, we took it out for a few day trips, and that was it. We sold it. And all because I couldn’t handle the motion of the ocean.
Travel by boat, though, has its charms. (They wear off after about two hours). It’s the air travel, start to finish, that’s the absolute pits. And we can just skip the discussion about the public theater that is the security check at the airport. And the bad food and the service and the stench of humankind packed into a winged steel tube. For me, it’s the tiny mutiny going on inside my head that makes almost all travel not worth it. My tiny sinuses and the disastrous labyrinth that is my inner ear all conspire to keep me home-bound.
But I do want to leave the house! I do, I do, I do! It’s a disconcerting thing, really, this desire to be rowed through the canals of Venice, to want to eat soup for breakfast on the streets of Vietnam, to want to paddle my surfboard out into the Pacific along the Panamanian coast… and then to be thwarted by my own shitty head-plumbing.
I suppose, given my new foray into the Laws of Attraction and all that jazz, I could dig deep for the metaphor here. I could consider that maybe my focus on the destination and not the journey is really what keeps me from enjoying the ride. Maybe I am just not at the place in my life to understand how airsickness is revealing itself as a teacher of a greater lesson.
Oooooooor…. maybe there is no freakin’ lesson. For God’s sake. Maybe I am just not designed to sit (as Louis CK says) in a chair 30,000 feet in the air and think this is completely normal.
I think I am designed to sit about two feet off the pavement, in my Honda Civic. Or maybe four feet off the ground in a train car. Something not subject to the twitchy temperament of winds or, ya know, clouds.
A massage therapist recently suggested soaking my feet in an Epsom salt bath every night to draw the energy mucking up my head into my the lower part of my body. If there was a way to pull the mangled locomotive engine parts out of my head and put them in my feet, I gladly would. I would happily take nauseous ankles over a head that feels like it might explode from the pressure any day of the week.
How wrong is it, when I fly, to wish I could ferry all the discomfort from my head to my stomach so I could just have a good old fashioned heave-ho into an airsickness bag and be done with it? Why do I have to contend with the feeling of a balloon being inflated inside my skull? Why can’t I have restless legs or legs that are too long for an airplane seat? Why, oh why, must I be obsessed with visiting places ravaged by things like “pockets of warm air” or “tropical storm fronts”?
And how hard is it to calm yourself down with deep cleansing breaths when the air you’re breathing smells and tastes like dirty shag carpeting? Hard. And then there are the toilets threatening to suction your intestines out and distribute them over a farm in Iowa somewhe-
Wait. This is supposed to be a post about a really awesome trip I went on with a good friend of mine.
So. Ahem. ANYWHO. After a slight delay at the airport, we boarded the plane. Seattle, like the abusive boyfriend of a city that it is, gave us a rainbow in a last ditch effort to say “Don’t leave! I promise I’ll never hurt you again, baby.”
The ascent was the worst I’ve ever experienced in my life. The winds were pretty fierce, so, to avoid bumps, the pilot cocked the plane back on its rear wheels, pointed the nose STRAIGHT up into the air, and shot up to 30,000 feet in, like, sixteen seconds. I’m not even exaggerating. My head hurt so bad afterward, I could hardly hold my hands steady to take this picture. Thanks, Victoria, for help with the shot.
Next post: Day Two (where there will be no mention of vomit, I promise).