As far as travel, it’s partly that because I'm anxious to learn everything I can about where I’m going, so I don’t go to Paris and miss the Eiffel Tower. But it’s also a sense memory that goes back to the days when foreign vacations were complicated. Going abroad meant going to the bank on your lunch hour to buy American Express travelers checks; locating the receipts for cameras, watches etc. you were taking to prove that you hadn’t bought them on the trip; packing film, travel irons, hairdryers, and special outlet plugs; trying to figure out how to call home in case of emergency. Passports expired every three years instead of ten. You had to make sure your tickets arrived in the mail, and that you had maps and travel guides and enough books to read.
And now? In five minutes on the Internet you can cancel the newspaper, have the mail held, notify your credit cards that you’ll be out of the country, and print up your plane confirmation. All you need is a passport, ATM card, a change of clothes, and a Kindle or iPad, and you’re good to go. Internet cafes are as easy to find in foreign lands as nail salons or Starbucks at home. You can get Preparation-H in any language.
So why does it still seem like a big deal? We’re leaving for England July 6, and when we were invited to a party on July 4th, my kneejerk reaction was, “No, it’s too close!”
Of course it’s not. I travel with a carry-on suitcase, not a steamer trunk. If you told me I had to be ready to leave three hours from now, I could be, albeit with a lot of rushing around.
Something similar happens with entertaining, but I’ll talk about another time.
Meanwhile I have to remind myself, “Don’t make it bigger than it is,” and get on with my life.