Monday, June 23, 2014

You Couldn't Pay Me...

This is a phrase I keep hearing when I travel, and it wears thin... Oh, after about the first time I hear it on a trip.  "You couldn't pay me to take a vacation here."  "You couldn't pay me to live here." "You couldn't pay me to come here."  (And the ever-popular "You couldn't pay me to eat their food."  Okay, more Cornish Pasties and Cottage Pie for me, thanks.) Of course, there are more variations that I have heard, and maybe I'm being unreasonable, but it really angers me to have to listen to it nonstop by people who, YES, actually did pay to go there.  And now, it seems, are taking their gripe factor to the next level by trying to bring me down and make me miserable too.

May I ask this?  When you hate everything, everywhere you go, who do you keep going? (Of course, this may just be another person who is simply exhausted like me, but has the energy to say these things, when I have energy enough to fall asleep on a weaving motorcoach or a bench on a street filled with pickpockets.)

When I have paid THAT MUCH for a tour, the only mood suggestions I want are from that sunny fellow traveler pointing out lots of good things about where we are, to the point I forget to dwell on just how much pain I'm in from my aching arches / plantar fasciitis / broken toe, or whatever my exact problem is at this less-than-halfway point of our journey.  I appreciate the reminders to take my ibuprofen and the gentle concern about what's wrong with me, as well as the acceptance of my completely brushing off my pain.  This was my attitude:  "All I can do is suck it up and keep going, because I'm not going to miss anything while I'm here."  I said several times I've just got to suck it up and keep moving.  

Nothing can be done about it anyway, according to the neurosurgeon I consulted.  The rest of my life will be daily pain, and sometimes it will be tearful for me.  

I was okay with that, because I was allowed to make my own decision.  :) Tell me you're going to torture me in the gym by making me run a mile and a half on my first day back after months off, and I will most definitely be resentful and resistant.  Let me make my own choices about it, and all it takes is that one song spurring my perverse notion to run without any encouragement or threat whatsoever.  

(There was that quiet voice I heard yesterday in my head, saying, "Oh no, you're going to run, aren't you? You shouldn't.  But you're going to." And then I turned on my 10K trainer program to week one, day one, and hit the start button.)

A big part of that is the desire to be a runner, and to be a smaller person, just as there is my desire, when traveling, to not miss anything I don't have to.  Still, self motivation is often the key, so why do other people want to try to ruin someone else's motivation by being negative?  

A lot of the walking that is required on a tour like this exacerbates the sciatic nerve pain I have to deal with every day -- when I've pushed too far (according to my sciatic nerve and not my will), instead of thigh numbness, I get fiery electrical pain stabbing and flaming through the front and side of my entire right thigh.  

I don't want to hear how much my fellow traveler hates our current location, because it kills my own enjoyment, which I could be using to drown out the pain I'm in.  Let me enjoy the vacation I've waited and paid for over two years.  Find a willing listener.  I'm busy looking for the sunshine, and being an ADD person, it's easy to tear away my attention and make me anxious about the whirl and crush of the people surrounding me. 

By the way, have I spent all my time telling you about my pain? No? I kept it pretty quiet, didn't I? My roommate and group leader know about what I'm hiding, and nobody else needs to know why I almost shriek when I put my bare feet on the floor in the morning, and limp for a long time after that, because ...

OMG! This is a train that's going to whisk us UNDER the English Channel at better than 200mph!  (Right after I get ripped off on currency exchange and I suspect housekeeping stole some euros from my luggage). Still, OMG, how cool is this gonna be! *

WOW!  Ireland is beautifully, lushly, gorgeously green and filled with charming villages, little houses surrounded by rustic rock walls, castles and cathedrals, and such warm, friendly, and funny people!  (Rain?  Big freaking deal!!  This place makes me want to dance in the rain!  Sure it's a bit chilly, but I brought a hoodie and it's a fine excuse to buy the Aran sweater I've always wanted!  Where can I see the fairies?  LOL)

LOVELY and peaceful... Ah, Wales is enchanting (yes, after you leave Holyhead, I agree)  Such a romantic place, it's no wonder King Arthur lived in the mountains here. Hey, I believe it, now that I've seen the place.  So what's a little haunting, when the hotel is so interesting to explore, and there's a lovely front garden right over a whitewater river?

INCREDIBLE...London is so huge and fast-paced, but there's so much amazing history, and probably anything you could want to keep you busy and entertained for the rest of your life...  I want to go back there and stay longer someday.  :) And visiting two of the Royal Family's castles?  Just... Wow.  :)

So why are you trying to spoil my good time by telling me you hate it, every chance you get? Who designated me your earpiece? Pardon me, while I walk away and stay away as much as possible. Please don't garsh my mellow?  :D  

I don't hate it.  I love it, and I would even go back to Paris though I wasn't my favorite place and I felt very intimidated there.  I promise, I'll learn more French before I go back.  And figure out a way to have more energy.

You know, in Dublin I went to one of the Lush stores, and bought some rose jam bath bombs.  I took three bubble baths on my tour, and they helped with the pain in my feet.  I walked around Paris with no tape wrapped around my arches at all.  And I was fine, except my energy was rapidly dying and I fell asleep on a couple of different benches.  It might have been psychological, but I suspect the hot water soak and some of the ingredients in that bubble bath were beneficial, justifying the purchase. :).

Maybe I should have given one of the bath bombs to that negative person?  It probably would have resulted in more complaint about the fragrance, the bubbles, the color.... Nah.  More for me.  

* I did get ripped off on the currency exchange going from dollars to pounds to euros.  No other choice, really.  However, I did say to my roommate that I couldn't find that fifteen euros I thought I put in my bag, but wasn't sure, and I didn't really believe housekeeping stole it.  I kept saying that I would likely find it later in that famous place "I'll put it here so I don't lose it," where I promptly DID lose it.  And I did... After I was home, I found it in the zipped security pocket of my purse. :)   Which means I need to go back to Europe to spend my euros. Lol

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