After 4 days in Disneyland last week, I’m letting go of Travel Fear. Right up there with Stranger Danger, and Don’t Touch the Handrail.
Sure, I’ve been known to feel a bit queasy when I first swipe my key card, pausing in front of my hotel room. And I’m not above yelling at my children to put on the too-hot feety pajamas I packed, no matter if we’re vacationing in Hawaii.
Just like you, I’ve seen the black light footage on Nightline exposing all the world’s humanity left behind; despite the Five Star Housekeeping team that promises to sterilize this room that we’ll call home for the next five days.
I’m not suggesting that the World at Large is particularly disgusting.
I’ve held my vomiting 3 year old while she tossed chicken nuggets and chocolate ice cream all over the bed, then leaked pee juice through her PJs at four in the morning. I’ve fallen asleep in my own sweat after hiking too far, I’ve dropped bits of ceaser salad anchovies and goat cheese crostini while watching last year’s blockbuster, and I’ve spilled vodka and bourbon across the pillow when I was too tipsy to properly open the tiny-capped mini-bar selection.
And I consider myself a fairly responsible, tidy person.
So I can only imagine the other ten thousand guests sharing my room. Tired families with five kids under the age of six; newlyweds making babies; high school reunion after parties; wannabe Rockstars with heavy entourages taking ecstasy or edibles or whatever they do now. And in between all that, a string of single guests too depressed to bathe.
It’s almost reason enough to buy a timeshare. All 52 weeks.
Instead, I’ve learned to let it go. Otherwise, where will it end? How will I keep from becoming the kook wearing bright yellow dish-washing gloves and hospital booties to the grocery store, and a sterile face mask to get my mail? It’s a slippery slope from Careful Traveler to Howard Hughes’s crazy cousin.
So I say, free yourself! Sleep in the sheets! Walk barefoot! Massage the grocery cart handle! Use public restrooms! Rest your head on movie seats!
There’s a lot of freedom in letting go of the Little Things. And it’s excellent practice if we ever want to let go of the Big Things. Try it this week. I dare you.
I still don’t touch the bedspread. That’s just crazy talk.