Tuesday, March 3, 2009


"Nesting" is a term that has been used more often since September 11, 2001, and the decline in domestic and international air travel that followed. While air travel is up significantly since then, what also is "up" are three things that no one likes: higher ticket prices; hassles, in general, getting through airport security; and the niddling fees tacked on to air tickets (the "homeland security fee" is another name for a federal tax), as well as nuisance fees tacked on by the airlines at the airport: from baggage fees to pillows to aisle or emergency exit seats.

I'm not that old... just past the half-century mark... but in a "previous life," and in a previous job, I traveled a lot. I mean A LOT -- some years, over 100,000 actual air miles every year. While most of my travel was domestic (within the U.S.), there were times when business would send me to Central and South America, Europe, Asia, or Australia. Tinian, Rota, Saipan, Guam, Samoa, Vanuatu... off the beaten-track locations as well. Overall, I've tallied 56 countries on my "been there" list, and cherish (almost) every visit, everywhere.

I would save up airline miles for my partner and me to take some really wonderful trips. Our wanderlust brought us to Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and various interesting places right here in our own country.

But that was back in the day when...

  • Airline miles actually were useful

  • You could "upgrade" affordably to business class when going far, such as to our favourite locale Down Under

  • Checking bags and getting through security didn't take forever

  • My partner could travel -- due to his disability, now he can't
While I did take a trip to Arizona recently -- using airline miles -- that was the first trip "for fun" that I have taken on an airline in four years. Who knows, it might be another four years hence that I take a "fun trip" that requires air travel.

Meanwhile, we enjoy "nesting." We have built a marvelous retreat at home. Our back yard was transformed into a park, where we can rest on our double hammock, watch the squirrels play high in the trees, and listen to the babbling brook while the wind blows softly through the leaves.

At night and in winter, we retreat to our basement, which we finished together as a joint project. While I have done a lot of home renovations in my lifetime, there's nothing that quite describes the feeling you have when you are doing work for the home in which you live, and know that the results are something you will enjoy for a lifetime. Our basement hideaway with its many built-in amenities is quiet, comfortable, and entertaining.

For many reasons, nesting has become our "travel choice." And it ain't that bad, after all. Less stress, you get there immediately (LOL!), and it saves a lot of money. And when I develop that urge to get out, I hop on my Harley and ride. That brings me joy to see my home, my neighborhood, my community, my county, my state, and my country from a perspective few see. I can live with that.

Life is short: enjoy your life and your surroundings. I sure do.

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