"Why go to Venice when I can stay home?" Some people just don’t want to take off to parts unknown. If travel is oxygen for you, but your mate would just prefer to lay on a couch holding a remote, that’s a problem.
For some people, the idea that someone would prefer to stay home is incomprehensible. Who doesn’t want new experiences, new people, new sights, and new challenges?
Reasons Some Hate To Travel
Some non-travelers cite the expense of travel and of missing work, or they may fear eating unfamiliar (or suspect) food and the resulting potential health issues (real or imagined). As a friend I follow on social media wrote: “I’m sure that there are guys who love to travel, but in my experience most of my male friends don’t care about going to Paris just to eat a plate of snails, if you know what I mean.”
Some people feel humiliated when they don’t understand the language or culture of a country, and some are loath to ask for information or directions. Many simply hate battling the crowds and traffic at popular tourist sites.
Travel-phobic humorist Dave Barry’s take on traffic in Paris gave me a chuckle: “Another well-known Paris landmark is the Arc de Triomphe, a moving monument to the many brave women and men who have died trying to visit it.”
What travel aficionados may fear most, though, is that their partner simply lacks curiosity -- or enough curiosity -- to find out about how other people live.
A shining example of this mentality comes from Jerry Seinfeld, who said, “Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.”
Of course, being uncomfortable or facing obstacles is not enough to stop true travelers from exploring. We may even be inspired by the challenge, which can heap on more frustration when we compare our desire to get going with our mate’s commitment to staying at home.
Ways To Help Your Mate
There are those who try cajoling, arguing, bartering, threatening, or gifting a mate with guilt, but these are perhaps not the most constructive ways to arrive at a solution. Alternative ways to proceed before all hope is lost include trying to understand why he or she doesn’t want to go. Is it fear, laziness, lack of money, lack of curiosity?
In-depth conversations about what a non-traveler is feeling may result in a change of attitudes, however small. Maybe your mate is frightened and doesn’t know how to negotiate a new city. Perhaps appearing less-than-competent during travel is humiliating. Or your mate could be someone who feels as if they must always be in control, which we know is an impossibility while traveling. That said, lots of travel research combined with careful planning may make insecurities fade.
Here are a few more means of achieving happy equilibrium, and maybe even enjoying a journey together:
1. Compromise Where And How You Travel
Take baby steps. Go for a short trip based on his or her interests -- perhaps a weekend trip to the beach or a visit to a Civil War battlefield or a weekend hike. Your trips need not be on your bucket list. Start small and expand your scope from there.
2. Take Turns Traveling (Or “Please Let The Dogs Out”)
Traveling without your mate, whether solo or with friends, also means that the at-home partner can take care of bills, shovel snow, walk Fido, and handle other responsibilities. Then you can switch roles when they travel, if they choose to.
3. Accept Them For Who They Are
Maybe your partner has a lot of good qualities other than travel lust, and perhaps the fact that she tells great stories and laughs at your jokes is more important than whether she’s open to trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas.
When it comes down to it, you just may prefer to spend your life with the non-traveler you love.
4. Find Somebody New
One person wrote, “Help! I’m dating Carmen Sandiego.” If someone makes you feel as if you can’t do what you love without feeling guilty, and if travel means that much to you, perhaps these differences are not fixable. One woman on social media found that her partner’s lack of interest in travel was symbolic of his lack of interest in many things she cares about.
In The End, Attitude Is All
These attitudes, and tensions, are not uncommon when one person in a pair loves to travel while the other doesn’t. Understanding what kind of dynamic you’re in can help you when it comes to decisions big (like breaking something off) and small (saying yes to a girls’ weekend guilt-free).
Want to plan a girls’ getaway? Here are essential tips for women’s group travel.