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Travelers Who Never Leave Home




September 13, 2017

Yes, it’s not only possible but it is far more common than one might think. Indeed, there are millions of these vicarious travelers, men and women who travel only in their minds. Many of them read our blogs and tell me how much they enjoy the travel blogs and stories (42 and counting) that bear my name.

There are many reasons for stay-at-home traveling. Perhaps the #1 reason has to do with the fact that we tend to marry opposites. Which is probably a good thing: otherwise wimps would perpetuate wimps, spendthrifts would marry spendthrifts and be forced to file for bankruptcy every other month; shy people would marry shy people and never leave the house if they could help it; lazy people would marry lazy people—and starve; and boring people would marry boring people—and no one could stand getting close to either one.

Result: many a chronic traveler, by marrying a stay-at-homer, is doomed to a life of vicarious traveling, compensating by subscribing to travel magazines, reading travel books and blogs, and watching travel television and films.

Another reason has to do with health. If one of them is so crippled health-wise that actual travel is impossible, the other, more likely than not, sighs and stays home.

Yet another has to do with workaholics. They don’t travel because they are nailed to jobs (voluntarily or involuntarily). Many because they are forced to because of circumstances and choices they made, and at least as many who are unreformable workaholic martyrs (their spouses are true martyrs because they’re forced to stay at home if they wish to stay married).

Somewhat surprisingly, one reason is not because they couldn’t travel even if they wanted to. Reason being that anyone can travel short distances, even if it be by bicycle or foot. Some travelers, such as Thoreau, explore life in miniature. Thoreau famously devoted two entire years to just learning everything there was to learn about Walden Pond.

So whatever the reason why you enjoy travel (actual or vicarious), I’m honored that so many of you enjoy our travel blogs and stories. Furthermore, travel unshared would be hollow and insipid.