Tuesday, April 29, 2014

An Ulterior Motive to Travel

There is an important reason I must travel. The reason is not because of work.

I love to see new places. I love strolling through city neighborhoods, sauntering into small storefronts, observing the people around me. I like to spend time meandering through museums. I enjoy viewing different landscapes.

I am not particularly fond of air travel nowadays, but consider it a necessary evil, the means of reaching far flung places around the globe.

There is another motivation for leaving home regularly.

I have to clean the house.                                                   

I am not a very good housekeeper. In fact I am a terrible one. And a reluctant one. I have an innate ability to put off…and off...and off as long as possible what should be regular cleaning tasks.

So everything piles up and one day I wake up, walk into the kitchen and family room and say to myself, “D**n, I have to go on a trip. The house is a disaster.”

If nothing is on the calendar, I schedule an outing.

And then I clean.

Because worse than cleaning is coming home to a messy house.

So I straighten up, vacuum, make sure the kitchen counters are visible, and depart.

And when I return I can walk into my house and smile. The house is not too bad. It is fairly neat and clean.

All the traveling gets expensive. Especially when we have company, and particularly when the grandkids descend. The house gets messier and more disheveled than ever.

When I begin cleaning, another unusual event happens.

Hub disappears.

I am not a nice person when doing housework. He learned a long time ago to give me plenty of space when on a cleaning binge.

On the other hand I am in a good mood when done.

As I get older and travel becomes more of a burden than a blessing, there are alternatives to consider.

We can move and start over.

We have done that before. It works – for a while.

Someone else can clean my house. That would mean paying someone – because no one is going to touch my house for free – but it actually may be cheaper than traveling.

I can ignore the mess.

That only works temporarily.

We can eat out. Minimizes kitchen mess and clutter.

Actually, we do that a lot now anyway.

I can stop wearing glasses in the house. Then I will not see all the dust and mounds of stuff accumulating around me.

But I would probably hurt myself stumbling around.

I could try to be neater all the time.

Yeah, right. Who am I kidding?

Personally I like the idea of moving. We keep downsizing, so there is less stuff to transport each time.

One day we will find ourselves in a tiny studio apartment with no furniture, no kitchen, and using the bathroom down the hall.

At least there will be nothing to clean. 


  1. My problem with travel IS the cleaning beforehand since I often have a neighbor cat sit.I could probably return to mess pretty happily, but I can't let my neighbor see the squalor that exists across the street.
    I did try moving. My motive was to shed all of the husband's treasures in the garage and basement. As it turns out, he just packed them up and brought them to the new house.
    I vote for not wearing your glasses. I can clean the bathroom and come back an hour later, absent-mindedly wearing my reading glasses, and find cat hairs in the sink and tissue shreds on the floor.

  2. Funny you should mention house cleaning. I'm in the process, Things haven't been touched in a year. ugggggg. Where's the nearest travel agent?

  3. I have always found that taking off my glasses (being nearsighted) really helps in the dust department. My house does need a good cleaning but right now I am feeling overwhelmed by stuff. Things definitely have to start making their way out of the house.

  4. B has a pillow that says: "I cleaned today -- I swept the room with a glance." We go with the cleaning woman option. It is expensive, but it's a lot cheaper than traveling.

  5. I can tell the EBWW rubbed off on you. Great post. And great minds think alike. It's time to move!

  6. Yes, moving IS a possibility. I am fortunate to have downsized quite a lot in our last two moves, and Hubby is a pretty good cleaner, although he misses the dust, and I am like Tom's wife: I see it and sweep the room with a glance. :-)

  7. Oh gracious! This is too funny! I hate cleaning the house too, but haven't been cleaning the house THAT well before we travel. But yes, I do tidy up because it is the worst thing to come back to a messy house. I agree.