Making non-travel plans

Backyard has everything someone on summer vacation could possibly need

People are always asking me if I’m doing any travelling now that I am retired. It seems that cruising or flying or hooking up a fifth wheel is an expected part of the retirement equation. If I do travel, it is usually to my backyard.

Last week, I watched a travel advice segment on the news. It was based on preparations that one should make before embarking on a vacation. If they were trying to sell me a vacation package, they failed.

The first tip was how to stave off sea sickness. They recommended taking ginger prior to boarding, then again four hours later and also when the seas got rough. That really sounds like something to look forward to. They tell me ginger is ‘generally recognized as safe’ and 250 mg of raw ginger extract a day will stave off nausea.

I don’t generally eat raw ginger and my reclining lawn chair is pretty stable on my deck. Besides, the skipper and Gilligan took Ginger on their cruise and look how that three-hour tour turned out.

Next they told me that one in 150 passengers has luggage misdirected or lost. I am supposed to pack as many changes of clothes in my carry on as possible. Do I really want to pack all my favorite suits, shirts and shoes neatly into my suitcase in anticipation of having to buy new clothes in Maui or Cuba?

If I want to go out to a fancy restaurant here everything is hanging in my bedroom closet, not squashed and forgotten on the Island of Lost Suitcases.

The next tip was ‘very important’ they said. The world wide epidemic of bedbugs is not going away. “When you arrive at your hotel room or the cabin of your cruise ship, pull the mattress back from the wall and pull back the sheets from the headboard. If there are bedbugs this is the most common place to find them.”

What a great slogan for a Hotel Chain, “Ritzy Hotels, Sleep Tight and Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite!” Experts say that the damage from bedbugs is more emotional than physical. If it was me, I’d throw an emotional fit at check-out time and see what kind of a discount I could get. The only thing under my bed at home is an unused exercise machine and maybe a pair of black socks I can’t find.

Their comment on encountering disasters or uprisings was to ‘follow the locals during an evacuation.’ How do I know if I’m running with the rebel forces causing the uprising or the government supporters who will be shot on sight?

When the volcano erupts what if I’m mistakenly running with the 100 local virgins designated to be this years’ sacrifice to the fire gods and end up knee deep in lava?

They say make sure you have the phone number of your MP and a Canadian government office in case you lose your passport or get in trouble with the local law. The only federal office I deal with regularly is Canada Revenue and I don’t owe them any money so they are not likely to return my call. My MP will probably be camping with his grandkids.

I have a four-week reservation on my sundeck within walking distance of a fridge and a shower. No suits or ties required and shoes are optional. At least that’s what McGregor says.