I am not a traveler.
I've only been to 12 U.S. states. Two of them were for layovers, and five more don't count because I live in New England, which is really one state with six names.
I know a lot of travelers. Every summer, my Facebook feed fills up with pictures of exotic rainforests, opulent palaces, and gourmet cuisine. My friends and family have visited locales that are so abstract to me, they almost seem fictional.
Where the hell is Helsinki, anyway?
Sometimes I get a little jealous. If only we didn't have a small child. Maybe if we had a little more money. Golly, I'd love to, but my cats really need me . . .
And then something happens that reminds me why I really don't travel. Like when my cousin was showing me iPhone pictures of her latest trans-European getaway. Every meal looked like some sort of modern art installation. She was telling me about how the diet in some such Scandinavian country consisted mainly of fish and cream sauces, " . . . and they have reindeer everywhere!"
"Aw, that's so cute!" I replied. "You mean they're just roaming the streets in the town square?"
"No," she corrected me, "on the menus."
Apparently Finland has a slightly different Santa mythology than the U.S.
I'm terribly picky. When I honeymooned in Jamaica, I had my travel agent call ahead to be sure that my minibar would be fully stocked with Mountain Dew. I neglected to mention that I preferred cans, not bottles, and spent a miserable week at Sandals, like a savage, drinking soda that tasted wrong.
Even if I can somehow manage to find acceptable fare, I'm still not satisfied. Hotel cable is weird. They never have the channels I want to watch. There's no DVR, and no sleep timer. How do you expect me to fall asleep without The Golden Girls? Am I just supposed to lie here in the dark and listen to nothing?
Who does that?
And what about my fingernails? If I go more than four days without painting them, they're going to chip, and then they'll be weak, and then they'll break, and for goodness sake, what if I get a hangnail? What if it gets infected? Do they even have antibiotics here?
Living out of a suitcase is a nightmare. I never pack the right things, and I'm never sure how to handle my dirty clothes. Has anyone ever figured out a system that works? Please let me know.
I hate hotel air. It's always too dry. And if I wash my face with any water other than my local tap water, it's going to break out. When you can't even stand to be away from two of the four basic elements in your hometown, you know you have a problem.
You can have your Eiffel Towers and your Colosseums. Eat all the octopus and bamboo shoots you want, and don't bother saving a bite for me. No amount of adventure and wonder can compare to the comforts of home.
This post originally appeared on In the Powder Room.