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Traveling is fun—for a while. Or, if your sweetie is with you. But go away from home too long and you start hallucinating. And you become adept at all manner of travel folkways, tricks, and weasely moves to better your position.

You learn to identify seats in airports where it’s least likely someone will sit near you while initiating unnaturally loud cell phone conversations. You know which hotel chain has the best Internet service. You know which flights to book a window seat and which to be sure you get the aisle—and you never book a middle seat.

You know in which region of the country, or for that matter which country, to say “pop,” which to say “soda,” and which to say “Coke Lite” rather than “Diet Coke.” Same goes for “cream” in your coffee—the rest of the world says “milk” and doesn’t know what you mean if you say “cream.”

I find it ironic and amusing that as I write this in a Starbucks in Cupertino, California, the Bee Gees' "Lonely Days, Lonely Nights, Where Would I Be Without My Woman?" is playing in the background.

Well, when you’ve been on the road too long, one or more of these 12 signals suggest it’s over-time to go home:

*You understand more about registration check-in/out than the average hotel clerk.

*Your collection of little shampoos, conditioners, and lotions rivals Procter & Gamble.

*You finally figure out how the shower really works.

*You don’t mind sitting on hold for an hour with an airline to change a flight to get home a day sooner.

*You’re recognized by the teenage sub-meister at Subway.

*You actually miss that silly cat.

*You can’t remember state laws pertaining to cell-phone-use-while-driving because you can’t remember what state you’re in, and whatever state it is, the law’s different from the state you were in yesterday.

*You get tired of drinking coffee from a cardboard cup.

*You have to install a new roll of toilet paper in your hotel bathroom.

*You call and say, “It’s me,” and your wife says “Who?”

*Your list of states where you’ve gotten a speeding or other traffic violation just got longer.

*You run out of clean underwear.

Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home, where my thought's escaping
Home, where my music's playing
Home, where my love lies waiting
Silently for me

--Lyrics by Simon and Garfunkel.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

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