Time Traveler, Of Course

Preferred Method of Travel?

By Jeff Salter

Naturally, when one of the Foxes asked this question for our weekly topic, I had to answer honestly — time travel is THE way to go. Not only can you select your destination (sometimes down to the very hour you prefer) but you get there in a flash. No messy delays and no intrusive TSA agents patting you down.

The only downside is that in some instances of time travel, you have to leave your clothing behind – something to do with the destructive effects of the space-time continuum on cloth fibers or something – so you tend to arrive at destinations nekkid. I hate that. But the higher end, premium time machines don’t have that drawback and you can travel in fully-clothed comfort… even bring along snacks and reading material if you wish.

On these excursions, I’ve so far only dealt with the PAST. Being a history buff, there are so many fascinating historical people, events, and places I want to visit. My primary reason for not visiting the FUTURE is that too many people have become demoralized – or horrified – at what they find there. It’s tempting, of course, because I’m curious by nature. But I’d hate to learn something like I missed the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction by one vote. I mean, how on earth could I find out who voted the wrong way?


Model of the vehicle in the film, “The Time Machine” — a good ride, but awfully breezy.

In the Present

For travel within the realm of present-day, however, I do have some preferences. Let me preface this portion by saying: since middle 2010, when certain medical issues began to restrict my ability to travel, I’ve hardly left this county more than a handful of times. And those restrictions have been quite a challenge. That said, when I USED TO travel a lot, my favorite mode was to jump in my truck and drive up to 400-450 miles per day. For example: when our daughter moved from LA to the Memphis area, I made frequent visits – sometimes alone and sometimes with my wife – and enjoyed them all. Once we relocated to KY, I still visited our daughter in Memphis often, even when my wife couldn’t get off her job.

Before we leave the mode of automobile travel, let me say another word about road trips. As a kid – with my parents and siblings – I went on several LONG trips… usually in very crowded conditions for endless hours at a time. Even though we got to see all sorts of marvelous places and things, I’m afraid that austere style of travel soured me on “family trips.” And on this part of the subject, let me say – generally – I don’t much like traveling with other people. Nope. Even before my medical issues became involved, I preferred to be in my own vehicle on my own schedule, and with unilateral choice on when and where (and why) to stop.


From 1966 to about 1999, I flew all over the country — not to mention all the way to northwestern Greenland (and back) three times. In the military, I flew many places, whether on temporary duty or change of station. Back in civilian life, I even used to do a bit of commuter–type flying — sometimes (for example) flying from Shreveport to Baton Rouge for a library meeting… and back home the same day. But along the way of those 33-plus years of plane travel, I had one too many negative experiences in terminals and one too many bad experiences “upstairs” with severe turbulence. All that and the post 9/11 chaos of TSA lines — well, I just don’t intend to subject myself to that much hassle any more.
I’ve also flown in a small civilian helicopter and a large military chopper.

Other Modes

I’ve ridden in a tourist submarine which went as far as 100 feet below the surface — not exactly 20,000 leagues, but still enjoyable.

I nearly forgot to mention my [ ? five ? ] nights on a Carnival cruise ship in the fall of 1998. No space here to reveal any details, but suffice it to say that it’s basically a restaurant on the ocean.

I’ve ridden on a train for a sizable trip (to a nephew’s wedding several years ago) from Birmingham to Baltimore and back. That was interesting, but there were enough awful aspects of the accommodations (including extreme temperatures within my cabin) for me NOT to want another AmTrac trip.

In addition to several years of commuting on metro buses, I’ve also ridden Greyhound or Trailways buses quite a few times for sizable distances — though none within the past 36 years. It wasn’t all that great back in the 1970s… and I fear it’s gotten worse.


What about YOU? Do you enjoy traveling? By what mode? With a crowd or by yourself?

[JLS # 305]


About jeff7salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Twelve completed novels and five completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015, "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015, "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015, "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014, "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014, "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014, "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014, "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013, "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013, "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013, "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012, "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012. Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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13 Responses to Time Traveler, Of Course

  1. jbrayweber says:

    I love visiting other places, but hate the actual traveling part. I’d love to be able cross my arms up in front of me and blink—”I Dream of Jeannie” style—and just be at my destination.
    Not a fan of long drives (I get motion sick very easily if I’m not the one behind the wheel) and I white-knuckle fly. Driving gives me control that I can’t get with other modes of travel. But flying gets me there way faster.
    I’ve never been on Amrack and I don’t really care for charter buses.
    Crowds and other travelers aren’t my thing either, though traveling with friends and immediate family can be fun.
    Here’s the kicker. I love to travel by boat. However, I get sea sick…bad. Being out on the water is terrifying (ya know, with sinking, fires, sharks, bad or freakish weather—I’ve seen Poisiden, Jaws, The Perfect Storm, Titanic). Yet being on a boat, the bigger, the better, is incredibly peaceful and beautiful. I love, love cruise ships, too.

    Great post, Jeff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      thanks, Jenn.
      Yeah, I’ve watched nearly all the “catastrophe” movies set out at sea… and had flashbacks of each one when I went on the only cruise I’ve been on [Carnival in 1998]. I’ve been on smaller boats in the Gulf and some of them were QUITE choppy… but I managed to keep down my lunch.
      Sounds like — on the other scores — you and I share several travel preferences.
      Love the mental image of your crossing your arms and “blinking” yourself to another place. Cool.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hola Chico!
    I LOVE to travel. My first airplane ride was when I was four weeks old and I was on my way from Texas to Venezuela. I’ve flown every since- from Norway to Malaysia, Australia to the US, and everywhere in between. My whole life has been punctuated by airplane trips! In fact, my husband can feel when life in suburbia is closing in on me and will get me on a plane going somewhere.

    Because of the places I’ve lived, I’ve also had the pleasure of taking trains. One of my favorite was an overnight ride from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Thailand. It was glorious to watch the sunrise as the Water Buffalo walked the paths between the rice paddies. I’ve also spent almost 3 months one summer with a Eurail and Britrail pass. We never had an itenerary. Wherever the next train leaving within a half an hour went, that’s where we’d head off to explore. It was one of the best summers!!

    Most of my bus rides were in association with tours of some sort. One of the most memorable was on the Amali Coast in Italy and the back wheel dropped off the edge. Yeah. You don’t forget almost dying too easily. Another was in Peru when we traveled up to over 13,000 ft. to mouth waters of the might Amazon River. Now, that was cool! I have also spent a lot of time on Greyhound going from New Orleans to Jeanerette and New Orleans to Baton Rouge. I went to Tulane and my grandparents lived in J and I had a lot of friends at LSU.

    I’m a travel hound. Time Travel? Nah. The world right now is so darn spectacular, I’ll never get tired of taking another adventure to somewhere I’ve never been.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      Gosh, Stacey — you ARE a travel hound. Quite an adventuress, too.
      My brother (in the 1960s) studied in England and spent a good chunk of time in Europe on a rail pass. I don’t know that — even at a much younger age — I would have been as enthusiastic about the “unknowns”. You know, where will I be tonight? What city will I see tomorrow? Will I ever get to _____?
      Oh well, it certainly sounds like you made the best of your time in many exotic places.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. HEAD-SMACK! Never thought of time travel! Yeah, that leave-you-clothes-behind business is a real drawback, esp, in my case…being cold would take all the fun out of it ; scaring the local population might be fun!
    Well, Captain Nemo, you are braver than I.I think I’d find a sub claustrophobic, (claustrophobious? LOL!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • jeff7salter says:

      I was apprehensive that I would feel “closed-in” on the sub — after all, I’ve seen scores of WW2 submarine movies. It especially worried me that some of the other passengers might panic and it could become contagious. However, all was well and the relatively short ride was uneventful.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Ha! Never thought of time-travel. If that were available, I’d jump on it. But I’m sure the super-deluxe accommodations would be quite expensive. I’m with Tonette – the sub sounds like it would be awful. As I mentioned on Monday, I enjoyed my train ride – but then, I find it easy to ignore people when I want to. And most of the time I don’t mind traveling with friends and family. Except for one trip, when I went with a friend who LOVED to shop and insisted on going into every clothing and jewelry store she saw. I hate shopping.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joselyn says:

    The thought of time travel generally makes my head hurt. What if you change something you shouldn’t? How do you get home? Will home be different when you get there, ala Back to the Future? The conundrums give me anxiety.

    I had also assumed that time travel would be instantaneous and you wouldn’t have time to read. However, if you would have time to read, I can see a lot of Moms jumping into the ship and not setting a destination. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have oh ever traveled alone once. I decided to drive to visit a friend. I left just a few hours before sunset so spent most of the drive at night which I enjoyed. Mostly I had the road to myself and since it was construction season that was a huge plus. I arrived at my destination at 2 in the morning.
    The trip home, during daylight was horrible. Traffic was so bad missed my detour and ended up in Chicago.
    I won’t travel alone now. I will go as far as the Hospital in Iowa City by myself but any further and I am taking someone to navigate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      traveling alone (in a vehicle) was still the most relaxing way for me… during the time I was still able to travel. It was pleasant — since I was stuck in one spot for 8-9 hrs — to be able to clear my mind and just reflect. No chatter, no discussions about where/when to stop, etc.


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