People ask me, “What is it about theme and amusement parks that attracts you the most?” They know I am often on the road searching for new ones every chance I can get. It is easy to answer. Think of your own experience: the excitement of roller coasters, thrill rides, water parks, and the fun food and shows. Very park is unique. The rides at Magic Mountain are worlds apart from Disney World and they happen to be on opposite coasts. You feel like a kid again, scared (in a good way) from head to toe. You know the feeling, like when you watch a horror movie that is billed as “the most frightening film in years.” There is the crowd (fun people watching), the games, and all kinds of surprises. Where else do you get cotton candy and your palm read at the same time?

People also ask how I can stand to be away from home so often during the year. I think I hear a bit of envy in their voice. Fortunately, I have a flexible job.  “Don’t you come home to a messy house?” They know what happens when I am absent. People and their pets visit to get the mail or the newspaper and they take advantage of a full fridge, loaded with food and beverages. The floor is often covered in crumbs as a result. I have to get out my vacuum the day after my arrival. Sometimes I even clean at night. I don’t like to walk about in the detritus of people’s partying.

I used to clean before leaving so I would avoid the vacuuming chore after the fact. I soon discovered that my friends took advantage of my hospitality. I don’t mind that per se; I just wish they would wield the Dyson once in a while on their own. Oddly enough, when the old one broke, one of these “friends” gave me a Shark as a replacement. What nerve. I’d read at that the Dyson was a much better model, so it was clear that my friend wasn’t as enlightened and just went for the cheapest option he could find. It was falling on my naïve shoulders. I am going to put a ban on using my empty home as a resort for friends to get away from it all. Is this unreasonable? After all, they drop in to check the locks, bring in the paper and the mail, and feed and walk the dog. What is a little light vacuuming in return for these favors?

When people are going in and out of your house, it deters thieves who might be casing the joint, so to speak. I guess my friends are doing me another kind of favor. I would be an unhappy traveler if I came home to a broken door or window, only to find my electronic equipment missing. Now that I think about it, I am going to encourage visitors when I am yelling my head off in “fear” while on the highest roller coaster in the world.

Mixing Work With Pleasure Disney Around the World