You love to travel in the hot, desert states. Lance stares out the window of the bus, unable to sleep, and swears he's being cooked, regardless of the air conditioner. At 3:00 am he makes the driver stop at one of the Dairy Queens that always seem to be in the middle of nowhere and runs inside. You watch from the bus steps and squint under the huge neon lights.
Lance always orders the largest butterscotch-dipped cone, as big as his forearm, and has to lick madly at the melting beads of ice cream welling up from the cracks. When the ice cream runs over his knuckles, he cries for your help and the two of you share, licking the melting cone from Lance's fingers and hands. His kisses are cold and sticky, tasting of vanilla butterscotch and when you press sweat-slick together on the couch the heat doesn't seem to matter.
You love to travel through the mountains, where frost paints delicate spirals on the windows and Justin throws himself shrieking into piles of snow whenever the bus stops. Curls plastered damply to his skull, he won't return until he's shivering and red, gloves lost in some distant snow bank.
He wakes you in the middle of the night, slipping into your bunk and under the covers to press his freezing feet against your calves. You tangle your legs together and Justin buries his cold nose into your collarbone and lets nothing but his curly hair peek out from the warm cocoon. Sometime in the night, Justin will disappear under the blanket completely and as you watch your own heavy pants flow out in heavy clouds of frost, you wonder how you ever thought it was cold.
You love traveling in Geneva. JC pulls you from bed before the sun has cleared the mountains to walk hand-in-hand through snowy streets to the nearest park. He spins around giddy and laughing before pulling you close to whisper love sonnets against your skin. You press him to the nearest tree and kiss his half-open mouth until he can no longer form words.
When the sun rises completely, you find yourselves giggling together into a dark booth at the back of a shop. After the money drops in, JC will lean against you while you burrow under his coat and slide chilly hands against his belly, then lower. He always puffs sweetly against your neck while watching the grainy film with half-closed eyes. Later, you'll buy JC thick hot chocolate with whipped cream at a cafe and watch the flush on his cheekbones fade.
You love to travel south of the border where Chris spends hours with you in cool dark cantinas, tossing back tequila and lime, exchanging dirty jokes in broken Spanish with toothless old men. Sometimes you find yourself pressed against the wall of a filthy bathroom while Chris gives you a bad drunken blowjob or you're kneeling while Chris moans phrases from his Spanish/English tour book with his hands tangled in your hair.
Siestas are spent under mosquito netting, the oppressive heat pushing in from all sides. Only your fingers touch, but when you look into his shining brown eyes, you know what it's like to be inside his skin. Sometimes you never leave the hotel.
You love to travel more than anything. Even after months on the road, when you wake to the walls of your own bedroom, your first thought is that there's no Dairy Queen in your neighborhood. The park isn't within walking distance and Starbucks doesn't serve the dark hot chocolate. Even your expensive tequila comes without the worm.
But then Lance rumbles against your shoulder blade, shifting against your hip and you hear JC murmur his name. Lance's breath hitches and he gives a shuddery sigh, which Justin echoes, stretching under your hand. Chris leans over him and tells you breakfast is ready; you can smell the coffee and imagine Chris swaying to the radio in the kitchen, your sweatpants low on his hips.
JC moans and Justin's mouth is dry and sleepy as he presses tightly against you, trapped by Chris. Someone touches your thigh and you relax into the mattress, heavy and aching and this, you think, is why you love to travel.
Because no how far you go, you always get to come home.