A traveling more enriching and safe than the traditional kind ...

This poem is about traveling.  The limits of traveling.  The uselessness of it.  And the romance of it.  That first stanza is brilliant. Some people like traveling, some don't.  I am in the same boat as Billy Collins -- I don't much like traveling. Perhaps because for the longest time I was traveling a lot for work. 

The poem describes how well travelled people are considered knowledgeable. Travelers get to learn by experience.  They get to learn about people and places. Cultures, traditions, and life conditions. I have heard that the Quran says that it is good to travel as far as China if you would gain knowledge.  Apparently, even Science says that travel makes one smarter.  Here Billy Collins shows why he doesn't like traveling, how it exposes his lack of knowledge, and how he keeps it safe.  

Safe Travels

Every time Gulliver travels
into another chapter of “Gulliver’s Travels” 
I marvel at how well travelled he is
despite his incurable gullibility.

I don’t enjoy traveling anymore
because, for instance,
I still don’t know the difference
between a “bloke” and a “chap.”

And I’m embarrassed
whenever I have to hold out a palm
of loose coins to a cashier
as if I were feeding a pigeon in a park.

Like Proust, I see only trouble
in store if I leave my room,
which is not lined with cork,
only sheets of wallpaper

featuring orange flowers
and little green vines.
Of course, anytime I want
I can travel in my imagination

but only as far as Toronto,
where some graduate students
with goatees and snoods
are translating my poems into Canadian.

Witty poem. Billy keeps his travel safe by only traveling in his imagination. Ha!