I wish I were an easy-going traveler, but I’m not — I’m fussy, rigid in my preferences for front, aisle seats and anxious in unmoving crowded places especially in enclosed spaces. But I do like going places, taking photos, trying different cuisines and looking at different faces. It’s the in-between things that I’d rather put in warp-speed, if it’s even possible. So that’s the most part of the journey! I’ve had horrible turbulence in the clearest of skies, one enough to drive the flight attendants scampering to buckle themselves in their seats. However, I’ve also had one of the smoothest flights as we took off amidst a raging typhoon. Okay, what I’m trying to say is that it’s still a love-hate thing for me when it comes to traveling.
If you see someone doing runner’s warm-ups, lunges and yoga stretches at the gates before taking off, that would be me. I don’t mind being the first one at the gates but I want to be the last one in. I try to find the options to minimize my time in a flying container and have trained myself to sleep the moment I get in. When the plane takes off, it lulls me to sleep and I actually relax. Too bad I can’t sleep more than 6-7 hours, even in my own bed.
TOLERANCE FOR INCONVENIENCE
There’s more to traveling than the glamorous airline ads with the catchy jingle and jazzed up travel scenes on the silver screen. In fact, I think there’s a bit of false advertising out there because I don’t see many smiling faces in airports — everyone is either in a hurry, very tired or downright strict
Shuttling across places means carrying stuff — and sometimes it could be some bulky, heavy stuff if one is not good at packing smart. High heels are a no-no for me while in transit. It looks good in movies, but it doesn’t bode well if you’re rushing and dragging around pieces of luggage (and kids, if you have any in tow). Traveling also means hours of either waiting and sitting down in a stiff, cramped seat (especially if one is flying coach).
Nothing magnifies my aches and pains more than entering the plane and passing through Business Class to get to my seat, as I see people lounging in their cozy, comfortable space, with a glass of something bubbly on their table while reading the newspaper Sigh.
Recently, I learned how to drink wine on the plane because it makes me very sleepy, which is what I want to be during a flight. It’s that or a sleeping pill. So I choose wine. There is a rule that alcohol may cause you to be dehydrated and this can be tricky. So I never drink on an empty stomach and I always drink more water than wine.
At the end of the day, I believe there’s a level of physical tolerance one needs to develop before embarking on any trip. My recent trip to Boston and NYC taught me to deal not just with the biting cold but the feeling of stuffy. Yes — stuffy is not something I’m accustomed to having lived in warm countries because the breeze from the sea keeps everything nice, and everything indoors has cold (and sometimes freezing) blasts from powerful air-conditioners.
I suffered a painfully hot bus ride from Boston to NYC when I realized the driver and conductor didn’t turn on the A/C. I was dizzy from lack of air and almost passed out from the lack of ventilation! I asked the purser about it and was told there was none (!?!). Can someone please explain this to me?
We were on the Limo Bus so ice water and constantly splashing water on my flushed face in the lavatory kept me conscious. The bathroom was actually colder than the rest of the bus so I just kept going inside for the sake of cold air! It was 7 C on the road, supposedly, but extremely stuffy for the 4 hours of our trip inside the bus. I stripped down to my tank top, unzipped my boots, while the fashionable dude beside me stashed away his chic leather cap, rolled up his designer leather pants to his knees and even removed his socks in a huff. Traveling between 11am to 3pm meant a toasty ride in the back seat. The other passengers, however, looked completely comfortable even while wearing their heavy jackets so I just concluded maybe it’s just a matter of acclimatizing quickly.
On our way out, the other girl beside us muttered, “Oh thank God we’re here. That was rather terrible. I was in my happy place the whole time!”.