I am starting to think about something, about why I travel. In a few hours, I will take a cab, to catch a bus (lasts 80 minutes), to get to the airport, to board a flight to Poland (lasts 100 minutes), to get on a another bus (lasts 2 hours) to take a cab to a hotel in the middle of Cracow. Travelling can be tiring, and there are loads of details that I am not very good at keep track off. Hotel reservations, flight tickets, dollars, Euros, Passport, my official ID card, credit card (at least I don’t have a camera yet….OR KIDS!). I lack patience. This is my fatal flaw. Often times, I wait until I get there to enjoy a glass of wine, or to sit down and eat a meal. I don’t like the process of going where I am going.
This isn’t an age thing, it’s a K thing.
More and more, while living over here, I realize that a lot of my highlights aren’t about the process of getting from A to B. And this annoys me about myself somewhat. However, my brother and I bonded during these “in-transit” times when he was here (and there were A LOT OF THEM!) chuckling with trepidation at a delapidated Asian Market immediately crossing the border into the Czech Republic, me talking Spanish with little ninos on the tram in Berlin, talking smack about aggression in teenage boys while going to Tropical Islands. Still, although my brain says, “It is about the journey, not the destination” my legs and heart say “Enough dilly-dallying! Let’s get a move on already!” IMPATIENT. I NEED. TO. GET. THERE.
I’ve found a few tricks to help me chill in the journey-ing…and threw out some standards I thought I liked while traveling.
1) Don’t Bring a BOok, K: especially a travel book. You are too antsy to read it, and interested in your new surroundings to concentrate on the plot
2) Start early, or start late. But a mid morning or mid afternoon push off spells trouble for my hyperactive-ness. Either I’ll wake up and chill while reading and writing blogs or go for a run, and THEN SIT for 5 hours? Um…no.
3) People watch. Smile at strangers, and start up a conversation with the person sitting next to you on the plane/train/bus. Even for 5 minutes. This good grace gets you far, and surprises you.
4) Fight your frugalness. It’s okay when travelling to spend over a buck on a coke.
5) Load up your beloved IPHONE with podcasts and at least one new playlist each trip. You actually listen to the music when you’re travelling. Not so much in day to day life.
So why do I travel, if it’s such a hassle? My friends with family inform me that “you have it made.” becuase I am single and therefore “travel light” and really, I do. I have a backpack and that’s it for three days. But still, travelling is a hassle. K likes her routine. K likes feel secure and comfortable. K detests detours.
But that is precisely why I travel. To shake me up. To push me into discomforting schedules or dissatisfying emotions when the tour is less than spectacular or your boots appear to retain liquid rather than repel it. And somehow, it appears that I am more energetic, willing, open and awe-ful, when on vacation. Less restrictive in every way. I like myself more when traveling, I’ll tell you that much. This more balanced version of myself.
I like the sense of achievement, of that moment when I feel “NOW!” I am on VAY-K-shun, that the in transit part trips me up. For me, it truly is about the destination.
And I am okay with that…..we’ll, mostly. Should I try to change this quality in myself?
What are your “in-transit” tips?