When I was a kid, I never traveled.
If I couldn’t get there on my bike, I didn’t go.
I didn’t have the chance to ride a train, fly, or even take a cab.
Vacations were what other people took.
As I have gotten older, I’ve had more opportunities to get out and see the world.
Or at least some other states.
What I have learned is travel absolutely stinks. The lines. The security. The delays. Airport food.
But mostly the bathrooms (but that is a whole different blog that I’m not prepared to write and you’re definitely not ready to read).
When you get right down to it, travel is a hassle.
No matter what you do, it’s just hard to get from one place to another. It’s almost unnatural.
Everyone is in a hurry. Everyone seems to be put out by the experience.
Frustration runs rampant.
Lots of people trying to get someplace on time, and invariably they are running late.
Of course, it is usually their own fault they are behind schedule but in today’s society people really struggle with taking personal responsibility.
So if I’m late, it must be the baggage handlers fault, or the airlines, or at least the person standing in line in front of me.
Or behind me.
Or 27 feet away from me. Especially if they have a crying baby (and let’s all take a moment to say a special silent prayer for those mom’s who travel with babies… and if you travel with 2 or more you should have your choice of flying free… or being named a Saint).
Of course, this is just an example. I hope that I’m not one of those impatient travelers.
I consider myself lucky because I had never flown before September 11, 2001. This makes me lucky because I don’t know any better.
I never had the opportunity to run straight to the gate 7 seconds before takeoff. I have never even walked through an airport before we were under a “Code Light Blue/Orange/Mauve/Purple/Slightly Gray”.
I didn’t even know that I was responsible for turning someone in to security that left their baggage unattended.
I had no idea you were supposed to sit in the airport and complain loudly because the airport mechanics found something wrong with your plane and the flight had to be delayed 45 minutes.
I assumed that we all wanted our planes to be in 100% perfect mechanical condition before we boarded and had them hurl us through the air at 400 miles an hour at 37,000 feet above the rest of the world.
So my idea of travel (especially by plane) is that it’s annoying, but necessary.
I am amazed by the whole experience.
How is it possible that I can be looking at the Declaration of Independence in Washington, D.C. at 4:30 p.m., then drive to the airport, get on a giant metal tube, fly through the air, and be in my own bed fast asleep by midnight?
It’s not right. It is unnatural. It’s truly amazing when you think about it.
And yes, it is somewhat of a hassle.
But get over it.
Because when you get right down to it… it’s pretty cool.
And from my own experience, it certainly beats riding a bike.