This is the first-ever guest post on Ye Olde Blog. I’d like you to meet Rarasaur! Rara is one of my favorite fellow bloggers. She’s funny, she’s smart, and she’s a wildly prolific blogger. We have a standing appointment for coffee or tea or something if I ever make it to Southern California. (I’m thinkin’ 2014, Rara.) I originally asked her to write a guest post for my travel-crazy May, but due to a series of hilarious e-mail malfunctions and one good old fashioned sitcom-style misunderstanding, she sent the draft to me over a month before I actually received it. Yay, technology!
Her blogging topics are wildly disparate, ranging from pop culture to health to, really, whatever she feels like writing about. Here’s a handful of her mostly-recent posts that I quite like, just to give you a sampling:
- These Hands
- Pepsi is not okay.
- You look good in non-fiction.
- Fine then, let’s start a war.
- Looney Toon-y Advice for Speaking A New Language
And now, without further adieu, I yield the floor to the inimitable Rarasaur.
I confess– I’m a bad traveler.
You’ve met me before. I’m the person crying at the airport, arguing that the scale must be wrong because my case is perfectly okay for carry-on. I’m the person who drives to an event that everyone else flies to. I’m the one you see on the flight the day after Thanksgiving because I don’t like to be away from home for more than a few hours. I groan whenever the plane shifts or is delayed for a second. I complain about the weather.
I know I’m annoying, so I restrict my travel to necessary moments in order to make sure that real travelers can enjoy their experience in peace.
I don’t think I’m wrong though. The reasons I am a bad traveler are so reasonable to me that I call them mantras.
So with no further ado, here are the Top 5 Mantras of Bad Travelers:
#1 – Things are good.
One thing I hear a lot from my traveling friends is how little importance they place on things.
One good dress that you can wash in the river, and they’re happy. One duffel bag full of necessities and they’re set. They have packing for various trips down to an art form and they use baking soda for more things than you could ever possibly imagine.
I don’t know what they do with their childhood toys, favorite books, and paintings– but I am sad without those things. It’s less about the materialism and more about the fact that they ground me. I’ve whittled my life down to just precious belongings and I don’t like to be without them.
They keep me calm, happy, sane, and focused on the positive.
Believe me– you want me to have things. I like things.
#2 – Clean is nice.
I have a North American, suburban definition of clean. If there’s a fly on my food, I’d rather not eat it. If I see someone rolling a tortilla on the floor, I’m suddenly not really that hungry.
I know. I’m perpetuating the American stereotype and probably making myself sound like someone who has never known hunger, seen starvation, or experienced hard times. My parents grew up in third world countries, and even here in America, I’ve seen true hunger. I don’t point at the food and say it’s disgusting and I don’t judge people for eating it.
I just don’t understand why I should pay several thousand dollars, and days of my life wedged in a tiny flying metal can, in order to experience it. I can eat dirty food here, without flying to New York City.
#3 – Stuff is the same everywhere.
This is a consequence of too many geek movies and too eclectic of a family, but I believe it to be the truth. People are the same everywhere. Their goals and dreams are the same. They like to build big things and impressively tiny things. They have families that they love, and celebrations that are important to them. There are mysterious parts of their past that fill them with glory, imagination, and wonder. There are parts of their future that they are certain will exist soon, maybe even in their lifespan. They are proud.
Sure, the details are different. The buildings have different purposes and are different shapes with different names, but the awe-inspiring factors– the imagination, wonder, and community– is the same. Someone dreamed of something huge, and made it happen.
That’s beautiful but again– something I don’t need to go anywhere to see.
#4 – Airplanes are terrible.
Sure, they’re not dentist-terrible, but they’re certainly not fun.
If I want to be patted down, drooled on, and annoyed by strangers– well, I could come up with several far more interesting scenarios to accomplish that dream.
If I wanted to be locked into a building that only has overpriced food and bestseller books, well, I’d go straight to Hades and hang out there.
It doesn’t help that they restrict the number of things I can carry with me at all times. Did I mention that I like things?
#5 – I worry.
Is my car locked? Is my oven off? Did I mail my brother’s birthday card? Did he receive it? What if I find a stamp and forgot my stamp book and have to carry it in my wallet– except then my wallet gets stolen and I lose everything? What if I find a pet that I really want to take home with me, but custom forbids it? Will I mourn forever?
What if all flights back are cancelled and I don’t make it back in time and I’m late for work and I lose my job? What if I eat something that my body is not used to and my eyelashes turn green?
What if I look like a famous serial killer and am arrested on suspicion?
No answers? That’s what I thought, Traveler.
Let’s see a towel get you out of that sort of trouble.
So why do you travel?
What would you say the mantras of a Good Traveler are? Do you think there are such things are non-travelers and travelers, or have I just not been converted yet? (Have you come up with a scenario where a towel could get you out of the serial killer mix up? Seriously let me know. Now I’m worried about it.)