Whenever I travel, the first day is filled with thoughts of despair – I hate traveling. Or more to the point, I am not a good traveler when I’m alone. I can rationalize all I want, but this little voice chimes in and says “Are you sure you have the right passport?” or “You flying out of La Guardia or JFK airport?” It is seriously exhausting.
I’m not sure if I have something wrong with me, or this is just regular old travel panic, but man it is unnerving to doubt yourself so thoroughly. I wish I could be one of those people who can throw a few things into a bag and travel for a month in Tunisia, but I’m more from the having a sherpa school of travel. I guess it is the English heritage of pale white people in pith helmets demanding locals make them a cup of tea as they admire the sunset from the back of an elephant.
It is not a proud history.
Today I made my way from my apartment in Astoria to JFK by train. Despite having a slight issue with the height of strap on my roley-bag which required me to hunch over the whole way, the trip was really easy. My maps app on my iPhone suggested I transfer to the LIRR, but I decided to walk a little to transfer to the E train instead as I have an aversion to the Long Island Rail Road. Not because of the service, but because I am far more familiar with the subway system and feel more confident on it. The transfer to the AirTran at Sutphin Blvd, likewise, was a breeze. Although the AirTran is only an elevated train that travels a loop, it brings back memories of rides at Disneyland. It lacked a robotic shark, but did get me to JetBlue Terminal 5 in a few minutes like in the world of the future.
I’m not sure what I was thinking as I went through security. Most times I go through, I have a system – I take off my shoes, my belt, and empty my pockets and stroll on trough those beepy things like a boss. This time I walked through with change, a watch, my shoes, and my iPhone in my pocket. The 4th time the Transit Security Officer asked me to go through the beepy things, the people behind me had stopped smiling at my charming shrugs.
Everything after security was smooth sailing until I took my seat on the plane and found a Jewish orthodox family sitting across from me with 2 babies. Awwwww Man! When the father and the youngest daughter moved across the isle next to me, I almost turned to them and said “Really? Really? You want to sit right next to me?” but instead I smiled and hoped the kid was narcoleptic. Turns out, the kid was adorable and fell instantly in love with me. Although she thought her buckling and unbuckling the seatbelt the most charming thing ever, we got along pretty well discussing the finer points of her bottle. It wasn’t until she pooped in her sleep next to me, at hour 5, that I thought perhaps our relationship had run it’s course.
She pooped guys!
Overall, first day of vacation is going well, but smells… like poop.