Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How I travel—tweaks to make it bearable

"How I travel" on a feathery*nest  |

Thanks so much for the sweet notes on the arrival of the newest little member of the family. I've been busy soaking up every minute that I can with him while he's here, 3-hour roundtrip transit be damned!

But speaking of transit, I was thinking about how I travel and what makes it bearable (these days transport is not nearly as enjoyable as it used to be) and wanted to share a few things I do that make being on a plane considerably gentler on my body (and mind...and general disposition). I certainly don't travel often these days for work (and can't say I ever really didthe height of business travel for me was probably a trip or two every two to three months), although I do usually manage 4-5 personal trips a year. Point being, these ideas are good for any and all situations:

+ Packing: After my bag is packed, I go do something else for a bit (check in online, reserve a car service, evaluate fridge situation to see what needs to be thrown together into a mushed up meal before I leave, etc.). Then I come back and take 3-5 things out of my bag (depending on the length of the trip). I've never once thought, "damn, I wish I had kept that second evening bag in".

+ Immunity: Before leaving home, down the hatch goes a double dose of Green Pasture's X-factor butter oil/fermented cod liver oil blend (the cinnamon one) and/or green powder (straight up chlorella and spirulina from; previously this). I also sneak in a double dose of magnesium. The latter to make the flight, and process of getting on said flight, more pleasant and the former three to keep me a bit protected from the free-frolicking germs.

+ Cleanliness: I slip a pair of ankle socks into the outer pocket of whatever bag I'm toting for easy access when it comes time to do the ritual disrobing for security. The thought of my bare feet or the socks I'm wearing touching the ickiness of the security lane floor fills me with horror, so a pair of socks serving as a barrier between me and the ick is my own security blanket. Before sticking them back in my bag, I fold them in on themselves so whatever lurked on the floor doesn't crawl its way into my tote.

On the plane:
+ Comfort: If you ever see me, you'll notice I have a scarf or wrap somewhere nearby—I wear it around my neck as a scarf in cooler months or around my shoulders during the evenings of warmer months, but even so, I'm especially sure that no matter what, I have one in my bag or on my person before heading to the airport. It serves multiple purposes: planes are either frigid or glacial, so a wrap equals a makeshift blanket. They're also generally full of strange odors, loud noises, and uncomfortable images, so a large wrap can be a face mask, ear muffs and eye mask, all in one.

+ Entertainment: What with the knitting and my reading of fiction, I hardly ever get around to reading the magazines that come our way weekly or monthly (the NYT Sunday Magazine, the American Express Departures we still get from a previous tenant, and Fast Company, Inc., NYMag and Time, courtesy of expiring miles on an airline I no longer have occasion to fly). They pile up in their TV stand-adjacent perch and make me feel guilty each time I pass them (sound familiar? I had to put our NYT delivery on an indefinite hold). But come flight time, into the carry-on bag they go en masse, after I've stripped them off their address label, for a massive catch up on the plane.

+ Mobility: When it's time to choose seats, I always go with the aisle, unless I'm travelling somewhere topographically spectacular and landing during daylight, or taking an overnight flight. The aisle is good for a little extra space and easy ability to stand, but not so good because annoying people put their entire weight on your seat when they get up from behind you or pass your seat as they walk down the aisle. Pick your poison, I suppose.

+ Sustenance: I never said no to airline meals before because I felt I had to eat them since I paid for them. Thankfully I've wised up and now pack my own meal. It's usually a few containers of hard boiled eggs, which are so nice and cute and portable, plus remnants of whatever produce I was leaving behind, and hopefully a wedge of cheese and some dark chocolate, too. I pack my own knit napkin and flatware and wrap it all up in an IKEA dishtowel, rinsing the containers and cutlery when I arrive, so they're ready to be refilled for the return trip.

So there you go–how I make a supremely annoying situation slightly more comfortable. If you're traveling over the holiday (my favorite and one of the things I'll miss most about America!), perhaps you could make use of some of these? Either way, be safe, have fun and eat well—Happy Thanksgiving!

One year ago: Equal play, Tension with the Times, A bit more on Aire

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