Things I Do When I Travel

Pack too much carry-on luggage. When I fly, I generally occupy my time with three different activities:

  • Listen to music
  • Read airline magazines/catalogs or a book until I
  • Fall asleep

Sometimes I throw “wonder how on earth to go to the bathroom without disturbing two sleeping people next to me” into the mix.

Regardless, I always seem to end up on the plane with a laptop that never gets used (and all of its related paraphenalia), multiple books, notepads, an entire office worth of writing utensils (because you never know when inspiration will strike but will demand a certain caliber of pen and color of ink), blankets, travel buddies, sunglasses, bags of toiletries, homework/business that I won’t touch for the entire trip, and anything else that I can cram into a minimum of two painfully heavy bags.

Buy touristy junk. I like to have a souvenir of every place I visit. My main collection is Christmas tree ornaments. I try to get a shot glass and/or keychain for Mom, too, and maybe something for Meredith if it catches my eye.

Get quiet. Traveling, especially traveling alone, seems to bring out the introvert in me. I blame it on the airports – all those people tax my psychological strength. This is irritating, because I usually travel for situations in which I need to be extroverted and strong. I’m working on conquering this one. It’s complicated by the fact that I also tend to

Get sick. Travel to low altitudes or humid locations does a real number on my stomach, and I tend to lose my appetite at the very least. I sometimes get very tired, too. Both times I’ve traveled recently I’ve had a stuffy nose.

Pray. “Hold us safe and bring us home,” to be specific. While the plane is taking off, usually. Sometimes repeated many times, depending on exactly how “fun” the takeoff is. I like flying quite a lot, except for the parts where you take off and land. Those kind of freak me out.

Get big ideas. Something about traveling opens up a portal in my brain, and all kinds of exciting and huge ideas come pouring out. These have led to some awesome developments post-trip, as well as some incredible diversions of the less successful variety. It’s all good, though.

I’m sure there are more things that I do when I travel, but I’m having a hard time thinking about them right now because I just got back from a trip and am consequently slightly ill and full of terrific ideas that want to be addressed. What about you? What are some of the silly/weird/superstitious/habitual things you do when you’re on the road?

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