Friday, July 26, 2013

Samara's travel musings

Traveling this weekend. This usually causes all sorts of interesting ponderings on my part. (My iPhone tells me that "ponderings" isn't a word. iPhone? Haven't you realized I'm a writer by now? That means I get to make words up!)

Enjoy some of my disjointed travel musings: 

So we should start with packing. 
I suck at it. I really should just make a couple of standard lists - overnight, 2 nights, and that real vacation I take every few years - but where would the fun be in actually planning ahead? So yah, packing normally goes something like: 
[Get home from work]
Samara, you were supposed to do your laundry! Get the laundry started before you do anything else. 
But... I'm sleepy. 5:30 is a great time for a nap, no? 
Do not even think about taking a nap. Off your bed! Off--
[an hour later]
I have to do laundry!
Yes I told you that. 
Ooh... Facebook? 
Facebooook :)
Not the phone--ah! I give up on you. 
[almost another hour later] 
Samara!! Laundry. Dinner. Packing!
Yes! [schitzo stare-down]  ...Fine! If you do all the things on the list before bed-time, you can read your book :) [ 87% of the time]
Ok. Deal. 
[Then begins the distracted, mad scramble to "pack ALL the things!"]
What's the point, I'm going to forget something anyway? 
More packing. Less complaining. 
[Trying to run through my routine with myself] 
Ok, next : figure out how to pack face wash so the TSA doesn't condemn you to soap & water. 
Oh. [Heads to the bathroom] I need to grab that sweater too [about-face, back to the bedroom. Throws sweater on pile in suitcase] Ok. Where was I? 
And so it goes. ALL night. 
Last night I kicked into high-power, sheer-panic mode earlier than expected, so I was actually able to do some semblance of a mani-pedi at 11. Then I read my book [yay! Bribery]. I read till midnight - waiting for my nails to dry. When I woke up, they were smudged. :/ I'll never be good enough. 
So anyway... that's what packing fun looks like. 

When traveling, I feel like I'm playing a game with myself. It's called "You can't really be elegant when you travel, but have fun trying." I mean, every choice & movement comes down to: Elegant or Practical? It's like playing chicken with your own dignity. 
Flying is by far the highest stakes game. It goes like this - Oh you wanted to look cute? Well, the plane is going to either be stifling or frigid. And those darling shoes? You're gonna have to take them off while everyone in line behind you is waiting -and they're all watching you, dearie. So it's a good thing that while you were scrambling around to pack all the things you need minus all the things we won't let you take you had time to paint your toes. Once you're done half-undressing (and if you don't get hauled aside to be frisked by Helga) have fun shoving all your things back into that cute purse before everyone behind you - same group who saw that lovely self-pedicure - get grumpy. Now you get to wait for 3 hours. But don't worry, we have exorbitantly extorted food stuffs for your purchase. You get sick on planes? Oh that's too bad. Well, water bottles only cost $4. 
And I could go on. Lets just say - we don't all get to look like Victoria Beckham when we waltz out of the airport. 

Today's journey had the bonus component of taking a bus to the airport. That was a first. And let me tell you a little secret about me & buses. I have, on my own, mastered 4 separate metro transit systems - and one of them was in French. But to this day, I still get anxious about taking a new bus route in my home city. I mean, I research it before, try & leave plenty of time to catch the bus, and then play it as cool as possible. I'm pretty sure I fail miserably at this. For starters, I get butterflies & an elevated heart-rate. I find a place to sit or stand so I can see the bus coming. I check the sign multiple times. I'm all jumpy when anything resembling a bus (semi, ambulance, blasted greyhounds) passes. All the while I'm trying to be all nonchalant about it, but I know the truth: I look like a totally pathetic newbie. I can hear the thoughts of the route's veterans going something along the lines of "Chill out, crazy girl!" But no, there is no chilling out over the paranoia of missing your bus. So then, the bus is like 2 minutes late and by that time I'm having a full-on panic attack. I'm just certain I missed the bus. It must have come like, 22 minutes ahead of schedule. And, yes, I have an app that tells me the bus's progress - but those have been wrong before, you know? So then I'm pretty much on par with the quail from Bambi. Usually its about this point I'm thinking to myself, "Ok if I take this other bus, transfer 3 times & walk a mile, then---" annnnnd my bus rolls up. 
So yah, totally chill. 

Pretty much, when I say I love "traveling," I usually mean "being someplace unfamiliar" - not the actual process of motion sickness in a plane or sleeping  awkwardly on a train. 

Though, they do make for great stories :)


  1. You are totally amazing and awesome and I love this post.

    Your heart and my heart should trade notes about bus-riding ;)

  2. HAHAHAHAHAHAH... I get this. Last weekend included a 4:00am wakeup, with a smudged nail (after saying "forget the laundry!"), 5:08am bus ride, 5:38 link rail, 7:15am flight, 10am air train, 10:30ish BART ride... But I can't lie - I get a rush from it. I truly LOVE the travel part of traveling... minus the fear of missing your flight.