Day 16 of 30 Days of Indie Travel Project, from BootsnAll
Prompt #16: BAGGAGE
“Mental baggage can weigh us down as much as physical baggage when we travel. How do you travel lightly – either emotionally or physically?”
Skipping the stress flight
Our plane was late, and I was pissed.
After an amazing trip to New Mexico, my wife and I were on our way to San Jose, California, where I was attending an e-commerce conference. There’d been delays and confusion over our flight, and it was getting to me. Talks with the gate agent and phone calls to customer service were getting nowhere. My temper no longer felt like flaring. It felt like erupting, Vesuvius-style.
My wife finally smacked me down: “What are you so stressed about?” Jodie asked. “We’re still going to get there.”
And it floored me. She was right. It’d be later than we’d planned, but that wasn’t a big deal. All we had to do was settle in; the conference didn’t even start until the next day.
I stopped stressing about the delayed flight, and everything worked out fine. Ever since, I’ve been trying not to stress about travel. That’s not to say we let things slide; Jodie and I always try to be on top of arrangements and particulars. Diligence and mindfulness are one thing, but stress over stuff we can’t control? That crap gets left behind now.
That’s not always easy, but in the end the low-stress, mellow-mojo attitude has always proven worthwhile. I enjoy myself more, and Jodie doesn’t want to slap me—everybody wins. By not worrying about this or that travel arrangement, delayed flight, or some such bit of bother, our trips have gone smoother and we’ve enjoyed them far more. We’re more open to what’s around us, whether it’s a bit of people-watching or some smack-talking over a game of cards. We take in more detail, and find more things to talk about.
We roll with things better too. When we were taking the ferry to Saturna Island, BC, we realized the walk to our B&B was farther than would be good for my one-legged beloved to undertake that day. (And the island has no public transport.) There was a time that would’ve stressed me out, but not now. After discussing our options, our Plan B of hitchhiking got us to the B&B just fine, with the aid of a woman happy to give us a lift.
That woman, by the way, had a car full of camping gear, water supplies and her young daughter. It turned out later that she had gotten off the ferry on the wrong island. She didn’t worry about it at all—and things worked out just fine.
That’s something I’ll keep in mind the next time our flight is delayed.
More like this: Urban Fantasy and Travel Stories from Rucksack Press »
What is the 30 days of indie travel?
Every day in November, the BootsnAll Travel Network is inviting bloggers from around the world to a daily blogging effort designed to reflect on how our travel experiences over the last year (or whenever) have shaped us and our view of the world. Bloggers can follow the prompts as strictly or loosely as we like, interpreting them in various ways and responding via text, photos or video posted on our own blogs. More information: Join the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project »