This Labor Day weekend I decided buy a ticket back up to Boston on Saturday to visit someone. I woke up Friday realizing I had absolutely no plans for the last free day off of work that I have this year (besides Thanksgiving and Christmas which are mandatory family time holidays), so I figured what the hell. I was traveling alone for the first time. This resulted in an abundance of observations, conversations with strangers, and playing Yahtzee… with myself. Here are five positive things that I enjoyed while traveling alone:
1. Overly nice flight attendants who wink at little children, give you extra peanuts, and don’t scold you for not knowing what “put your bag all the way under the seat” means. Guilty as charged.
2. Plenty of time for thinking about nothing or thinking about everything. Or, brushing up on your gaming skills. I guarantee that I can now beat anyone at Yahtzee nine times out of ten.
3. Taking off and landing. Window seats. I believe I am the minority in this opinion, but in the words of Ricky Bobby, “I wanna go fast”.
4. The enjoyment of snooping on other people’s reading selections, or whatever boredom activity in which they choose to partake, and then manifesting their life story in my head. Some people might just call this people watching.
5. When luck intervenes, and the other two seats in your airplane row are occupied by clones of yourself. Commence immediate bonding, mutual appreciation, and talk of sympathy for others’ unfortunate seat assignments.
BONUS: Seeing a rainbow from above. I was totally having this kind of moment.
Planes that go up must come down. There are some great must-experience moments of traveling and flying, but there are also some less pleasant aspects of such travel:
1. If you don’t know what you are doing, at least be good at pretending. People will take advantage of you and/or become unnecessarily enraged at you for getting in their way.
2. Airplane toilets are terrifying. Flushing is like a game of jack-in-the-box.
3. The oh-shit-bars and handles in Amtraks aren’t there for decoration. I learned this the hard way when I almost slid full-forced like a bowling ball into a group of multicultural human pins. You hold on dammit. You hold on.
4. People like to seat-jack you and then look at you like you are an imbecile when you try to correct them, especially when you aren’t being backed by a travel companion. Take advantage of flight attendants, and I don’t mean in the mile high club sense of the phrase. This is usually frowned upon.
5. Middle seats. It’s like being the middle child. The aisle seat is like the oldest getting all the freedom, the window seat is like the youngest getting spoiled with a great view, and you are in the middle getting in the way.
- Useful Tips to Remember when Travleing with Kids, from Mom (epicatravel.com)
- Are you a window flier or aisle seater? (cnn.com)
- An Open Letter to Anyone Who Ever Flies on an Airplane (aiminglow.com)