Traveling Terror

I am a terrible traveler until the plane lands at my destination. Right up until it’s wheels down, I expect a disaster. I’m crazy. I don’t know how people sleep on planes. Don’t they know it’s only vigilance keeping the plane in the air and pointed in the right direction?

This anxiety kicks in when I try to pack. I have a hoarders approach to packing. It’s like the program running in the background of my mind is the same one I’d need for an “abandoned in the wilderness survivor excursion.” My brain goes “But what if I need a BandAid? Or a tourniquet?” And then there’s the matter of clothing. All I can think is…what if….? I start to imagine I might need clothes for something I’d never do in a million years. For example: “Bothering Nature” clothing. I know people that bother nature a lot. Wherever they go, for whatever reason, they go out and bother the nature there. I don’t do that. Nature didn’t invite me. I don’t let nature in my living room so I don’t go mess around in nature’s den. But when I start packing I wonder if I’ll need hiking boots. Yeah. Crazy.

And then there’s the matter of times and scheduling. I am Cajun and time – like truth – is a fluid thing. We can be vague about when, and no Cajun ever let the facts get in the way of a good funny story. But wow – when it comes to traveling – everything is so precise. You have to be everywhere at the right time. Lots of rules and details. So I have to go to the airport really really early. Because. The same way I think about packing, I think about the trip to the airport. ANYTHING could happen. It’s hard for a Cajun to understand a system that requires me to be on time even though the plane may be late, have technical difficulties, be being cleaned, delayed, at a different gate, changed – well, all of that. Those are my thoughts as I drive to the airport. I have a vivid imagination and I am no fun in transit.

I’ve put off packing until the day before departure this time so I don’t have as much time to fret. But as I look at my neat piles and my special packing cubes (because, enough messy suitcases and the plane goes down.), I’m feeling kind of sorry for the t-shirts I’m leaving behind. I hope their feelings aren’t hurt that they don’t get to go.