I Hate Traveling

I hate traveling. Let me explain. I love getting to a new place and seeing everything there. The people, culture and experience of being somewhere new is why I love travel. I know you’re confused right?  Okay here goes.  The physical part of getting from Point A to Point B just rubs my butt like a city dude on a horse.

Airport-Crowds

This last trip was a fine example. I had two layovers, one for eight hours and one for five hours. It took all my will to survive airport hell.  Once you get past the overpriced crap at duty free and the cup of coffee that costs more than Middle East crude oil, the mediocre restaurants with prices the equivalent of Peter Luger Steak House in New York, what is there to do?

Please, tell me. It seems I always get stuck walking behind three people taking up the room of a marching band but strolling slowly along as if they were walking a dog in the park. And then they stop. STOP! They just stop and look around pointing at something. I want to yell, move the hell out of the way! Maybe a portable air horn like they use at sporting events. Just blast it.

If you’re lucky you can find a place to park your tired sore butt for a little while. It won’t be at the food court though. Buy something and try to find a seat and what you find instead is a bunch of people not eating but parked out with all their crap on the tables and chairs half asleep. Even if you do want to pay triple the price for a hamburger where do you sit? Get lucky and find a chair somewhere in the waiting area or the departure gate and you have hit the jackpot, a decent size seat where you can relax.

This brings me to the airlines. The seats at the departure gates are semi comfortable, usually wide enough to relax and stretch out a little. Although I usually wind up next to someone with their shoes off, feet on their carry on like they were in a recliner and snoring. But why are the seats at the gate the size they are only to get on the plane and be squeezed into a seat one third that size? Are the airlines just messing with our minds? Like a car dealer using the old bait and switch. They get you thinking, hey this isn’t bad and then they get you on the plane, lock the doors and switch the mid-size seat with the economy version.

Unless you pay a lot of money or have the miles to get into business class you are relegated to economy hell. They won’t even let you peek into business class. Go ahead, try to move the curtain. You will be staring at the eyes of a flight attendant looking like a school principal that caught you in the hallway while class is in session.

Yes, Economy Class, the airlines version of a livestock trailer. Sitting closer to complete strangers than you did with your date in High School. My last flight I was behind a very hairy guy wearing a sleeveless shirt, shorts and crocs. Next to me was a young lady with her pink pillow curled up in the fetal position and sleeping and across the aisle was a middle aged woman in sweat pants, a yellow shirt with a picture of a cat with some damn cutesy saying on it and bunny slippers. I swear, bunny slippers.

I am not saying you should wear a three piece suit but damn people; you don’t have to look like someone getting arrested on one of those police reality shows or dressed like you are at a teenage girl’s slumber party.

Airport-Sleeping

And why is it that the guy who hasn’t taken a shower in the last 48 hours wants to take his shoes and socks off? I would punch my brother if he did that next to me and I don’t know you.

Crying babies, kids that want to stare at you or poke you, the guy eating his favorite curry dish he brought with him on the plane and the woman laughing out loud at the movie when I am trying to sleep. It is no wonder that you hear about a flight attendant snapping and going postal.

I need someone to hurry up and invent a transporter like in the Sci Fi movies. Just zap my ass to my destination so I don’t have to put up with traveling. Until then I guess I will take a sleeping pill, loosen my pants, slip my shoes off and go to sleep until the flight arrives. I promise I will try not to snore or pass gas.

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About thetravellingfool

Bob aka: The Traveling Fool is a History buff, cigar lover and enthusiast of different cultures and places. He has had the privilege of living, working and traveling all over the world. A proponent of getting off the "tourist path" and experiencing all that the culture and people have to offer. Happiest on a white sand beach in SE Asia or anywhere Tropical.Written By: Bob follow on Twitter @thetravelfool

Comments

  1. We feel EXACTLY the same way about travel. Every time I fly I just end up thinking why the hell do I do this??? And then you get to your destination and you forget the awful “actually getting there” part. But you are right it sucks. Probably does not help we can only afford budget airlines either. And you are also right about people wearing ridiculous outfits – last time I was travelling I saw two woman in pyjama bottoms! But just got to remember it is worth it :)

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more. I just long hauled to Australia from London and ended up being stuck next to someone who, and I kid you not, had shat themselves 5 hours out of Melbourne – it was putrid!

    Generally on short trips, my way out of the predicament was trying to take trains wherever possible. A whole lot more comfortable and not to mention scenic.

    • thetravellingfool says:

      Long haul flights are bad, that’s when you need sleeping pills and booze, not together but sometimes it makes you want to.

  3. You had me laughing out loud reading this post, it’s just so bang-on! Having been a road warrior for a couple of years, I certainly saw my fair share of weird behaviors in airports, airplanes, shuttles and transit areas to last me a lifetime.
    Nevertheless, I still take great pleasure in traveling to a destination, as I consider it just as much a part of the experience. Heck, when you take a one-week vacation in the Caribbean, you spend almost a day to get there, almost a day to come back, which represents a fair chunk of it all. I guess you have to take it to the second or third degree, sit back and observe how folks (mis)behave, have fun with the crying kids and have a bite from the neighbor’s stinky curry. Heck, might as well go with the flow, right?
    ;-)

    • thetravellingfool says:

      Well I guess the end does justify the means. And you’re right it is part of the experience, not the best part but still.

  4. Cynthia Simpson says:

    I could not agree more, just back from a long haul flight last week and it was hell….I will be writing about the disgusting man I landed sitting next to soon!

  5. Totally get you man. This is when I really believe that frequent flyer miles are great, even if just to use those airport lounges! Long-haul flights are no fun…

    - Maria Alexandra

  6. This is awesome… LOL Yeah, I have had the feet that smell like someone stuck a sour frito bag over my head. I have had to compete in the armrest wrestling championship. One of my favorites in the ‘roach coach section’ is when the meal comes, I am eating, and the person in front of me jams their seat back in my direction because THEY are done eating. Now I am in this praying mantis position trying to eat and not spill food on me and sip my coffee without spilling that too and watch my movie.
    Tazers should be allowed on board so you can subdue the ignorant and move that seat back in its upright position, or have the time to duct tape the guys cheesy socks over his face and act like you don’t know what the hell happened, or just gently zap that little kid that has been crying the last 4 hours. My only reprieve is when I can see the ground and houses in Thailand slowly growing larger and I know freedom is close at hand. Then its the next battle on the moving walkway with the group of people hogging the space up and just riding along oblivious of those behind them trying to escape the madness.

  7. I also like to see new places but these things make journey more tiring. As there are not much facilities for the people with moderate budget and we are forced to tolerate all these things for the sake of new destination.

    • thetravellingfool says:

      Agreed Peter, we do have to put up with a lot from the airlines and airports just to get to that fantastic destination.

  8. I could not agree more. Exploring new places and learning new things are our raison d’etre, but the actual travel process of airports, flights, long drives, etc are really a pain. They cannot invent teleportation fast enough for my tastes!

  9. Agreed! Air travel can be downright horrible, especially in economy class. I was just on a flight where the guy next to me in the middle seat had showered in cologne before the flight. He then proceeded to take up the armrest and half of my seat with his elbow. I fell asleep for a brief moment only to wake up because I felt a leg on my leg. He had crossed the line and moved his leg into my leg room! I gave him the old hairy eyeball and he moved. I tried to get working on my laptop until the guy in front of my puts his seat back slamming my computer shut. His seat was at my nose. Oh yes, who wouldn’t love air travel?!

  10. I hear you on this one. Flying has become a necessary evil if you want to travel. The people that walk 3-5 across and do not think that people are behind them drives me crazy. It happens everywhere. I wish they would get out of the way.

  11. It’s all about distractions and preparation for me. I distract myself with books and music during the waits and flight.

    Great post!

  12. I find best way to get through a flight is arrive sleepy and just sleep the flight u forget all the bad points

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