“All my bags are packed I’m ready to go”

I operate under the assumption that back in the day one simply did just have to pack bags and then go. Travel in the 21st century has lost this simplicity. My recent trip to Denver, Co. highlighted how stressful and difficult travel has become.

First of all, I am so grateful that I live in a time and a place that allows for quick and (somewhat) affordable travel to exotic destinations- Denver is a mile high so I’m putting it in the exotic category. But, the entire process of airline travel frazzles me.

Packing: I have a hard time with small toiletry bottles. Some products are easy: travel sized toothpaste, shampoo, even deodorant. But some things just can’t be shrunk down. My perfume is a few ounces over and I’m not risking TSA confiscation. Therefore, I was not a floral bouquet while in Denver.

Security: I’m all for security. I strongly believe that air travel is a privilege and not a right. However, I feel as though there needs to be a line for frequent travels and those people who haven’t flown in 20 years and need a little extra time to get accustomed to the process. I pride myself on being all prepared for security. I start physically and emotionally preparing right when I enter the line- shoes off, belt off, laptop and toiletries in a bin. But there are always the small things for which you can’t prepare. Example: My ponytail got checked. Maybe it was especially fluffy and/or suspicious? You can’t prepare for something like that (I would have washed my hair that morning if I had known).

The Actual Flight: I’m not a good flier. I panic, overly examine the safety features card, and immediately have to use the bathroom when I sit down. That being said, I try my hardest to make my flight as pleasant as possible for those around me. I sit in my designated space, I do not lean back my seat more than one click, and I try to nap. Also, in my opinion flight attendants are skylaw. YOU DO NOT QUESTION SKYLAW.

At Your Destination: There are too many different airport designs. I’m a proponent of all airports (at least those that are main hubs) being designed exactly the same. Growing up in Washington means I am convinced SeaTac International is the layout for airports. Trying to find car rentals, bathrooms, and gates consistently proves this theory wrong.

After this process you turn around and do it again on the way back! I’m home now. My ordeal is over, although I am scheduled to take another flight at the end of this month. Now if I could just get the motivation to unpack…

Paige Stewart

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