I consider myself a “Professional Traveler” as in “One time I threw up on a plane and no one even noticed except my dad.” When my brother got motion sick on a plane he ralphed on the stranger next to him. I didn’t do that because I inherited the considerate genes.
I hate flying. It is my biggest fear. It’s not that I don’t trust planes. I know the statistics, I know I’m more likely to be eaten by an arctic fox than die in a flight (mostly because of this whole Iceland thing.) I know turbulence is normal and that planes are loud. The problem is that my body does not recognize the typical sounds and steps of a plane ride as normal. Turbulence=death. Simple as that. At least, to my clenched teeth and shaking limbs.
Once during a flight home from San Fransisco our plane hit a random, violent, springtime storm. We were bombarded with hail, high wind, and a miserably bumpy ride. People were shouting as the small plane flew from side to side. Children cried. The religious prayed. The atheists prayed even harder. At one point, our plane took a steep nose dive and I made a noise that can most accurately be described as a guttural “yelp.” At the same time I plunged into the lap of the stranger sitting next to me. A gut instinct I’m not proud of, as his girlfriend seemed to not approve. I was shaken for weeks. Promising myself I would never have to fly again. This event my husband would later describe as “mild turbulence.”
Here’s the quirky kicker. I have an obnoxious and uncontrollable wanderlust. In the last four years I have visited six countries. And, not to brag, but I only cried on half of those flights. It’s worth it, facing that terrible fear in order to break cultural boundaries, broaden my mind, and have some kick-A instagram posts. I’m writing this entry because if I know anything about white girl blogs, it’s that they love to post travel tips. I have no travel tips aside from avoiding it as much as possible. But of those, I have plenty.
What to Pack: It is crucial to bring as many useless items as possible. If you do not do this, you may think you are making practical packing choices. This would be a mistake as you are avoiding any semblance of a travel experience.
To begin, place at least 5 almost-identical lipsticks in your personal bag. Do not be confused and think you will wear all 5. In fact, you will not wear a single one. Wearing lipstick would imply that you enjoy traveling enough to look like something other than the walking dead to the travelers around you. Bring lipstick, do not wear it.
Nail Polish: This is a particularly fun item to bring because even if it is 3 ounces smaller than the 3 ounces of liquid you are allowed to bring in your carry on you will still panic throughout the entire security line, assuming they will take it away. *Note, nail polish is especially fun to bring when your nails are already done and the other person you are traveling with is your husband. He will love it if you paint his nails during your layover while he is sleeping.
Water Bottle: When I think “bomb threat” the first thing that come to mind is a 16oz bottle of Aquafina. Because of this, I find it particularly satisfying to pack an empty plastic water bottle and place it lovingly on display in an x-ray security tub. It’s empty, no H20 bomb there, but you are still gonna get a dirty look from the strong independent security lady. For the anti-traveler, this is a huge success.
Sensory Stoppers: For you anti-travelers who care less about angst in the event and more about pretending you aren’t traveling at all, I find these items legitimately useful. A face mask and ear plugs/headphones. Both of these items will eliminate the claustrophobia that comes from being aware the loud changing tones in the plane are the engine painstakingly trying to carry 836,000lbs of weight 30,000ft in the air. The mask is to keep your eyes from examining the enclosed, over populated, flying mass coffin you paid twice your monthly salary to ride to your death in. (Pro-tip, if you don’t have a face mask double eyepatches work just as well and give off that alluring “tough guy who has pirate friends” vibe.) I used both and they worked wonders for my flights to Iceland. Also, I had a lot of drugs.
“Drugs” Explained: Because I don’t drink alcohol and because I don’t have enough street cred to get the good stuff, I bring Dramamine to knock me cold so I can ignore the fact that I may plummet 35,000 ft to my death.
Now I am tying the beginning of this post with the end. The little boy behind me on the plane threw up a lot of times. The end.
I am now safe, cozy, and content in a little apartment in Reykjavik, Iceland. The trip here was easy peasy, but now things are going to get crazy.