Sometimes I have trouble remembering that not everyone travels as much as I do.
I know, first world problems, and such. But, I'll admit that I often find myself in the security line, waiting to board a plane, or even on the subway and getting really impatient at my fellow passengers.
I love to secretly judge the lady with huge cosmetics in her carry-on bag or the dude who still doesn't seem to understand Southwest's boarding system. "No, no....it's totally cool that you brought a huge tub of body cream....it's just everyone else that has to abide to the 3 oz. rule," or "Yes sir, that letter and number on your boarding pass? Inconsequential....just get on the plane whenever you feel like it."
It's times like these that I have to take a deep breath and remind myself the golden rule of travelling, which really is like the golden rule of life- treat others as you would like to be treated. And don't bring huge-ass bags as carry-ons. But I digress..
While I would never make rookie mistakes like liquid faux pas and trying to circumnavigate the boarding system, being kind to others while travelling can pay off. I've been at the mercy of the airlines after being stranded in Chicago (before I moved here) around Christmas time or in Huntsville, Alabama after my plane was diverted from Atlanta. And luckily I've been helped by nice airline employees in getting a place to stay and a room re-booked. Remember, when the weather is bad, the airlines don't have to do jack for you. Mother nature and all that blah, blah, blah. I should pay that forward, right?
Or the time I was travelling by commuter train from Austria to Hungary and by the way, I do not speak either German or Hungarian. By the sheer luck of a fellow passenger overhearing and understanding the conversation between me and my boyfriend we managed to get off at the right stop. On that same trip I ended up in an emergency room in Vienna with intense pain in my side. Like "holy shit, I'm having a heart attack at 26 kind of pain." Thank goodness the people in the hospital and late-night pharmacy didn't kick our non-German speaking, Yank-asses out and I managed to get some of the trippiest muscle relaxants the EU has to offer. That definitely has to be good travel juju, right?
I've been generously re-booked on Eurostar trains after the tracks caught on fire (acts of God and whatnot) with the hotel in Paris re-booking us free of charge as well. That's right- nice French people. I've had sweet Virgin Atlantic employees help me check bags technically after that was closed for international flights because I hate leaving London any sooner than I have to. I cried to embassy officials in New York when I was supposed to be in Chicago and got my paperwork stamped. A guardian travel angel perhaps?
So for all the times someone is blocking an exit because they don't know where they are going and are trying desperately to read a map, maybe I'll see if I can help them. Or when that family of 10 is struggling to take off 20 shoes in the TSA line, I will have a little more patience and not shoot dagger eyes at them.
When the old lady yells at me for having a backpack ('It's dangerous, that thing on your back!") or the other old lady (notice a pattern here? I'm like a Golden Girl magnet) chides me for saving a seat for my boyfriend who is boarding just a few people behind her, I will remember to smile treat them as I would wish to be treated. Us travelers have to stick together, right?
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Filed under: Travel