When I travel, usually someone in either my personal or professional life wishes me “Safe Travels”. It’s a kind sentiment that, like so many phrases, isn’t fully considered. I started thinking about what safe travels meant years ago. Like when boarding a ship 100 years ago to cross the oceans. Or getting on a train 125 years ago. I am sure that this sentiment predated even these times, but it probably had more relativity then.
I was in Texas last week and someone there kindly wished me “Safe Travels”. I started thinking that I had very little to do with the safety part. I wasn’t driving, someone was graciously driving me, and I usually don’t drive when I travel either. So it’s usually in somebody else’s hands. Also, I don’t fly a plane. I am just counting on the competence, weather and the overall “System” of travel here in the U.S. to make it a safe flight. So I shift my real time hopes to having an “Easy” Journey. That is, no delays, no drama in the skies from bumps to babies screaming, and no boarding stress.
Travel is stressful! You have to get in lines for security, make sure your liquids are in bags, and be nice to all of the guys at the checkpoint or they can slow you down. Also the gates are stressful. Are you in a later boarding group? Maybe you can’t get your carry on to fit! I was on a flight last week that I was towards the front of the plane (not first class) and all of the overheads were filled, but oddly enough not all the seats were, or were even close to it. I think that people in the back and the crew just stick their bags in the front so it’s easier for them to grab on the way out. So what did that do to me and others? Swimming upstream to get my bag in the end.
My point? Try to bring stuff that can keep your mind diverted from the stress. I bring stuff with me to keep me busy. Mostly work, like my laptop, but always reading materials too. Snacks. Kindle. Think flight delays. Think laptop batteries dying. Keep yourself occupied and the whole experience goes easier. I am at a point now where I evade stress. When a flight is delayed, I let it wash over me and watch the next guy flip out. Can’t get through security fast enough? Breathe deep. Have your stuff together. Close your eyes and think of something positive. These are the things you CAN control when traveling.
And yes, I do still appreciate it when someone wishes me “Safe Travels”