Anyone looking for travel writers? I think I essentially qualify, as I frequently find myself aboard tiny jet-airliners globe-trotting between exotic locations like Madison, Wisconsin and Tampa, Florida and always come back with a new list of grievances. Where else can you get local insider information like this than from someone who spends a good chunk of her paycheck traveling? "Dunkin' Donuts at Logan International Airport: Home of the only line longer than Security," or "When claiming your baggage at Logan Airport, expect to retrieve your checked bags within approximately 36-48 hours of arrival."
As I've mentioned before, the actual aspect of flying doesn't scare me so much; it isn't about being 30,000 feet in the air with about as much protection from disaster as my couch cushions provide (the "Seat Flotation Device") - my life in the hands of someone who could have gotten his pilot's license the same day as his bartending license on some sort of 2-for-1 promotion. Once you board your plane, the only thing you really have to worry about is your plane taking a nose-dive or a deadly Ebola virus spreading to all the passengers. The really frightening thing to me is actually trying to make your flight on time and not being apprehended by security. Which is why I slept for one hour the night before my 6:30 AM flight. Naturally, I was worried that the seven alarms I set and placed strategically around my apartment would all malfunction and fail to wake me at 4 AM. For the one hour that I did manage to sleep, my subconscious plagued me with dreams about the various ways I could miss my flight.
Of course, once you're strapped into your seat thumbing through SkyMall for a decent cereal dispenser, there's no thrill like being aboard an enormous aircraft capable of traveling 630 miles an hour and taxiing on the runway for thirty-five minutes. When an airport is burdened with heavy delays and cancellations, the sense of urgency the crew exhibits as they try to get you the hell out of their airport really helps to set you at ease. A flight attendant nearly shut my hand in the overhead storage as I tried to grab something from my backpack. "Put away all electronic devices! Cell phones! GigaPets! Pedometers! Those with particularly high or low voice frequencies please stop speaking!" The next thing I heard was slightly more unnerving, and I think was said in an attempt to separate the truly brave passengers from the rookies: "We are running a few minutes behind schedule but should be taking off shortly -- the pilot is just closing up his bar tab."
Because this was an unfinished post from August locked away in my drafts folder, I can't tell you how far I was planning to take this rant. But I can tell you the end result was that I made it safely to Wisconsin and gave my good ol' liver a run for its money over the weekend. I only spent about a total of five hours aboard a plane and I generated this much material (possibly more, if I hadn't gotten bored and stopped writing). Imagine how many blog posts will be mulling around in my drafts folder after I spend 24 hours getting to Singapore (and 24 coming back, provided I don't go completely insane on the way there).