My wonderful employer has paid for me to take trips around the country to a handful of cities over the last two years. Washington, DC several times, Cleveland, Las Vegas (X2), Denver, Ashville, NC, and Seattle… I have learned a lot about how to travel and how to learn from travel.

I spent Saturday traveling and identified some of the lessons learned along the way:

  • Travel chatting is a great forum for gentle evangelizing. Edward Norton’s Narrator voice in Fight Club called them “single-serving friends,” but we can make an impact on someone that lasts longer than a one-trip-serving. 
    • Make an effort to be overtly kind. Some of the customer service representatives get yelled at every hour, on the hour, for no reason other that people are cranky when they travel. Sometimes I think people assume customer service representatives are feelingless, people-shaped computers. Treat them like they’re your brothers and sisters.
  • It’s easier to strike up a conversation with someone when en route than when you’re in your hometown. Travel makes good practice for staycation-evangelizing.
  • When packing for a trip, pick a color palette so one pair of earrings will do and you can reuse some items. Not only is it way cool to be the one with the smallest luggage, but it’s less exhausting than pulling behind you a gigantic bag.
  • One of the only times I use hand sanitizer is when traveling. And I make it count for the rest of the time I don’t use it.
  • Calories don’t count when you have to travel all day.
  • The ratio of Hail Marys per hour increases when you feel the end is near… like during takeoff. Causation, not correlation.
  • Airplane biscotti cookies are delicious. And free.
  • For me, airplane rides and airports straddle the line between crack-cocaine and the shower-idea-compendium. I spent my entire Saturday traveling, which means I spent my entire Saturday writing.
  • On every airplane trip, there is a moment (or fourteen) where I actually believe the flight will never end. This is when I must have faith.
  • It has become entirely socially acceptable to text while walking, to my dismay (unless I need to do it and then it is to my delight).
  • There is often a small part of me that expects to bump into a celebrity. I don’t know why I feel that way, but it’s a subconscious itch in the back of my mind. This time, it came true… even though I didn’t actually see him. Apparently Detective Lassiter from Psych was in our hotel this weekend.
  • I suspect airplanes are really teleportation portals. Sometimes.
  • There’s no place like home.