So, it looks like I’ll be heading out to D.C. tomorrow for a bit on company business. Sort of a quarterly/semi-yearly team get together and retreat. I’m usually a fan of retreats, though travel itself I don’t really enjoy much anymore. After RC and some miscellaneous adventures last year I suppose I should change my outlook on that, but I can’t quite bring myself to.
On the plus side, I know folks there and it’s only like 3 hours on the plane. On the minus side, there are a bunch of little things to get done and knowing myself I’m going to have trouble getting to bed tonight.
Things I usually do for travel:
Pack the night before. I never have enough time in the morning and I don’t want to overload my poor brain with both the stress of getting in the headspace for travel and “Oh shit where is everything ahhhhh” that I always end up suffering.
Setup care for my dog. I try to make sure to take her out for one last walk the morning of, since we’ve been together almost a decade and she basically knows when boss (me) is about to go away for a bit. If she wasn’t so violent towards other animals I’d find some way of traveling with her, but unfortunately she is and so home she stays. Luckily, I have good friends who help out and sometimes send pictures.
Setup my electronics for travel. Download shows, charge batteries, charge powerpacks, pack laptop and accouterments, charger, etc. Make sure I’ve got some nice peaceful music to play over my headphones—the Eastshade soundtrack being my current favorite. I just downloaded that absurd goose game so I can fiddle with that during the trip.
Grab water bottles and peanut M&Ms for the flight. Stupid anxiety trick: if you have cold water and are eating, monkey brain is a little more hesitant about freaking out. My monkey brain can’t really square the circle between “oh god I hate flying this is unnatural” and “oooooh candy peanut”—given the choice, food wins out.
Wear comfortable travel clothes. I can’t find my hiking boots, which is really annoying, but I’ll at least have my shorts and my field jacket, so that should help. Apparently it’s actually going to be cold, because of this magical thing called seasons and Fall—as a Houstonian I have no concept of what this might mean.
Liveblog the adventure to friends and family. This helps me feel less lonely and gives me a way of kinda keeping my head in the right place—I’m still engaged with the travel so I don’t space out, but I also am trying to explain it to other folks so I don’t focus too much on it and ruminate either.
The really annoying thing to me is that, when I was younger, I actually really really loved traveling. My folks would take us on road-trips, packed away in hilarious dangerous configurations in our family minivan, and we’d drive all over. Later, in college, I was a big fan of Greyhound and then Megabus, and was happy to hop up to Dallas to see people whenever holidays or whatever came up—it was both cheaper and arguably faster than flying.
And then…I kinda stopped. There’s a whole backstory there, but suffice it to say travel went from something I enjoyed to something I absolutely dreaded. Only in the last couple of years has that gotten better.
That said, the show must go on, and like anything else that scares the hell out of us or that we find especially distasteful perhaps the best solution is to mindfully keep at it until we have convinced the entire stack of brains—people brain, monkey brain, and lizard brain—that the act itself need not be something to be scared of and instead can be at worst a mere nuisance.
That said, flying coach alone still sucks rocks. >:(