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Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Joys of Travel Do Not Necessarily Include Airports

I love to travel.  I am not even sure what it is about it.  I love seeing new places, eating new food, seeing art that speaks to me, watching the scenery go by from my car or train window, visiting architectural sites, and so much more.  I love to learn new things.  Planning a trip to a destination, be it 50 miles or 5,000 miles away, gets me to learn more about it in anticipation and to carve out time while I am there to learn even more.  I love walking around new places, seeing them up close. 
So that’s the good news.  The bad news is that air travel is worse than ever, with the exception of safety.  That is the best. Timeliness and comfort have gone by the wayside.  The trip I just took had relatively few problems, as these things go, but both flights were delayed.  The first delay was not off set by the second one, because we were on the plane for the second one, of course.  I ameliorate the baggage issue whenever I can by packing a pack that can fit into the overhead bin on even the smallest of regional jets, so it has been a while since I have had to wait plane side for my gate checked bag or spending a night without my checked bag.  But those experiences are all part of the problem.  
The last problem is the nutritional opportunities at airports.  It is expensive and largely inadequate.  Increasingly I bring my own food to avoid a lot of processing.  Unfortunately, two things that are excellent foods for plane travel are peanut butter and yogurt.  These are variably considered liquids by TSA.  So cross those off your list.  I bring nuts, fruit that travels well (oranges and apples, not bananas), long lasting vegetables like celery and carrot sticks, hard cheeses that I have pre-sliced, crackers that are good when broken, sliced cooked meats, especially smoked meats, all of which can be purchased for a price that is less than the cost of one sandwich at an airport.  There is no sign that this will improve in the future, and climate change is upon us, so until we have good high speed train travel in the US, come prepared emotionally and physically to not enjoy the nuts and bolts of air travel.

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