the daily doyle

Road Trip? Plane Trip? Let’s Go! a.k.a. Hong Kong Just Because
December 7, 2011, 10:12 pm
Filed under: General stuff

Why is it so cool to get out of town for a few days, a week, a month?

Maybe we all need a little change of pace. Some of us feel a little overwhelmed in our regular lives. When you leave it all behind, it’s out of sight, out of mind. I think many people just want to get away from a particular person. Word of advice – don’t take that person with you.

So where are we going?… St. Augustine for the weekend, Montreal for the Jazz Festival, Hong Kong just because. I’m ready.

“What else am I supposed to do, stay here and learn?” – Seann William Scott as E.L. in the 2000 movie Road Trip. Great movie, with Amy Smart. I want to take a road trip with Amy Smart!

Most of my travel is work related, either my for-profit or non-profit activities. Even work travel can be fun, especially when somebody else is paying for it.

Travel can be a chore but it doesn’t have to be. Flights can be especially painful with delays, cramped seating, loud kids and lame snacks. Traveling in a car can be more pleasant but begins to lose its charm after the first three hours. No matter why, where or how you’re traveling, make the best of it, make it fun. Make a game out of it. There are lots of games you can play. You can play the “how much money can we save” game. You can play the “get there really fast” game. Or the “how much can we eat?” game.

My favorite game is making time to see people I care about. There’s just nothing better than an all-expense paid business trip which includes some time to surprise some friends or random relatives in town. Some of my friends get a free meal out of my visit; hey Angela, see you in February for Thai pizza. Some others, unfortunately for them, are such darn good cooks that I’m never offering to take them out ever. Chris, this means you – thanks for all the great homemade food Cuz.

It irks me to hear people complain so much about their travel. Maybe they’ve just been so beaten up by too many trips and lost their enthusiasm. But honestly, there is just no excuse for that. If you have to be on the road anyway, come on, this is your life, and you’ll never have another chance to be happy in that moment. So take a fresh look at it, change it up.

I have suggestions. Don’t I always have suggestions?

1. Drink more water. The first thing I do when I arrive anywhere is stop by a store and stock up on water, and maybe some nuts. Water is key to your wellbeing. You just aren’t going to feel good and enthusiastic about life if you are not hydrated. And I don’t mean soda, coffee and sugary apple juice, I mean water!

2. Talk to more people. Say hi, strike up conversations. If you’re single, try to pick up every reasonably attractive girl you run into. What have you got to lose? Getting rejection is good practice for the future. If you’re a girl, I’m not sure you want to try picking up guys, that’s a whole different matter, not too safe.

3. If it’s not too far, drive instead of fly. Sometimes, with unexpected flight delays, you can get there faster driving than flying. The greatest thing about driving is that you can stop periodically, get out, stretch your legs, eat what you want, buy some stuff.

4. Don’t over plan. I guess some kind of a plan is necessary but you don’t need to painstakingly plan every minute well in advance and have it all printed out in date order. Leave a little time for spontaneity. I’m not saying plan your spontaneity in advance, that would be wacky, I’m just saying don’t get too strict on planning.

5. At least once in your life, take a long trip on a Greyhound, a.k.a. “The Dog”. Why, you ask? I’ll grant you that a bus is not the most elegant, comfortable, or best smelling way to get from point A to point B. And I’ll grant you that, how do we say this gently, you may have to rub elbows with members of the, gently now, less “moneyed” classes, or something. I will tell you this. You’ll never forget it. It won’t be dull. Greyhound bus stations are colorful and interesting places, and the people who ride are sometimes the most interesting of all. Just do it, at least once, you’ll have great stories, you may meet some great people, and it’s cheap! If nothing else, an overnight trip from Clearwater to Lexington or Washington DC to Cincinnati (my two Greyhound experiences) could make you really appreciate and stop complaining about the rigors of flying.

So who’s up for a road trip? I’m in. Amy, how about it?

Disclaimer – there are some people who genuinely love living where they live and don’t want to go anywhere. I don’t understand you people. Never will. All you stay-at-home types should probably just ignore all the above advice.

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