Today I will be switching topics from food to travel. Recently I saw a post on Twitter about “Our Storybook Trip to Some Place”. Now I don’t mean to be a Debbie-Downer. If there is really is a “Storybook” trip at any time. I wish them well but I smell some bullshit. It has been said that William and Kate had a Storybook Wedding and that may be partially true, if only for the fact that it was painstakingly planned down to the last second, literally the last second. I myself have been known to be such a serial planner that I have downloaded menus for restaurants in the area that I will be traveling to. Today in our global “Foodie” culture it doesn’t seem as anal-retentive as it did back then. Now I don’t mean to piss on anyone’s parade here but I think we have all puffed up what we want to project as our reality a little too much. Everyone embellishes from time to time about an experience. We seem to have such a strong desire to make others envious that it becomes ridiculous. If they really did have a Storybook trip I wish them well and say “kudos, right on, good on you and mahalo.” But it’s doubtful.
Just like the commercials you see for breakfast foods where the perfect nuclear family is sitting around with huge smiles and everyone is super happy. The same for print ads for TV products where everyone is quietly watching TV, there’s no fighting about what to watch or screaming for someone else to shut up! It has gone way beyond believable.
Bad travel experiences sure we’ve all had them – some bad and some a pure nightmare. Just take a look at all the passenger shamming going on in social media. I have been a lot of places, seen a lot of things, met a lot of people but even I am shocked at what people can and will get up to in a public place. What has happened to people when they travel? What has happened to the decorum? Or better yet what the hell are they thinking that doing THAT is alright in public? And what’s with everyone taking their shoes off? I mean really what the hell? Who raised you, a pack of wolves? At what point did it become OK (in their minds) that they should/could do whatever they wanted at any time? Like paint your toe nails while flying! I wonder if these people could find class and decorum with both hands, a map and the ghost of Emily Post.
Several years ago I was stranded in an airport in Phoenix on my way back home to San Francisco. The flight was delayed for many hours due to fog in SFO. Imagine that- fog in the city! There wasn’t a point of getting upset, there was nothing anyone could do…or was there? While sitting near the gate a youngish man walked up to the ticket counter and began berating a woman about the delay. Why? Looking at here she seemed smart and more than skilled at her job but did she actually control the weather (on at least a national level)? Because if she did, that would be the only real reason I could see for ripping her a new one. The fact is she doesn’t – no one does, but in the travel industry it is most commonly referred to as “an act of god”. This doesn’t make any sense to me but hey, let’s just roll with it. At one moment it looked as if we got the all clear when we were boarding the plane. Sat down, had just enough time to smile at the person next to me and exhale. When over the loudspeaker we were asked to get off the plane and back into the airport. The man sitting next to me said “I’ll buy you a drink at the bar.” It was the only time I have ever drank in an airport or before a flight.
Life is messy, kids and dogs are messy and things don’t always go as planned – no one’s life is perfect. It’s not and if you can embrace the imperfections in life (and people and that new puppy you got from the shelter) you will be happier. Let go of stuff you can’t control – like the weather. You will be happier, not like the people in commercials or print ads (super fantastic fun time!) happy but I think they were photo-shopped or drugged…or both.