Lessons Learned from Travel
I get to stay home for the next two weeks -- all the way through Christmas and New Years. I couldn't be happier. Travel kicks in January 2nd when I leave for Colorado Springs and the National Youth Minister Conference (or whatever it's called). I'll speak for one day and then fly back the next. Looking at my schedule for 2007 reminds me of lessons learned in travel.
A Dave Barry quote: "I would say that the single most important conclusion I reached, after traveling through Japan, as well as countless hours reading, studying and analyzing this fascinating culture, is that you should always tighten the cap on the shampoo bottle before you put it in your suitcase."
I'll share some of my lessons from the road and then wait for yours. I just returned from Indianapolis. It's the only sane thing to do if you find yourself there.
I think it was Mark Twain who first stated "A small town is usually divided by a railroad, a main street, two churches and a lot of opinions."
I thought about living in Florida. The problem is that the average age is, well, dead. I was in my hotel listening to the sound of the waves hissing on and off the beach... until I realized that was just the sound of the Depends rustling under the Sans-A-Belts of passing walkers. Besides, in Miami, drivers will actually try to pass you on the inside of a carwash. But they're seniors so they have their self-entitlement meters pegged on "Self referential" so there's no talking to them. Besides, are they beaches or are they ashtrays in their wild state? I've thought about going down to the beach and burying metal objects that have "get a life" printed on them. Just another service I provide...
I like cruises. Yes, you have to be careful about the boat. They have the Fantasy and the Ecstasy. Those are good. I'd avoid the Hysterectomy.
There's a lot of nice things about Oklahoma City. I just don't, for the life of me, know what they are.
Why do people in Seattle insist they really don't get that much rain? The rest of the nation knows it as "America's Bladder."
There's a small town in Alabama that has a fashion show. Well, really, they just open up the Penney's catalog and point. Sometimes the road less traveled got that way for a reason.
When the guy at the custom's shack ask you if you have any weapons, the WRONG answer is "Whaddya need?" I assure you -- and I don't want to discuss this in detail -- that, after the third or fourth time, body cavity searches lose their charm. We still write, though, so that's something positive.
Can you believe it? The Vatican doesn't have a Hard Rock Cafe. Talk about missing a great chance to enhance the revenue stream...
There's nothing wrong with Southern California that a rise in ocean level wouldn't cure.
Don't want to get searched at the airport? Dress like an iman and mutter under your breath, casting angry looks at people. In our PC world you'll get waved right through. (and a shout out here to United, the one airline that actually -- are you sitting down? -- cared about passenger safety over political correctness. You guys rock)
And France? Don't get me started. Charles de Gaulle once said "How can you be expected to govern a country that has 246 kinds of cheese?" thereby showing the determination, sense of purpose, and backbone that has forever been the hallmark of the French.
Chicago? Richard Jeni says "Chicago was started by a bunch of New Yorkers who said, "Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough."
The only pleasure trip I took last year was when I took my mother in law to the airport.
So... what have you learned by traveling?