Monday, December 18, 2006

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?

14 Comments:

At 12/18/2006 12:37:00 PM , Blogger reJoyce said...

Even if you are packing light, take at least two pairs of comfortable walking shoes for a touristy trip. Alternate on a daily basis. Your feet will thank you.

 
At 12/18/2006 01:45:00 PM , Blogger Greg said...

Your travels have served you (and us) well!

 
At 12/18/2006 03:38:00 PM , Blogger Kirsten said...

"Be flexible. Practice patience."

This came most in handy when I had to fly cross country on the one month anniversary of 9/11. It also has come in handy many a time in countries where I didn't know the dominant language.

It is also handy in life whether or not travel is involved!

 
At 12/18/2006 03:58:00 PM , Anonymous Gallagher said...

West Virginia? I am surprised you never had any pointers about the state of "Almost Heaven." I mean, you lived there and you travel there, surely there is something. (I lived there too, actually I attended in Morgantown while going to WVU when you were there.)

I learned to fall asleep fast. Nothing can bore you to death like a person beside you with nothing to say saying something about nothing.

God bless

 
At 12/18/2006 09:24:00 PM , Blogger Paul said...

Good stuff! You can tell a story!

 
At 12/19/2006 12:36:00 PM , Blogger CrazyJo said...

Take a windbreaker, and stop taking so many dang pictures or you'll get back and go "Look! It's the 274th picture I took of that castle in Ireland that looks just like the 1,428 other castle pictures I took." :)

 
At 12/19/2006 02:34:00 PM , Blogger Reflections Staff said...

Patrick, With your many travels, I like to take this opportunity to invite you to join us in Edmond, Oklahoma for "Restoration Reflections" a two day seminar dealing with "The Stone-Campbell" movement in Scott Chapel - January 19-20, 2007.

 
At 12/19/2006 09:21:00 PM , Anonymous TinaMarie said...

It's actually okay to go on vacation and relax. You don't have to run all over the place to see every special sight there is to see. Whew!! Then you don't need a vacation to recover from your vaction.
Also being a home body "There's no place like home."

 
At 12/20/2006 03:19:00 PM , Blogger Brie said...

My advice gained from my meager travels is this: it's ok to pick a restaurant based on how many cars are in the parking lot at dinner time instead of what a travel guide says. Don't schedule every minute of the day- leave time to look at nifty things that you just come across. And always take your own shampoo, because the stuff at hotels is just bad.

 
At 12/24/2006 01:03:00 AM , Blogger Kari said...

my mom always told us to put your dirty underwear on the top of your suitcase, so if the airline people try to check the contents they won't get past the skidmarks.

and recently, i learned that the hose that puts air in your car tires doesn't start to give air until you push the button. (that was embarassing. . .)

and from my dad i learned that there's nothing wrong with a plastic grocery sack as a carry-on bag. as long as it has peanut m&m's and a golf digest magazine, the bag is just fluff.

 
At 12/25/2006 01:05:00 PM , Blogger Bill said...

May your knowledge and experience of the riches of God’s grace, abundantly lavished on us through the gift of His Son as our Savior and King, warm your souls and brighten your days through this holiday season. Merry Christmas! -bill

 
At 11/11/2009 11:49:00 PM , Blogger Basil said...

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