An Open Letter to Traveling N00bs

I absolutely love going to places around the world, whether they be near or far, familiar or new. What I could do without, however, is the grand spectacle of getting from point A to point B known as “traveling.”

Traveling is the bane of my existence. If there’s a Kickstarter out there for teleportation devices, please link me in the comments so I can throw all my dollars at it. Seriously. I yearn for BEAM ME UP SCOTTY days more than I want world peace or free health insurance. I will also accept a private jet and/or airport. Just get me away from all these people who have apparently never been on an airplane before.

You know who I’m talking about….

It’s that family with 3 kids under the age of 10 who can’t figure out how to collapse their new stroller. Yes, papa bear. This TSA line is the perfect place to try and figure it out for the first time. Please, take your time. Your screaming children aren’t bothering any of us at all. 

It’s that middle aged man who forgot to take off his shoes. And his belt. And he left about 53 cents in change in his pocket. And his laptop is still in his bag. Along with two half-filled water bottles. 

Or my personal favorite: that sugarbaby and/or trophy wife who decided that her 5 inch stilettos with 60 different clasps and buckles were the PERFECT in-flight footwear. And of course she needs to wear EVERY PIECE OF JEWELRY SHE OWNS… because they totally match her outfit.

I can’t. I simply cannot with these people. But because I was raised the right way, I simply stand in line quietly, as patiently as I can, while furiously texting my best friend in all caps like “THESE ASSHOLES.”

Over the weekend I migrated from my beloved NYC to my equally beloved South Florida, just to put this rant into context for you guys. And for all the times that I’ve held my tongue, I’d like to take a quick moment today to unleash all that bottled up rage in the healthiest way I can think of: with a mental health Monday post. 

Here we go.

To the families: I try. I try really hard to be patient with you guys, and I definitely have some sympathy for you. Traveling with kids is never easy. But as a child that traveled all the time across the globe, I’ve definitely seen the right way to do it (thanks, mom & dad). And you, my friends, need a schooling. I understand that your children are probably exhausted and bored, but you know their triggers best - so anticipate them! Bring coloring books, toys, games, favorite snacks, etc. Turn travel into a wild adventure game. Explain what is acceptable behavior BEFORE you leave home, so that expectations are clearly defined. Pack smart and make sure everyone is dressed comfortably and appropriately. A little bit of foresight goes a long way when you’re traveling with babies.

I don’t remember my first few trips to India because I was too young, but I can only imagine the struggle my mom had. Two toddler kids, six suitcases, and traveling alone. When I was old enough to, I took on the task of making sure my little brother was preoccupied enough and well-watched so that my mom could tackle the big stuff like navigating the airport, finding our bags, clearing customs, balancing our luggage on those rickety carts, and searching the crowds of people for our relatives. So much as the inkling of a temper tantrum, and I’m pretty sure my mom would have been the first one to throw me off the plane. 

To the people who seem to have never gone through airport security before: Get a clue. That’s basically it. I mean, aren’t there enough signs posted everywhere for you to understand that your laptop needs to be out of your bag, your shoes need to be off, and that your pockets need to be empty? I’m also pretty sure that TSA agents are constantly screaming reminders. And in case you’re illiterate and/or deaf - please take a hint from EVERY SINGLE PERSON AROUND YOU removing their liquids, laptops, shoes, wallets, belts, loose change, phones, etc. Common sense. Do you has it? *eyeroll of the century*

To the sugarbabies/trophy wives: Now, I’m not saying that you have to go full frump for a flight with your honey, but there’s a way to be sensible fab. Grab yourself some designer flats and save the next level bling for all the fancy dinners you are inevitably on your way to. Come back down to planet earth, sweethearts, and realize that your fabulosity cannot come at the price of my sanity. I’m all for looking and feeling your best…. until it gets in MY way. #realtalk

I think what I’m really waiting for is the day that airport TSA asks the important questions like “Are you traveling with any children?” or “How many times have you flown in the past two years?” and then separates people into different screening lines based on their answers. I am 100% pro that kind of profiling.

Traveling with kids? Please proceed to our families-only line, complete with cartoony TVs to keep your kids from screaming/running around and guide them through the screening process. Senior citizens? Please proceed to the slow and steady line, where you will find our most patient screening agents ready to assist you and speak in varying volumes. Sugar daddies and trophy wives? Please proceed to this handy lounge over here so you can strip down out of your shoes and jewels. Business people, students, and solitary frequent fliers? Please proceed to express checkout, you brilliant motherf*ckers. 

Basically, what I’m saying is that TSA should hire me to restructure their systems and processes. I guess this is just another struggle in the life of a hyper-efficient digital strategist. Le sigh.

Trying to remain calm,
xx Nik