Apparently today is Wednesday. Normally the progression of Wednesday into Thursday makes sense, however, since tomorrow's Thursday is Thanksgiving, my mind has been a bit more preoccupied in the business of not thinking. How can one be preoccupied by not thinking? This phenomenon is not the same as "spacing out", but rather a symptom induced by public transportation during the holidays. When I travel for the holidays, normally flying between the coasts, I get in a zone of "get there, get on, get done". I am an experienced traveler, having been flying regularly since I was three. I'm a veteran, a pro, a jaded old man in a sea of inexperienced travelers, which is perhaps why I tend to become irritated quickly with ignorance and rudeness traveling. Adding the peppermint topping to my holiday cake of annoyance is the fact that it's the holiday season; have some courtesy and goodwill towards your fellow man already people.
The modified Wish List Wednesday is thus: a few simple tricks and tips to making yourself courteous during travel in the holidays.
1. Your personal bubble applies to all senses. While no one is a fan of others approaching uncomfortable closeness (hogging the arm rest at the movies, breathing down your neck in line, crowded parties), it bears mentioning that your personal bubble, or personal space, applies to more than just physical touching. If you insist on listening to the newest Rhianna tune, or cannot live without hearing the metallic clash of a sword playing on your Nintendo DS, that's fine. Just remember that not everyone shares your taste or interests, and kindly plug in some headphones.
2. You are not the king of the castle. When waiting for your mode of transportation, be it bus, train or airplane, you will most likely be carrying some form of baggage. Let's face it, checked baggage fees are worthy of blood pressure spikes, however, that does not give you the right to sprawl your belongings everywhere. If you are carrying extra bags, do not rest them on both seats to the sides of you in a waiting area. Chances are, there is someone out there who is also tired, weary and could use a chance to sit down. They are most likely to be too tired to bother asking you to move your belongings as well, so please, keep your belongings close to you and not in the space of others.
3. Be prepared. This last tip of note mainly applies to the airline experience, since that is my most common method of getting to a destination during the holidays. Unless you have been living under a rock in America for the past ten years, you should be well informed by now of the toiletries under 3.4 ounces in a plastic bag and shoe-less rules of going through airport security. With that knowledge in mind, be aware, be prepared and act accordingly. Do not decide to follow the rules at the last minute and unpack the entire contents of your carry-on at the table at security. Airports are stressful enough as it is, so get in, get out, and try not to aggravate your fellow weary traveler.
Having arrived at my destination of scenic New Jersey by train for the Thanksgiving holiday break and having a good laugh at all the travelers in Penn Station, I wish you all safe travels this holiday season and a happy Thanksgiving.