20 (semi-travel-related) things for which I am thankful

Posted on
Nov 24, 2010

Having spent the last few days whining (yes, I admitted it) about the injustices that the TSA has committed against law-abiding U.S. citizens, I thought I’d switch gears today and not complain about anything.

Yeah, I know. I’m surprised, too. It’s not that I’ve suddenly started agreeing with what’s going on in our nation’s airports (here I go again …) but rather that Thanksgiving is around the corner, and rather than focus on the bad (of which there is very little in my life) I’d like to talk about the good.

And believe me, there’s a lot of good.

Here’s the thing: life hasn’t always been quite as awesome as it is now, but it’s always been pretty darn good. Despite the few speedbumps of douchebaggery, I’ve enjoyed a rather smooth ride on the highway of existence. And now seems a particularly good time to talk about those wonderful things in my life, as they pertain to travel, among other things.

So, with no further rambling, here are 20 things (travel-related and otherwise) for which I am thankful:

  1. My Samsonite spinner suitcase. Not only did I get it for 75% off at Ross (I. LOVE. THAT. PLACE) but it handles better than my KIA (then again, so do most shopping carts).

    It has the about the same horsepower as my KIA, too.

  2. The occasional upgrade. They’re all too rare, but when they do come along? FREE HOT NUTS (that’s what I said).

    Also, silverware! Just like real humans use!

  3. Waking up in time for the hotel buffet breakfast. Oh, and the ubiquity of Nutella in said buffets. HOW HAS AMERICA NOT CAUGHT ON?
  4. My unofficial editors. You know who you are – those of you who discreetly send emails, tweets, or DMs, letting me know of misspellings, typos, and the like. You class this joint up, and I’m infinitely grateful to you for it.

  5. Avoiding jet-lag. It seldom happens, but when I find myself enjoying 8-hours of solid sleep on my first night in a new time zone? I FEEL LIKE A SUPERHERO.
  6. The internet. Dear god, remember when you had to call and talk to a human being in order to book a ticket? EWWWW. Things are ridiculously faster and easier now.
  7. Ballet flats. Getting in and out of security has never been easier (not counting the gropings and full-body scans). SUCK IT, MEN OF THE WORLD.

    On a side note, I want these.


  8. Fart-absorbing airplane seats. This is purely conjecture, but I’m pretty sure they must absorb odor. Otherwise, I’m convinced no one would survive a trans-Atlantic flight during which tandoori is served.
  9. Being 5’2″ My relative shortness is never so much of an asset as it is on an airplane. I always have plenty of legroom, I can curl up on my seat, and the folks who sit next to me are always happy to see that it’s me  (and not the Andre-the-Giant-looking dude behind me) who’s sitting next to them.

    I may be exaggerating here, slightly.

  10. That cell phones are still prohibited on flights. If you’ve ever sat next to someone having a vapid conversation on the bus, you understand why this is so important.
  11. The Wire. This show made a last few trips fly by. We’re now done with the series, and I’m worried about what we’ll do if I have to travel without the company of Omar, Bunk, and the rest.
  12. Getting to visit family.

    Notice that the three-year-old is the only one properly posing for the camera.

  13. Getting to visit folks who might as well be family.

    Pictured: Jon, Lisa, Rand, and the saucy little redhead that stole his heart.

  14. Shower curtains. Seriously, Europe – take note. They keep warmth in, and they prevent the entire bathroom from getting soaked.

    Explain to me how I get out of this situation without saturating EVERYTHING.

  15. My wicked awesome camera. Thanks, Rand. I promise, one day I will learn to use it properly.
  16. You. Yes, you. Reading this blog. Give yourself a hug from me … whoa. WHOA. I said a hug, buddy, not a TSA-style groping. Christ.
  17. The aisle seat. Please excuse me while I get up to go pee … WHENEVER THE HELL I WANT. I mean, except for when the beverage cart is rolling around.
  18. Hotels with decent toiletries. I once found an assortment of Noxema products in the bathroom, and nearly peed my pants. Fortunately, I was in the bathroom, so the toilet was right there. Double score.
  19. Growing up bilingual. Thanks for that, Mom. Ditto for making me eligible for an E.U. passport. It makes all those years of trying to explain American humor to you worth it.

  20. And most importantly … the best travel buddy in the world:


    Wait … no, sorry. That’s MacGyver. Though I suspect, he, too, would be awesome to travel with. But I meant this guy:

    I love you like a mad man.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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