The joys and sorrows of traveling.

I love getting to visit new places where I feel like a new person looking at life through a different lens. Yet, the actual ordeal of having to travel to these places can overshadow my excitement and anticipation.

Long trips overseas can become a nightmare, and it all starts when I face the line to go through security, which makes me feel like a criminal, don’t ask me why. Then comes pain in the butt of having to take off not only my shoes, but my belt, my watch, my jewelry, you name it … and then hope I won’t forget anything on the belt when I’m hurried along by other frustrated passengers. Who can blame them?

Then I need to check my gate number, which might change several times in a half hour and is of course never next to the one I was told I would depart from. It’s usually at the other end of the terminal, so I need to run! If I’m extremely lucky, it will be the same airline, but that rarely happens.

Then comes the anguishing wait at the gate while they ask the first class to “pre-board,” which I never understand the meaning of. Aren’t we all simply boarding the aircraft? Then, by calling out different names for each seating area, the passengers are discriminated upon. Lastly, comes the herd, which I’m usually a part of. Maybe at this point they should have “pushers” to hurry us along into the plane for more of an awkward effect.

On the plane, I always end up on the most uncomfortable seat, which of course never has the right inclination on the neck rest, and I then spend the next 12 hours trying to make myself comfortable.

When it’s finally ok to go the bathroom, I, along with many others, have to wait until nobody else is in line. So, I spend an hour sitting in my tiny cramped seat, looking back to make a run for the restroom as soon as it’s vacant. Of course that will unavoidably happen right when the drink and food trolley is slam in the middle of the aisle.

So I finally make it to the toilet, which reeks. I can’t actually sit on the seat because there is urine on it. I end up wetting my pants because I can’t hold on to anything while I pee. This is so humiliating!

Then I’m back in my seat, ready to enjoy the movie, which I’ve either already seen, or is something I can’t stomach. Of course the sound is off, so I end up doing something else instead. Like taking a sleeping pill to avoid actually experiencing the rest of the flight.

Aside from these nightmarish inconveniences, which happen once you’re on the plane, don’t forget you first have to get on the plane. In addition, you need to worry about whether the flight will be delayed, canceled or even whether the plane will disappear, especially if you’re flying Malaysian airlines.

So why do I travel? Because once I finally reach my destination I can finally enjoy meeting up with my family and friends. They’re worth enduring this and more. And if I’m traveling to a new place, then I quickly forget what I had to go through to actually get there. Still, I wish there were a faster and more comfortable way to travel. What do you think?

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