Travel Lessons Learned

By on January 10, 2012

I just got back from a trip to California for a funeral.  I had to fly, and since I was only there for a couple days I didn’t want to pay or hassle with a checked bag.  So obviously that means no real weapons.  I just wanted to share a couple things I noticed.

 I found that I’m carrying another weapon.  I use metal water bottles to drink out of all the time, and take an empty one and then fill it after I go through security.  When it’s full, it’s long, hard, and heavy.  It makes a nice impact weapon that I am going to practice with a little just so I have an idea how to use it.

I normally do, but forgot to repack my carry on every time.  I always dump everything out when leaving home and make sure that I didn’t leave anything in my bag that might be obscene to TSA (like nail clippers or a pocket knife).  On the way back I never got anything out of one of my bags, so I never repacked it.  I left my full water bottle in there.  TSA was not happy with me in California.  At least the one agent that escorted me out was nice.  I had to go through the entire line and process again.

Walk through metal detectors slowly.  I set off the stupid thing five times coming back.  By the last time I thought for sure I was going to get strip searched (or worst).  I was just frustrated for having to stand in line twice and just wanted to get through.

I fast food burrito in a zip lock back looks like a bomb under the x-ray machine.  That was the funniest thing ever.  I had an extra burrito I brought for dinner and I guess the soft beans with the tortilla, the wrapper, and the plastic bag could look like something dangerous in the x-ray.  I was laughing when the agent checked my bag by hand and pulled out my burrito.  He then put the bag and burrito back through the x-ray machine in separate bins. 

Once you get into the terminal you are relatively safe, but not totally.  I went to the bathroom and guys just left their luggage next to the door when they used the facilities.  Even-though everyone has been searched and is going to a flight doesn’t mean they won’t take an opportunity to steal your stuff.

The last thing is a re-enforcement.  Emotions are highly contagious.  About 20 minutes from landing the plane hit some major turbulence.  I never even pay attention until the flight attendants sit down.  They did very quickly and the plane started bouncing all over the place.  I had to hold onto my phone in my lap so it didn’t bounce away.  The two ladies next to me started freaking out and the rest of the plane followed.  I just started talking to them about life.  I was very calm and was telling them not to worry about it.  I got to meet two very cool people and noticed that they started to calm down.  As they calmed so did the row in front and behind us.  Your reaction to any situation can have a huge effect on the people around you.  Stay calm, talk softly, and don’t get excited for as long as you can.  Truth be told, I was starting to get a little worried as we went on final approach and there was still turbulence.  But it stopped near the ground and obviously everything turned out well.

Stay Safe,

Ben 

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