Monday, July 4, 2011

Two Tickets to Paradise

I have had several opportunities to travel recently, and I have discovered, again, that it is something that I really enjoy!
I love the airport!
I love flying.
I love the view above the clouds!
I wish I could figure out a way to make traveling a regular part of my life … for business, for pleasure, for exploring, for development! 
I have a friend that travels all over the world doing work with humanitarian organizations, and his stories of meeting the local people and helping communities, and helping local agencies bring services to underserved areas is so inspiring to me!  I can feel in my heart a sort of calling … though I know not what that will look like at this time.
I have also discovered that I have plenty of room to improve as a good traveler!  I am hoping that the next few years bring me many opportunities to improve my packing and planning skills!  And to further research new techniques!
I recently went on vacation to Hawaii with JQ and his brother and sister-in-law.  While there are many other destinations that require longer travels, 6 hours is a long time to sit unable to move around much. 
Things I learned and decided about this flight:
1.      Check to see if the airline provides and food, without charge (usually not)!  Pack a little lunch if necessary!  OK … you can’t take just anything past security these days that is for sure, but you can bring non liquid snacks from home, and even buy things at the shops while you wait for your flight!  That is a long flight with only a 60 calorie snack pack of crackers and a soda! LOL

2.      Bring something to do on the plane! Read a book, or journal, or games to play with my sweetie!  We did buy magazines at one of the shops, and I had my laptop, so I was able to open it and work on some writing projects.  This was good!  Keeping those items accessible under the seat in front of me is very helpful.
3.      Bring a neck pillow, or in my case, I have a ROHO cushion that sure would have been good for me to be able to sit on!  Sitting that long, and unable to do much repositioning, sure was hard on my bad hip!
4.      Pack light, and save room for the souvenirs!
a.       When traveling to the Hawaiian Islands, I mostly wear my swim suits and sarongs with flip-flops, for beach and casual wear.  Shorts or capris w/ light weight cute tops, and sandals or flip-flops for exploring.  One nice outfit for that last night dinner at Duke’s!  Keep it simple and easily mix and match.  I did utilize my yoga pants and top every morning for yoga on the beach! Ahhhh … That was so grounding.
b.      The humidity is brutal on my hair, so I don’t leave it down much, so is my curling iron and hair dryer really necessary?  I think not!  A couple of cute hair clips … Those banana ponytail holders are great!  A solid snood with a pick to secure it in place.

I had to make my first trip to Montana as an emergency when my daughter went into pre-term labor.  I did not pack as well as I would have liked!  The most important thing that I discovered is that I forgot my camera!  Me.  The family photographer, that goes nowhere without my camera!  And I did not show up at one of the most important moments in my daughter’s life with my camera!  I will not beat myself up over this, but I will comment on it a few times so that I retain the huge lesson learned!  I also learned a lot about fling on small planes!
1.      My rolling carry-on is the perfect size for packing light and my laptop and camera fit in it!  It, however, does not fit in the overhead bins.  But, with a little wriggling it does slide nicely under the seat ahead of me, which is fine as long as I am only packing for a short trip, such as the last two.  I have decided that going forward, I will just put my suitcase in the “ala-cart”, and carry-on my laptop and camera in my brief case.

The next trip to Montana was planned for my daughter’s birthday, so it went so much better!
1.     I was able to read, and take pictures out the window, and journal.  I brought a movie to watch, but forgot my head phones since I did not bring my brief case, and was not up for spending the airport shop prices, so that stayed in the bag.  I bought some headphones at Wal-Mart before my return, but my seat mate had me a little crowded, and I did not feel comfortable wriggling the laptop out.  Again, I think that if I had utilized my brief case, it would have been easier to access.
2.       Is it bad to talk to people on the plane?  Funny story about the trip from Seattle … my seatmate got in trouble from his woman for chatting with me!  We were chatting and laughing about the noises small planes make, and wondering if there were a couple of chainsaw motors strapped to the top of the plane!  Or if someone had would the rubber band too tight … Ugly sideways stares were shooting across the isle!  If it weren’t for the fact that she was sitting with her 8 year old daughter, I would have changed seats with her, so she was sitting with him.  As it was, I told him I did not want him to get in any more trouble for having fun, so we did not talk much after that!  But did share a parting smile upon disembarking.  My return trip seat mate had a “do not disturb” vibe emanating loudly from her, so I tried as best as I could to not disrupt that.

3.       I got a huge abscess in my armpit and had to go to the doctor while there … they wanted to  do an incision and drainage, but I work in a wound care center, and I have no interest in having an open wound made in my armpit … while on a trip 900 some odd miles from home.  They put me on antibiotics, and said they would send chart notes to my primary doc back home, and I promised that if it was not clearing up that I would follow up with my PCP when I got home.  I wont go into details, but it did drain on it’s own, and I took all of my antibiotics, and kept a clean dressing on the abscess until it was no longer draining or showing any signs of an opening.  What did I learn from this??  It is very important to have a list of any medications or vitamin supplements you take in your wallet with your health insurance information!  I only have one Rx, so it’s not so bad, but I also take quite a few vitamin supplements, and an out of town doc or pharmacist would not have access to that information … incase of negative interactions.
So much more to learn!  Sure do hope that I have many many more opportunities to work on this!  I think traveling helps me to …

Live Well!
Love Suzi~Q