I am not a good traveller. This is something I am well aware of in myself and on days when I do travel, I kind of prepare myself for my own wrath (as does my poor husband). For me, the main problem with traveling is the inherent uncertainty. Sure, the train is leaving from a certain track at a certain time, but will the subway get held up in the tunnel for 20 minutes causing me to miss the train? Will the lines at the ticket machines be full so blue haired old ladies who can’t figure out how a touch screen works? Will I trip and sprain my ankle because of the bag I’m rolling behind me? I’m just super not into the lack of control involved with traveling.
As you can imagine, the thanksgiving weekend is pretty much the worst time for me to be anywhere near a transportation hub. Sadly this Thanksgiving I was forced to leave grand central pretty close to rush hour on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (the busiest travel day of the year!). I could feel the anxiety and anger creeping up from my toes about an hour before I even got to Grand Central. That might have been because I was waiting for my grandfather, whose bus was late getting into midtown. So I was already and hour behind where I was “supposed” to be. Even though there were trains out of the city every 15 minutes, I still had planned on being on a certain train. I’m not really a go-with-the-flow kind of person in situations like this, so I was already not in the best mindset arriving at the station. Then of course I had to brave the lines and the crowds, and locating my husband, and my grandfather who didn’t know how to use the ticket machines. When we finally got to the train and found seats somewhat close to each other, I tried to finally relax. And realized I was hungry. And Evan, who knows me so well, told me that he figured I would want a snack but he didn’t want to stress me out by suggesting we get something before the train. He was right, I would have killed him if he had even suggested it. He knows me so well.
I like to think that I’ve gotten better as I’ve grown up. Evan and I used to get in terrible fights before we went anywhere. I obviously like to pack the night before and clean the apartment and make sure everything is in order before we go anywhere. Evan can pack the day of, throw everything in a bag and head out. (I think maybe that’s not completely true, but this is my story). I used to get so upset if he wasn’t packing when I was packing and I would get so angry and lash out. We don’t do that anymore. We tend to not talk to each other during the “getting ready to leave” portion of the trip. It’s better that way because I don’t necessarily need to know if my husband thinks I’m insane.
So its something I’m working on, trying to give myself over to the travel Gods and be okay with uncertainty. Though all I can say is, thank the universe I was not at Penn Station on Wednesday. There would have yelling and tears and you probably would still be able to find me in a bathroom stall rocking back and forth. I’ll just stick to my long lines and normal crowds and focus on taking deep breaths.