Happy Monday, Travelers!
Since my last post was on the semi-serious side, I figured I'd bring in a lighthearted yet informational post. Today, I am letting my petty side reign supreme because we are going to talk about travel pet peeves. Everybody has them, but when you are on the road for an extended amount of time, they can get amplified. I hope you get a laugh and if I strike a nerve, perhaps it's time to do a self-check.
10. People Rushing to Get Off Planes / Buses
Sir / Ma'am, where are you going? If you get a seat in the back of your transportation, tough luck for you, cookie. Apparently, some folks feel as though this will get them off of the carrier that much more faster, but it does not, and you officially look silly. Trust me, I understand the need to stretch your legs after a long flight, but stay in your zone. When it is time for my row to depart, you can guarantee I will exit at my proper timing. It is the luck of the draw and next time, you should choose a seat closer to the front.
9. Armrest Hoggers
Call me crazy, but I simply do not believe that arm hairs should be felt among strangers, yet for some reason, people do not mind. Recently, while heading to Houston I placed my arm towards the back of the arm rest, being diligent to leave plenty of room for the female passenger to my left. Out of all of the space left on the arm rest, she felt comfortable enough to place her arm on the rest, have it touch mine, and leave it there. I instantly knew it was going to be a long four hours. I placed my blanket over my shoulders to alleviate exchanging body heat with this stranger any further but she kept having her arm touch mine and it was incredibly annoying. In fact, I am frustrated again by typing this.
8. Selfie Sticks & Memorials
While I was in Berlin for a weekend, I wanted to see the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial. I was in for a shock at the lack of respect exhibited not by children, by adults. The best way for me to describe the memorial was like being inside of a human-sized maze in which the further you go,
the less you will see around you. I saw plenty of photoshoots, running around playing tag, and selfie sticks. Perhaps it wasn't that serious to others, but I had to get out of there fast because I was getting irritated. I love a great photo opportunity, but I do believe some things should be off limits.
7. What is personal space?
I am a Jersey girl by birth and believe in the art of personal space. Yes, that is American of me, but it is what it is. When you are traveling in other countries, you can kiss that bubble you've depended on goodbye. No matter how many times you look back and glare, or try to give yourself a few more inches, someone is going to invade your space. You will hear (and unfortunately sometimes feel) that person behind you breathing. It felt good to escape to places (i.e. the beach) when I needed some quiet time and some space to just be in my own element.
6. Lack of Wifi
It. Is. 2016. What does that matter? As much as we claim to be a 21st century society, if your airport / train station does not have free wifi, you are part of the problem! For navigation purposes, having free wifi saves my data and allows me to see what my next step needs to be. Whether it is calling an Uber, finding the Metro station, or just seeing what is around me, when I am not provided with free wifi, I feel like the powers that be are trying to hold me back. What gives?
5. Your Germs = My Germs
You run into all sorts of people while traveling, and one of the main ways I knew I was American was my appall at the lack of cleanliness people exhibited. From body odor (and it's hot, I get it) to nose picking to sneezing in hands and grabbing a rail, I felt a bit sickly and just focused on myself or out of the windows. I would have driven myself crazy if I kept up with the gross shenanigans of others. I'm not expecting 5 star cleanliness at restaurant restrooms, but I am expecting those that use the restroom to wash their hands upon the completion of their natural business. Is that so much to ask for? Who is responsible for the public health outreach?
4. Sneaky Business and Hidden Costs
Liars suck and I despise sneaky business and hidden prices. Be upfront! I found it to be a trend in Europe for surprise charges to be thrown around. For instance, if you are advertising happy hour drinks for €2, but fail to mention that the "deposit" for the glass is €3, I have a problem with that. I don't want your silly glass with the logo of your restaurant on it and while I might get a bit tipsy, trust me, I'm not that drunk and will remind you to give me my deposit back. The funny thing was, some places gave me an attitude at the request of my deposit. Excuse me? That was so far fetched to me, but the more I traveled, the more present that trend became. Stop lying to the people and just serve some drinks!
3. Shoulder Leaning Nappers
Similar to armrest culprits, there are some individuals that lean like the Tower of Pisa when they are sleeping. And hey, it's natural, but don't expect for me to let you rest your head on my shoulder. Lord knows where you have been and until I meet the Mr., my body is off limits. I remember riding to London from Paris and I was absolutely miserable because the male sitting next to me kept crossing the invisible force field that divided my space from his. It got to a point where I felt like he was doing it on purpose and therefore, I did not sleep at all on that 6 hour trip. Thankfully, my hostel was gracious enough to let me crash on the couch for 4 hours upon my arrival since home girl had zero sleep.
2. The Security Process
If you have natural hair, you know what I am talking about. The inevitable hair pat down, because when I asked a TSA agent once, I was told, "there was something abnormal about my hair". Those are fighting words, but moving on, it's interesting how in the US we are so strict about certain things that do not apply to other countries. While I appreciate efforts in keeping our borders secure, I think to an extent folks are simply on a power trip. This is my own fault because I do not have pre-check, but please believe, by the end of 2016, it is going to be a thing.
1. Being obnoxiously loud during travel
Thank goodness for my Beats headphones, although sometimes, they just are not enough. We already know I do not enjoy flying as much as others and my tolerance for crowds is dwindling. Usually, during my trip, I would book an overnight bus so that I could save the cost of a hostel for a night and rest when I'd arrive. However, no matter where I go, somehow, someway, I end up being near the loud crew. I remember my overnight bus from Amsterdam to Berlin and I wanted to snap because a group of 10+ would not hush at 2am. Common sense isn't so common. Please, don't be that person / group. We might fight. Kidding... maybe not.
There you have it travelers. Do we share any similarities? What are some of your pet peeves while traveling? Let's vent together! You are not alone.