Friday, April 26, 2013


So, as I sit here in the airport, listening to the intercom announcements about flights changing gates – and the children scream – it occurs to me that I arrive at airports early. Now, those of you who are familiar with my seeming inability to get anywhere else on time will realize immediately how impressive this is, the rest of you will just have to take my word for it: I arrive at airports very early. It’s not even really fair to call it ‘very’ early, ‘outrageously early’, ‘exceptionally early’ and ‘inordinately early’ are really much more apt descriptors. That being said, I only really notice how early I get to airports when I clear security in record time, have my carry on entirely prepped with interesting things to keep me occupied in a seated position for 9 hours, have gone to the bathroom… and then find out that the flight has been delayed. Now, in all fairness, no one should ever count on a flight being delayed, and I am not complaining (read: it’s given me time to book the hostel I’ll be staying at tomorrow night), but it is moments like this that make me realise what ‘early’ really is.
            Early is calming.
            Yes, that is a secret of the universe that many of my friends and family have been trying (er… unsuccessfully) to teach me for years. Early is time to sit, and contemplate what you are about to do, and revel in a complete lack of worry when you have successfully made it to your rendez-vous in good time. Write this one down guys, early is a good thing.
            This brings me to the Second Major Realisation of this post; other people don’t change their wallets over to travel wallets when they leave the country. I have noticed in previous travels that there are people in this world who like to keep physical objects with them, possibly as a security blanket, when they are in new and foreign places. That being the case, I’m pretty sure that most meal receipts do not hold sentimental value, and that the discount card you have for that tiny local coffee shop on campus is probably not valid if you are on the other side of the Atlantic. And yet… people brings these things with them when they travel! Aside from the convenience of a smaller, more durable wallet, there are cards I carry at home that I would not want lost or stolen if I were abroad. For example, the card that certifies me as a blackbelt martial artist, or my first aid certifications, or my healthcare card. Some of these aren’t so painful to replace, others are, and most of them cost money. Which leads me to the whole thrust of this Second Major Realisation, if you are travelling, please seriously consider cleaning your wallet at the very least, and switching over to a whole different wallet depending on how long you are gone for.
My favourite part about switching to a travel wallet is that I get to carry around something smaller and lighter than the fat, (pretty) leather thing that I use normally. Not only is my little travel wallet lighter than my normal wallet, it is much more durable in that it’s made of some sort of rip-stop/never tear/totally washable/nuclear bomb-proof material that no one would look at and think ‘hah, I should steal that! It’s probably got loads of money in it!’. This does mean that you have to travel with a wallet that only scores 6/10 on the pretty scale, but it also means that you can take it to the beach, get caught in a rainstorm, spill wine or leap tall buildings with it and not worry.
I’m actually a fan of not worrying, which I know is surprising given that I am so often less than punctual.
However, I can now hear British Airways beginning to run through their final checks before they load us onto the plane (which is here, hurrah!) so this is where I will leave you for today. I promise to post something confirming that I have made it safely to Paris, with some sort of very touristy picture involving the Moulin Rouge.
All the best!

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