A sunset seen from an airplane window, with airplane’s wing visible.

Some travel observations

I’ve been traveling quite a bit over the last few months. Here are some idiosyncratic, prejudiced observations:

  • The higher the density of cars, the higher everyone’s stress level seems to be. Not just that of drivers, but that of people in general. This seems applicable both within a country (towns vs cities) and globally (developed vs under-developed countries).

  • Conversely, a low density of cars is correlated with good public transport, nice public parks, and a general feeling of chillness. I love cities, but the more I spend time in smaller towns, the more I see the appeal. I must be growing old.

  • When I find myself back in a big city seeing all the posters for everything that’s happening, I remember why I like being where the cultural happenings are congregated. So that I can have more things to moan about not doing.

  • Everyone seems to travel with a smaller suitcase than me. I don’t know how they do it. Where do they put their second backup umbrella?

  • A related mystery: when people get off the same flight as me they look smart and refreshed, while I look as if I’ve put on whatever clothes I found at the bottom of the laundry hamper.

  • If a restaurant indicates vegetarian and gluten-free options on its menu, it is more likely to have clean toilets. I’m sure there are other indicators of “attention-to-detail,” but as a vegetarian, this one jumps out at me. Although such menus are more common in richer countries (as are clean toilets), the observation holds, and is especially useful, in poorer countries as well.

  • Everyone I travel with somehow manages to strike up conversations with strangers that evolve into deep and meaningful discussions — and I mean about dreams and aspirations here, not just what happened with the sportsball. I find this mystifying, as it never happens to me. That probably tells you something about me.

  • Airport travel tip: Pack your belt in your carry-on. If everyone did so, we’d all get to our destination that much faster. Don’t even get me started on the liquids.

I’m sure I’ve learned more important things in my travels than I’ve listed here, but these are the ones I jotted down in a sleepless haze.

Image credits.

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