Zen Traveler Goes Off the Record

I fly a lot.
And truly, much of the time, travel is not that bad. It can be exhausting, but I also meet a lot of great people, and see a good portion of America. I am grateful and better for it. It changes my perspective.

But even the most Zen of travelers is not without a list of the things they would like to sound off about if given the chance. The below is a bit snarky, but all true. Practicing mindfulness and letting it go doesn't mean you can't have commentary once in a while. Perhaps this is why SFO built a yoga room?

Here it is, Grateful Yogi off the record on the biggest pet peeves of her travel:

-To my friends at the TSA - particularly those at EWR - I get that your job is hard. I know that every day you face hundreds of people toting large bottles of shampoo, ridiculous items in their bags, and a significant disregard for your instructions. You are also (hopefully) our line of defense against bombers and would-be terrorists. But you don't need to yell 24/7. WE CAN HEAR YOU. AND I KNOW THAT MY LAPTOP NEEDS TO COME OUT. This isn't my first time on the TSA rodeo.

-To my fellow travelers: Give the TSA a break. Follow instructions. TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES. Please don't bring Costco-sized toiletries with you to Cancun. You can't wear your heavy jacket through the metal detector. And that enormous belt buckle with Texas on it? It's going to alarm. If you feel like you need to take a stand about the see-through scanner - EXPECT that you will be searched. And expect me to roll my eyes when you complain about said search. I am also keen to know that you are not a terrorist. (to those who are reading this and think I am exaggerating about the items above - I assure you - I am not. This is an every flight occurrence).

-It is really too bad that Encyclopedia Britannica is going out of business - because we could use a well-written article on the true definition of a carry-on bag.  If I could fit my entire wardrobe in your bag - it's not a carry on. And when you try and lift that 60 lb menace above my head and force it into the overhead bin - do not be surprised when the flight attendant tells you that you need to check it. It isn't going to fit. It probably didn't fit in your trunk. True story.

-With few exceptions, ABC and DEF are standard seat assignments. Know them. Practice them. Sit in the correct seat. Do not look surprised when I do not want to trade your window or middle seat. I am an aisle girl. I am also a big believer in hydration in the skies - so my aisle seat placement is a kindness in disguise. If we trade, you get up once an hour. I guarantee it. And there is a system when we exit the plane. Do not run your fellow passengers over running from the back of the plane and then have me run into you at baggage claim. You weren't making a connection. You were being an inconsiderate person. Karma says your bag will be last (or lost) one of these days.

-Regarding those electronic devices - can I say a few things? Your ipad is awesome. I am really glad you have it. I have one, too. Please mute your sound because you did not actually invite me to play angry birds with you and I wasn't looking to watch Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. This also goes for the kids you are entertaining with said ipad. Earphones please. And while we are on the topic - you know when the flight attendants ask you 10 times to shut off your phone because they need to shut the main cabin door? Would you mind actually doing that? I wish flight attendants would call you out and confiscate your phone like you were a third-grader. Half the time I consider doing this myself. You shouldn't need to be told twice. TURN IT OFF.

Above all, be kind. Try to practice patience. We are often a tired, jet-lagged, and weary bunch. We are in close quarters. Kindness matters.

And have a sense of humor. Life is too short to spend 6 hours in a cramped seat without a smile.