Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Mel-isms of Travel

It's so cliched but sometimes you need to get away to discover yourself. Travelling reveals more about yourself than you'd like to know, truth be told. I was in Bangkok recently and although I was with my brother and a colleague, I spent plenty of quality time with myself most of the days. So here's what I've noticed:

1. I always choose the aisle seat in an airplane. I don't care much for legroom seeing my hobbit-like stature doesn't require much, but I am particular about easy access. I hate sheepishly tapping the person beside me - who is already in deep slumber judging by the gurgling sounds he's making - to make way for me to use the lavatory. But I totally don't mind giving way to him if he needs to use the toilet for the 567th time. Translated: I'm a people-pleaser, even at the cost of my convenience. Okay everyone...Can you spell "Doormat?"

2. I check to see if my boarding pass and passport are with me every 5 minutes. I am paranoid. I get sweaty palms just thinking about misplacing them. Translated: Pa-ra-noid.

3. If I'm not sharing a hotel room, I sleep with the TV on. Translated: I may be 30 but I'm still as chicken shit as they come. For the past week I've been falling asleep to the sounds of Oprah and Everybody Loves Raymond. Oh and I check the drawers for a bible, just in case.

4. I like nice, fancy restaurants but I'll order the cheapest thing on the menu. I love my red wine but it doesn't have to be vintage. I heart air-conditioned places because they're comfy but I don't need the best seat in the room. Translated: My tastes aren't cheap but my style is thrifty, haha.

5. I'm perfectly okay spending the afternoon in my hotel room, enjoying a bubble bath while watching in-house movies. Translated: I really should be more adventurous but sometimes 'boring' beats 'adventurous'. Especially when you have a nice hotel room.

6. I love discovering new sights and cultures but I get bummed when I realise he's not there to share it with me. Translated: You can send me on a round trip around the world but where's the fun in it without having someone to share it with? I'm sorry, I don't do solo travelling very well.

7. I study maps, take note of landmarks, learn helpful foreign phrases and carry allergy/food poisoning/migraine pills in my backpack. And two types of mints. Just in case. Translated: I like to overprepare because I hate being underprepared. I don't 'wing it' and I certainly don't hitch hike. Yes, I am as predictable as they come but I'm working on loosening up. Just a little.

and finally

8. I always break into a smile when the plane touches down on homeground. Don't take me wrong, I love travelling but it's a wonderful feeling coming home to something familiar. Translated: Does that make me a bad traveller? No. I just know where I belong.

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