Happy summer fellow philosophers!
As you may have noticed I haven’t posted anything in a while, as I have been busy enjoying the first part of summer exploring southern Germany and the Czech Republic. It’s been 15 years since I’ve been to Europe and I didn’t want to spend too much time writing. I do have some ideas I want to share with you about travel in general though, and I will break these up in to several posts.
My international journey started with wisdom from Kung-Fu Panda of all things. Apparently on most modern planes these days there is an entire entertainment system embedded in the seat in front of you for you to stare at for the duration of a 7-10 hour international flight. Filled with movies, video games and other distractions I started with the obvious; kung-fu. Although meditation has helped me on planes before, I did not think 8 hours of meditation would be feasible here, especially in light of the food they serve in coach.
Seriously. Bad Food.
I think all airline executives should be forced to eat their own airline’s coach food for 6 months months as a condition of employment. I would even support a congressional hearing on this matter. If they can have congressional hearings on professional baseball they can do it for airline food, something that affects (and torments) many more Americans than Major League Baseball.
Travel light. I have been fascinated with minimalist travel (and minimalism in general) as a way to live. This guy was my inspiration. I’m nowhere near as badass as this dude, but my new rule is one carry on bag, preferably on my back. That’s it. I will never check another bag unless I am staying somewhere over a month, and then I will still try to fit it all in a single carry-on. Freedom is everything, and less luggage means freedom of movement. Nothing can get lost when it is on your back. You are not going to miss a shuttle bus or train waiting for luggage at baggage claim. It is liberating and empowering to have a single backpack for a two week trip.I will do a separate post on this and tell you my tips, secrets and things I’ve learned.
The more you take the less you have.
Master Oogway – Kung Fu Panda III
For me the act of traveling is the worst part o the whole ordeal. I just can’t relax until I get to my destination. We were meeting my in-laws in Munich to start our vacation, and of course there was a mix-up on the way there with missed connections and complete re-routing of their flight. It all started with flying out of a small regional airport. Now I have nothing against small regional airports, other than the fact that every complete flying disaster I have been involved with has originated by flying out of or connecting through one. It’s great when you have to drive only 20 minutes and walk through security with no lines, but it has not made up for when something goes wrong. There is simply no resilience built into the system. Small airports are fragile. Large airports are antifragile. A small airport with one flight a day somewhere just doesn’t have the capacity to easily get you to where you need to be if something goes wrong. I have learned this lesson too many times now. When I travel I prioritize fewer connections and larger airports. Sometimes I will tolerate small regional airports if it is a direct flight, if the price savings is substantial or the schedule is way more convenient.
Travel hack number one. Bring your own food to supplement the ‘food like substances’ they serve.
Travel hack number two: One carry on bag.
Travel hack number three: Direct flights. Large airports.
That’s all I have for now. I need more coffee and less jet lag. More to follow soon.
In the mean time I will share a few pictures with you from my journey.
For more pictures please follow me on Instagram where I try and post a picture or two a day.