It’s The Getting There That I Hate

A CTA brown line train leaves Madison/Wabash s...

I like to visit places, but I don’t like the traveling it takes to get there.

This past weekend, I took the train to Chicago and then hopped a cab to the hotel for Cubs Con. Now, driving to Chicago, I don’t mind. Last year I drove and stayed in the hotel and all was groovy. Not knowing where I’m going sometimes gets me riled, but most of the time, I breeze right through it. But taking the train and taking a cab, that makes it more of a trip. Control has been wrenched from me. I now have no control over when I make it to town. I have to rely on someone I don’t know to drive me to the hotel and then pay them for it. It raises my level of anxiety.

Airplanes are no better. I’m impatient. When I get on and sit down, everyone else needs to sit the hell down, and the show needs to get on the road. Or in the air, as the case may be. Same when we land. Get your shit and get off the plane. It shouldn’t take you twenty minutes to get together your shit. It didn’t take that long to stow it, dammit. And God help the world if I ever get on one of those planes that get stuck on a tarmac for more than twenty minutes. There will be blood.

Once I’m in the air or on the train, I’m good. I plug in my music (or in the case of flying, I prefer cartoons), read or write, and mostly relax.

Once the plane lands or the train pulls in, the anxiety comes back and doesn’t abate until I get to the hotel. Once I’m at the hotel and get through the whole checking in process and get to the room, I’m good to go again. And while I’m there doing whatever I came to do, I have a great time.

The anxiety starts all over again when it comes time to go home, starting with the checking out process.

I admit it. I’m kind of a bratty traveler. I’m not bratty to the other travelers (usually), but I feel kind of sorry for anyone traveling with me. It’s kind of like entertaining and reassuring a two-year old (hence the need for cartoons while flying). My tantrums are quiet ones and I can be quite short with people and I might murder the other passengers in my mind many times over, but for the most part, I’m kind of a whiny handful.

Traveling on my own, there’s nobody to wrangle me, so I’m on my own to behave myself.

By the time you read this, my trip will be over. But I’m typing it up the Thursday before. So you won’t know if I survived (or got arrested) until tomorrow’s post, I suppose, because I should be writing it today.

If you don’t hear from me by tomorrow, start getting together the bail money.

Best Laid Plans

I’m not very good at making plans. The fact that I’ve been improvising my life since I graduated high school aside, even planning on the smaller scale is a skill I lack.

Oh, I like to plan some things out, like business and budget stuff, but I have a way of sabotaging myself. For example, this jewelry side business. I got it all in my head how I was going to set up my own store sight and build up my inventory and promote it with Moo cards. I went through with that plan. I bought the webhosting, set up the front page to the site, got the Moo cards.

And then I realized that I’d be better off setting myself up on Etsy because it’d be easier to promote and control my inventory since I was going to be short on cash for materials until I could really get going.

So I’ve spent the past couple of days canceling my webhosting account, getting my shop set up on Etsy, and redoing the Moo cards with white out and a pen to correct the store’s url. Time that could have been better spent, for sure.

I’m really good at this sort of thing. Getting everything laid out, drawing up what I think is a great plan, beginning to execute it, and then realizing that I should be doing it another way.

That’s if I make a plan at all. When it comes to making money or budgeting money, I’m all about a plan. When it comes to spending money, like with a trip, I have no plan.

Oh, I have a loose idea of what I want to do and what I need to do, but when it comes to drawing up those solid diagrams I make with other things, they’re lacking when I come to planning a trip. It’s why I usually try to go with someone else. Not just for the company, but because the person I go with is usually better on the planning. They’re better at booking hotels, planning routes, getting airline tickets, knowning what ot pack, that sort of thing.

I’m going it alone to Wrigley next week. Not such a big deal because it’s nothing more than a day trip. But the game is next Tuesday. I still haven’t bought my ticket. I still haven’t plotted the route I need to take to drive up there (though riding up just last month, I’ve got a pretty good idea how I need to go). I’m just now looking into how much gas money I’ll need. These things will get done, but I bet I’m up late the night before printing out directions and my last stop out of town will be the ATM because I’ll remember that I’ll need money to eat.

Now, if someone were going with me, I’d be totally prepared to go days in advance. The tickets would have been purchased weeks ago (and I would have been the one to do it, too), the directions would have been obtained (my co-pilot probably would have done it), and the cash would be sitting in my Boob Job Fund jar waiting for me.

It’s amazing how my trip planning skills get better when I’m flying as part of a flock instead of solo.

They say make plans and God laughs. Apparently, I was born with the same philosophy.