How to Stay Calm While Traveling

TSA agent: "Sir, please remove all your clothes." Passenger: "Is that really necessary?" TSA agent: "Just a precaution, sir. We've found that 100% of terrorists are wearing clothes."

How do you stay calm while traveling? There are numerous challenges to your sanity: long lines, lousy food, wailing children (possibly mine), security theater, a cop who hassles you about how long you’ve been idling your car at the Departures drop-off with seemingly zero compassion for the fact that your trip was four hours delayed, you were entertaining two kids the whole way, and you are finally home, but now you have to install a carseat, wrestling it into your car so you can drive home, and you’ve finally got it installed but now the cop is insisting you’ve been idling too long and you need to circle your car around the airport, saying you can’t wait an extra minute for your wife and two kids (one now mercifully asleep), to walk out from the baggage claim, where they are waiting inside, 30 feet away, out of the cold. For example.

I’ve found the best way to deal with this is just accept that things are what they are. The flight’s going to be delayed 4 hours because an important part of the airplane is broken. Now it’s not delayed anymore, because they found a spare part. Now the flight’s delayed again, because actually they tested the spare part and it didn’t work, so now they need another spare part to be flown in from somewhere else. Now the flight’s cancelled after all, for some reason (they announced it while you were in the bathroom). Luckily your wife rebooked everyone on another flight (thanks honey). Whatever happens, just take it in stride. Read a book. Play with your kids. Look around the airport. Do your best to stall the cop. Don’t worry about when you’ll get home or the fact that things would be better if you weren’t delayed. Because you are delayed. Fact. No sense in wasting energy pretending otherwise. Remember that you can actually enjoy the trip, despite the delays, if you let yourself.

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