Independence and Adaptation

Happy Fourth of July!

I won’t dwell on the fact that today I was supposed to be traipsing around Oregon with N and friends, but instead I’m hiding from the swamp-level Carolina humidity outside and will probably celebrate tonight by lying in bed with my heating pad and Beverly Hills Chihuahua on Netflix, after I wrestle Charlie into her Thundershirt so she doesn’t suffer a heart attack from the fireworks outside. I mean, that would just sound like whining.

Cancelling my trip was disappointing on many levels, one of them that I didn’t get to put into practice all my brilliant new travel ideas. I had thought through every step of my travel day, deciding how I could make adjustments so that I could get across the country by myself without hurting my back further.

I think I had some pretty good ideas. Already I have a set of carefully honed travel protocols, and my mind loves exercises like trying to make them even better. The first part of my plan was to pack in my very smallest piece of luggage:

small suitcase and Charlie

N calls it my bowling bag. I love it; it’s a duffel with wheels and impressive storage capacity for its size. I was maybe even going to place it, empty, inside my car and then fill it, so that I didn’t ever have to lift the full bag. The helpful employees at FastPark & Relax would get it from my car into the airport, and then I would bat my eyelashes at the US Airways check-in agent — male or female — to heft it onto the scale for me, tag it, and send it on its way.

Then I’d be flying with only my purse, which I was quite excited about. No carry-on suitcase, no computer, no binder of music, no digital recording equipment, no serious novel — just a pocketbook with the July-August issue of The Atlantic rolled up into it and a granola bar for emergencies. I adore my earth-friendly glass water bottle, made by lifefactory:

water bottle and Charlie

but to save on weight I planned to leave it at home and buy a bottle of overpriced airport water at the last minute before boarding. Then I could throw it overboard (into an Oregonian recycling bin, of course) after my flights if necessary.

I’d carry, as always, my lumbar support pillow for sitting on the plane. I intended to check-in online exactly 24 hours before my flight and see if I could switch my usual window seat for an aisle so that I could get up and stretch whenever I needed to during the flights. During my layover in Philadelphia I would, without shame, get down on the floor and do some press-ups (super-wimpy pushups) to take the pressure off my back.

I had it planned down to a T, but alas, it was not to be. Maybe I’ll get to put some of my new travel inspirations to good use in the future. Have you ever made extreme modifications to accomplish travel under less than ideal conditions? Leave me a comment.

(btw, thanks to Charlie for modeling in my photos for this post)

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