Saturday, April 23, 2016


          I'm not the fan of the show that some people are, but the return from a distant land can leave me a dead ringer for a cast member of The Walking Dead.

On the last day of a long trip you pack, square your shoulders (or try to, since they’re bowed by your carry-on filled with souvenir olive oil, pottery, and beer steins) and face the Olympic event known as The Flight Home. 

First, however, you must pass the hurdles of bus to airport, plane to plane, time zone to time zone, and when you’re really little more than walking protoplasm, security line to customs line and yet again security line to customs line. And usually with access to a bathroom at unpredictable intervals at least five hours apart.

          Also, all this occurs with a six hour time difference, which means no matter how reasonable the hour of your flight, you will have been marching along for at least 22 hours straight. 

          On the long trek home some of my fellow travelers and I traded re-packing urban myths. There’s the person someone knew who packed old clothes with the plan to abandon them and buy a new, snazzy European wardrobe. Somehow I can’t see myself choosing my touring outfits from my Goodwill bag, and I wonder if that person in his high-water paint-stained cargo pants had any difficulty being admitted to the stores selling all those snazzy European numbers.

          Someone else swore they knew of a person who packed old underwear to be discarded as it was worn, and thus make room for that pottery and those beer steins. I’m no thong wearer, but that person must have possessed truly epic Granny panties to gain that much suitcase space by chucking her undies. 

          In the process of our bus to Budapest airport, and our plane to Munich, and our plane to Boston, we did discuss the possibility of missing suitcases. But lost luggage was the least of my worries.

          I’d been getting two days out of each pair of pants, and finding creative ways to shuffle my few tops. By the time I hit my front door, it was a toss up whether to do a wash or simply set fire to everything on the front lawn.


  1. Welcome home! To me, nothing is as satisfying as my own bed after traveling. :-)

  2. Going east always took more adjustment for me, coming back to the west coast from eastern Europe usually got me back late afternoon or evening, and by the next morning I was adjusted. Going east the first time, decades ago, I was in Brno for three days before I felt normal. It got better over the years.
    I've really enjoyed reading about your adventures, thanks.

  3. I don't travel much at all, but I've heard it said that quick drying underwear plus a line&pegs set that can be hung in hotel bathrooms is a great idea. Also, to help things dry quicker, after handwashing your smalls, roll them in a towel and squeeze/twist as hard as you can. That gets out a LOT of moisture. Or simply take along an extra, empty
    suitcase to be filled with the souvenirs.

  4. Travel has not yet returned to that exhausting challenge of our forefathers on long sea voyages or prairie schooners, but it is tough and I can sympathize and we are lucky to regain our desire to see the world again after a month or so of being home.

  5. You well describe the joys of travel especially the getting there and getting home. Hope your body recovers soon and am just glad you had a safe trip in this crazy world.

    1. Yes, the terrorists were apparently having a holiday of their own when we were there, thank heaven.

  6. Well, the fire would entertain the neighbors, so that gets my vote.

    I've traveled on the discard-everything method and it works, but I've only done it in rugged places where the clothes were in such terrible shape by the end of the trip they pretty much HAD to be discarded anyway!


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