Traveling Safely

Darling, how charming that we are shaking off our late-winter doldrums and heading back out into the world – nothing like a long train ride to set you right with humanity.

But now come the burblings from various entities about the latest, bestest gadget to make traveling better. Sigh. Makes me think of the Victorian women who climbed the Alps in wool skirts and leather boots. It’s not the gadget, Sweetie Mittens, it’s the attitude.

There are 40,000 travel wallets to hide your money which is all well and good but at some point you have to produce or open the wallet to get something and, there is where the trouble may start.

A Kevlar money-stash that is chained to your waist should not release you from worry – but neither should you spend your time fretting over protecting your hard-earned cash. Darling, here is your mind-set: you need to think of spending money like meditating. You are doing one thing and one thing only, all other thought/ reactions pass out of your attention unnoticed.

When you stand in front of an ATM or hold your card over the small machine to pay by tapping wirelessly, you focus on that and nothing else. You say softly to yourself – now I am getting cash, now I am paying.

And if someone yells or jostles you or asks you a question or anything, you simply ignore it until you are done. One thing at a time. That’s all there is to it. In the moment when you are dealing with money, you deal with money.

In your homespace you can talk on phone at the ATM and put the cash in your wallet as you walk away. Not while traveling. When you are doing anything money, you stay rooted in that spot with your attention on your cash and cards until everything is safely stowed away, then you once again deal with the world.

The second axiom is to trust yourself. If you wake up in the middle of the night and feel like something is wrong, turn on a light and call the front desk. Don’t get out of bed to see: lights on, make a phone call. If you don’t like the feel of the restaurant, find another one. You have a lizard brain which knows more than you do. So pay attention to it.

Third point – do what YOU want, not what everyone tells you to do. If you hate art museums, don’t go to art museums, even if you are in Casablanca, Florence, Puerto Rico, Rome, Paris or Greece. Don’t drag yourself to places that you are ‘supposed’ to see – go where your heart takes you. Yes, you have royal permission to hang out all day at your Gasthof and not climb up that nearby mountain even if the view from the top is terrific. The view of the adorable small garden with attentive waitstaff is also terrific.

And, lastly my dear, don’t overfuss the money when you are buying a trinket for yourself. If it’s normal to haggle, then haggle otherwise, if you want X and have the money for X, get X.

Don’t mix with trolls who tell you that you spent too much or they bought the same thing for cheaper. Do you like your new little do-hicky? Well then, good for you!

This goes double for people who brag about how they got their taxi/ day-trip/ boat excursion/ car rental for so cheap. Sigh. Life is too short to listen to people drone on about saving $6. Did you have a nice time looking at dolphins? Well then, good for you!

Off you go now, have some adventures!