There’s something about travelling that brings out more quirks in me. It’s as if I am not weird enough, but when I’m going off somewhere my little odd preferences show up one by one. It got me thinking whether other people also had travel quirks. Here are some of mine that I can think of right off the bat:
AISLE SEATS, PLEASE
Sure I may not get to snap the requisite view from a window plane (usually of the said window framing the plane’s wing and some clouds) and upload it to Instagram. I also can’t sleep well on the plane so I don’t need to lean on the window side of the plane.
Sitting on the aisle seat means I don’t need to keep excusing myself and climbing over people after I’ve drunk my fifth glass of orange juice. I like to keep myself hydrated especially on long flights so I need to go to the bathroom often. My bathroom breaks also include following my skincare and dental hygiene routine. Imagine the horror the person beside me would feel if I keep excusing myself if I took the window seat.
I get pretty restless on long flights and would walk up and down the cabin while people sleep. Based on previous experience unless I am super sick therefore rendered unconscious by medicine, I don’t fall asleep. I sometimes go on a movie marathon or write in my journal.
I also want a quick access to the overhead compartment to get my stuff once the plane has landed. I am a very slow and weak but impatient person, so I have to be the first to get my things. I know it would be better to wait but I just want to quickly get out of the plane!
TAP THAT PLANE
Sometimes I feel I have more rituals when I’m travelling than at home. Whenever I board a plane I like to tap the exterior on the right side of the door. I don’t know why it has to be the right side. It’s like me telling the plane to get me home safely. And don’t ask me what would happen if I don’t tap the plan, I wouldn’t know because I’ve never not tapped it.
HOTELS MAKE ME SICK
Hostels are fine. Serviced Apartments are the best. But something about hotels even if it’s just a staycation leave me sick with a fever or a sore throat. It doesn’t matter how many stars the hotel has, I just get the sniffles whenever I stay at any hotel. That’s why I just stay at an AIRBNB or a hostel where my body doesn’t have any adverse reaction.
BRING MY OWN PILLOWCASE
Yes, I bring my own pillowcase with me. There was a time when I also brought my own blanket. I already feel uncomfortable living somewhere new so bringing a piece of home with me helps me relax and sleep easier. It’s just one tiny thing I can bring to give me the comfort of home.
LAUNDRY DAY, EVERY OTHER DAY
Sometimes I bring the least amount of clothes I can get away with bringing so I can have enough luggage space for shopping (LOL!) that I have no choice but to wash my clothes. I usually do this if the trip is more than just a weekend jaunt somewhere. As much as possible I do not want to go home with a luggage of dirty clothes. Or wet towels. I know hotels and some AIRBNB places/hostels provide their own towels but I usually bring my own fluffy towel for the same reason that I bring my pillowcase, I need something from home. I try to come home laundry free because I also don’t want to wash a big pile of laundry as soon as I get home.
I’VE GOT THE POWER
When travelling I bring a plethora of electronic devices. Laptops, mobile phone chargers, camera battery chargers, portable charger chargers. I sometimes even bring my own hair dryer because well, I prefer my own hair dryer settings. With all the gadgets with me and my travel buddy too, there’s a high chance that we do not have enough power outlets for the both us. That’s why I bring my multi-outlet extension cord. First, since it has multiple outlets I can charge everything all at the same time. I don’t need to wait for one to finish charging before I plug the next one. Second, since it is an extension cord, I can place conveniently near me. Every time I bring out the extension cord my friend would look at me and tell me it’s a great idea.
LET’S HAVE SOME TEA…FROM HOME
I bring an assortment of packaged teas to last me for weeks although my trip is just days. I bring chamomile tea, green tea and sometimes the strong Kopi Kosong from a local brand. I also have sachets of sugar just in case. Again, it’s just my way of bringing home comfort to wherever I am. The taste of the familiar in a place that’s unfamiliar.
OBSESSED WITH SHOWER DRAINS
Or more specifically, cleaning out shower drains. Living somewhere that is “not home” I become a little bit of a neat freak. My favourite thing to do is to clean out shower drains every day. Yes, every day. Probably because I have a serious case of hair fall, I just can’t stand seeing hair on shower drains. Or on the bed…or on the floor.
I also hate the feeling of dust collecting at my feet. If a vacuum was lying around, you bet I would vacuum. I remember one time I went back to the apartment to collect my luggage the landlady asked me if I cleaned the flat regularly. I said yes and she said she could tell by the fact that there wasn’t a single strand of hair anywhere. She told me that with girls staying there would always be hair everywhere. I was amazed that she commented on it, it means that it was rare for people to clean…I shudder at that thought.
EAT OUT ALONE
It wasn’t really planned but I noticed that I do eat out alone when I travel. Even when I have travel companions, I would get an opportunity to have a meal on my own. I actually relish these eating alone moments.
With all my travel buddies we always had a point of difference in our food preferences. Like how my friend didn’t like to eat bean sprouts, but when we went Ho Chi Minh – most of the dishes they served us had bean sprouts so I had to eat the bean sprouts for her. Of course, I didn’t mind though, no one was harmed by over consumption of bean sprouts (or were there?). But sometimes in trying to compromise I feel that I missed out on food I wanted to eat. So eating out alone doesn’t daunt me at all, I would rather eat what I want to whether or not I am with someone.
THE EARLY BIRD, HAS LOTS OF TIME TO KILL BEFORE FLYING
Some people arrive two hours before their flight, I, on the other hand, arrive at the airport five hours before my flight. I must have gotten it from my Dad. As kids, we spent our summer vacations visiting my Dad in Jeddah. At the end of our vacation, he would drive us to the airport at least four hours before our flight. We would eat at the airport or get busy with the colouring books and word search books my Mum prepared to kill time. Nowadays because of the free (and fast) Wifi and charging stations at airports, I don’t have the fear of being bored. I can always get lost in the Duty-Free section, heh!
Now I’m really wondering if other people have the same quirks or are even quirkier than me! I would love it if you’d share your own travel quirks in the comments below!