Issue #12 · Schlepping It 🎒
Real talk: Those fabulous 1970s Pan-Am flight attendants were really something because traveling itself seriously blows.
June 13, 2023: Greetings from the Lufthansa Airport Lounge in Terminal 1 at JFK!
I actually wrote this issue yesterday, but scheduled it to be published for the exact moment that I should be sinking into an oversized massage chair with a belly full of buffet food and two (free!) glasses of wine. Ohhh, that sweet, sweet Priority Pass lounge life — get your Hudson News trail mix out of my face, you peasant.
Just kidding. I’m taking the red-eye on Norse Atlantic Airways (a totally real, completely valid airline that definitely won’t plummet into the Atlantic!!!) over to Berlin tonight, and I have a 3-hour equally glamorous bus ride to Prague when I land tomorrow. Oh, and I flew into LaGuardia earlier this afternoon in order to use a Delta credit that I had lingering around. Yep, this lunatic right here voluntarily booked a self-transfer between LGA and JFK during rush hour to save ~$100 on my first flight leg. How much did that Uber down Grand Central Parkway cost Em? Was it worth it?? Why are you like this??? You know what, I’m going to make that four glasses of free airport lounge wine.
Just to continue with the humility, let me recount a few other travel highlights of the past year: I’ve slept overnight on a bench in the Istanbul airport, spent several hours sitting next to a dumpster at a Costa Rican bus stop, took a 9-hour AC-less bus ride with a chain-smoking driver (Albania things), stayed in more than my fair share of questionable hostel dorms, and have my worst, longest schlep coming up — three flights over 40 hours to get back to Mexico at the end of this European jaunt (you’re telling me there are no direct flights between Larnaca and Oaxaca?! Outrage).
Real talk: Those fabulous 1970s Pan-Am flight attendants were really something because traveling itself seriously blows. I’m already an anxious mess on planes, shall we compound my nerves by allowing this family of eight children under six to all watch YouTube without headphones? Bruh.
I was also warned that Norse doesn’t provide complimentary meals, snacks, drinks, pillows, blankets, movies, magazines, or seats that recline — presumably I don’t need to pack my own oxygen mask? So don’t mind me as I stuff this blueberry muffin from the lounge buffet into my back pocket — we can’t be out here rawdogging any transatlantic flights now, can we? On second thought, maybe I will load up on some snacks at Hudson News.
To be clear, none of this is a complaint. How could it be? I’m about to spend five months hiking in the Austrian Alps, bathing in Spanish sangria, and reuniting with friends in a few bucket list cities. My travel batteries are officially recharged (I even got a new portable charger for this trip, how’s that for a metaphor?) and my entire life has been meticulously re-packed into one small suitcase and a single backpack.
Turns out, sometimes these long travel days are just what you have to deal with when you’re self-employed and keeping an eye on your travel budget. I’m a self-proclaimed professional flight researcher, and taking tonight’s slightly less convenient route saved me almost $850, which nearly covers my upcoming two week accommodation in Prague. Priorities.
Anyway, as I embark on this next 10+ month trip, I thought it was important to point out my travel reality. Sometimes I get eye-rolls when I tell people I travel full-time, as they likely envision me putzing around* on an endless bougie vacation funded by daddy’s wallet — just call me Anna Delvey.
To be clear, when I go on these trips, I’m basically just repurposing the rent money from my non-existent US apartment. And your girl isn’t staying at the Four Seasons — just ask my brother, when he came to visit me on a trip last year we stayed in place that didn’t even have hot water (BUT ☝🏼 he still loved it).
And that’s really my point, I honestly don’t mind. I’ve become pretty frugal living out of a suitcase, and not out of necessity — I just don’t need much these days. Sure, I’ll grab a few cute new outfits at the beginning of a long trip, and sometimes I’ll splurge on a suitcase with European-cobblestone-resistant wheels. But nomading is nearly impossible if you aren’t at least a bit of a minimalist.
In fact, as I write this, I realize that tomorrow (June 14) marks exactly three years since I turned in the house keys to my San Francisco apartment and hit the road. Wild. If you had asked me back then, I definitely wouldn’t have thought that this “homebase-less-ness” would last for three full years. But turns out, I’m happy to sacrifice a few comforts into order to see the world. This unorthodox lifestyle is a no-brainer — for me, for now.
So forgive me as I rejoice in this short but sweet moment of airport lounge luxury. By this point, I should be a few of those free glasses of wine deep, enjoying some high-quality airport people-watching, which just happens to be a favorite hobby of mine. I just hope the Lufthansa lounge at JFK serves something better than saran-wrapped baloney sandwiches — looking at you Mexico City.
From my last lounge visit in MEX. I would like to have a word with Benito Juarez, and a refill.
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*that’s two Yiddish slang terms in one post, can you FEEL the Queens coming through?? I did my best to channel my inner New Yorker 🥯🤌🏼
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Here’s a list of every issue if you want to keep reading!
Issue #16: Embracing the Blank Canvas [Sep 2023]
Issue #15: In Pursuit of an Endless Summer [Aug 2023]
Issue #14: Follow Me to Weird Places [Jul 2023]
Issue #13: Self-Inflicted Social Overload [Jul 2023]
Issue #12: Schlepping It 🎒 [Jun 2023]
Issue #11: Finding My “Next Thing” [Jun 2023]
Issue #10: Book the Damn Flight and Just Go [May 2023]
Issue #9: Choosing Your Own Life Adventure [May 2023]
Issue #8: Eat, Sleep, Write, Repeat [May 2023]
Issue #7: My First Month of Indie Making: An Honest Review [Feb 2023]
Issue #6: Ten Years of Making Money on the Internet [Jan 2023]
Issue #5: The Modern-Day Mission Trip [Dec 2022]
Issue #4: Ready, FIRE!, Aim [Nov 2022]
Issue #3: A New City Every Month: An Experiment in Change [Aug 2022]
Issue #2: Defining My North Star as a Nomad [Dec 2021]
Issue #1: One Year on the Road: Looking Back [Oct 2021]