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Articles

Four Unmentioned Travel Tips

Copyright 2006 Cole's Poetic License What Does the Subconscious Mind Have to do with Traveling? Much more than you think! Of all the travel tips I have heard and read, not one focused on the traveler's subconscious mind. If you think it's hard to get along well with someone close to you, try traveling with him or her. It can be miserable. Here are four tips on how to deal with travel anxiety, a great, often subconscious, source of stress for all around.

1. If it's your anxieties, your traveling companion may be aware of it before you are. But once you are, talk about it, or better, write down everything you are worried about in great detail, and fast. Then read it, crumple it and toss it in the trash.

2. If it's your companion's, ask about it gently. If you get a nasty response, ignore it.

The response has nothing to do with you. Move away from your companion and/or persuade him to write fast then toss. For example, once I traveled to Europe with two women friends.

I thought I knew them well. One brought so much luggage that I felt impending disaster en route to the airport. The other brought neatly packed small carry-ons because she is highly organized and likes to travel light. I tend to move too fast and accidentally packed a suitcase with rejected novel manuscripts that I tossed in a bin in Paris. Had we discussed our travel anxieties beforehand, we would have avoided subsequent hurtful battles en route. For example, my subconscious response to the unknown is to fly by the seat of my pants and hope everything works out.

I am careful and thorough only when calm. Obviously, I didn't pay much attention to what I packed. The friend with too much luggage had a lot of fear about traveling away from home. Every time she left she was sure she left her coffee pot plugged in and her house would burn down. The organized one feared most the intimacy that traveling forces. She packed herself in tight and parceled it out in tiny bits.

3. Look for the humor in the situation. Have you ever traveled with someone whose behavior is so bad he finally "goes over the edge" for you? When that happens you have to laugh and you actually like him.

It's happened to me twice, but I'll just do one: I was taveling unaccompanied on a Greek ship cruising the Mediterranean. There were five distinct nationalities on board, five languages for each announcement. Only a handful of Americans. One was an appliance dealer from Manhatten.

He was so loud and demanding I felt embarrased by him. He was the quintessential Ugly American. At every port he rushed off the ship and bought as many bargains as he had time to find.

At dinner he showed off all he had bought, and he named the prices he'd paid-in US dollars. When the ship stopped at Patmos for a quick trip up the mountain to a cave where it was believed John wrote the Apocalyse, our appliance dealer asked, "What's there to buy in Patmos?" The purser replied, "No shops here." Our American shouted, "Well, what the hell are we stopping for?" I was right behind him.

At that point he went "over the edge" for me and I have liked him ever since for the laugh he gave me. 4. Expect surprises when you travel, laugh at them and then you can see the beauty. If you recognize the power of subconscious fears to ruin a great vacation, they won't. If you don't, believe me, they will.

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By: Evelyn Cole



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