April 27, 2008

Before 'I' Turned Into 'We'
Los Angeles, United States

Before this trip out to California, the last time I'd taken a flight alone was from Bangkok to Manila—way back in July of 2007. Over a dozen flights have passed since then, all of which have found Tatiana and Aidric (both in and out of belly) by my side.

I'd almost forgotten how calm and simple travel—especially air travel—can be when you're alone. Single seats are abundant, no need to look or book for pairs. You set your own pace, departing and arriving at a schedule that works for you. Variables are reduced to you, your transport, and your environment. At your destination, accommodations need only meet your standards for comfort, security, cleanliness, and privacy.

Things get complicated when you've got others in tow—particularly infants. I know there's going to be some serious experience gained through hardship when we start bouncing around Eastern Europe or the Middle East in a few weeks time.

Now all this isn't to say that I don't enjoy travel with a companion, but sometimes I could really do without the actual traveling part—moving from place to place—with the company.

I suppose what I've learned to do is to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of my fellow traveler, and adapt accordingly. I know, for example, that I'm never going to get Tatiana out of the room with a backpack on at 5 a.m.—it's just not going to happen. Alone I've done this more times than I can remember, but I know that early mornings are a weakness for her.

I practice patience, and know they're probably doing the same for my weaknesses and me.

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