Then again, maybe not.
I’m just back from a trip down south. When I made my airline ticket, I fully expected my 5 hours scheduled for traveling to turn into, oh, say about 7 hours give or take an hour. Things happen. Weather curses the skies. Parts of planes often need a repair. Flight crews can easily be delayed. I get it. I even fully understand the fact my 5-7 hour trip turned into a 20-hour journey. What I cannot and never will understand is why travel blips have to turn into an utter frenzy colored with chaos and sink holes.
Thankfully, my daughter was with me when the first blip in my travel plans popped up. Bad weather was derailing my take off time, meaning I’d miss my connecting flight to home. Seeing me fail in my attempts to find a new way home, Daughter took the lead. She is a savvy logistics thinker and a heavy handed negotiator who, by the grace of her tenacity and protective nature toward her mom, was able to negotiate new flight plans for me. Mind you, the plan wasn’t full proof and in fact, my daughter did predict half of the plans the airline made for me, would in fact, not happen. She told me what I could and could not expect to find during the travel and even though I was warned and given a list of things to do, “just in case”, I nearly broke down every time her foreshadowing came true maybe because I’m an Aspie who sets her mind to a path come hell or high water, or maybe because I’m a beyond middle aged female traveling with personal safety worries thrown in the mix. Whatever the reason(s), I can tell you this, no matter how much my daughter prepared me for the inevitable mix ups, no matter how hard I tried to stay calm and collected, no matter how many times this sort of thing has happened to me in the past, I barely kept my calm during the whole ordeal.
If it weren't for my Ipad to surf the web and play some silly games, and my IPod to play some soothing sounds, and my IPhone to keep me connected to my family, I would have lost my calm and gone straight to security to ask for serious help. Either that, or I would have stuffed my face with more *Cinnabons than an elephant could down.
What’s the lesson? Carry at least one thing to help you forget the stress of your travels, a book, an electronic devise, etc. Plan ahead for the worst, but expect unforeseen difficulties that may trump any worst-case scenario you can imagine. Know the hotels near the airport in case you have to stay overnight or call the airport ahead of time and ask if they have safe areas in which you can park yourself until your travel resumes. Bring a healthy snack to keep you from stress eating, a condition that will only make you groggier and more uncomfortable. Keep your electronics charged or get an extra battery charger just in case you need it. Carry your “I have autism” card with you and don’t be afraid to show it and add that you are protected under whatever law your country offers for people with disabilities. Yep, I know we aren’t supposed to say we are disabled, but when I travel, I am in fact, emotionally disabled when I’m under too much stress. Protect yourself as best you can and please do check out my book, Safety Skills for Females with Asperger Syndrome- there are more than a few ideas for staying safe while traveling. Redefine “Smooth sailing” to mean “I’ll get to my destination, someday” and then give a silent shout out to the rest of us Aspies, as a reminder you won’t be the first of our kind or the last to curse the course of your path. And finally, do go straight to security if you find yourself breaking to bits. There is no shame in asking for help, in fact, it is often the smartest thing you can do!
*Cinnabons: lovely, gooey cinnamon rolls sold in all kinds of sizes at most US airport fast food courts.
#safety #travel #meltdown