“When working with travelers you come to realize there are some common truths among tourists regardless of their nationality, race, or gender: a person’s brain shuts down when in tourist mode.”
We have all experienced a situation when we could not believe what a ‘dumb’ thing we just did! My stories are numerous. Once I was early to the airport and went to my gate and fell asleep. Always dangerous… When I woke up there was nobody and no plane. So I did what I would want you all to do, call the afterhours 24 hour help line. (the telephone number is on every itinerary) I was told my flight was looking good and on time. So I looked again at my boarding pass, and sure enough I was not at my gate. I hurried and did make my plane. Once I kept the arrival time in my head so clearly I convinced myself it was the departure time, so that time I did miss my flight!
It is so easy to brain shut down when on holiday, because our goal is to leave behind the daily world and go to someplace else. Whether it is for art, culture, or sun and beach, taking our brain and spirit someplace else is our goal on holiday. We just do not need to completely shut down our over worked brain!
“Brain-fog in Charlotte:
I could have sworn I had a layover of a couple of hours between my flight from Asheville and my departure to Boston, so I didn’t mind when my first flight disembarked slowly–to let a group rush to their own connections. Once off the plane, I wandered happily through the terminal, enjoying the moving walkway, walking back along it by the windows to photograph art objects I’d passed; stopping to play with a neat little moldable sand toy–and finally sauntering over to my gate in a leisurely, confident way–to discover that my flight to Boston had left hours before. How did I miscalculate this–I, who am usually hyper-anxious about schedules? Not just traveling brain fog, but happy traveling brain fog!”
– Janet Campbell, Somerville MA
A couple of thoughts; to be prepared for brain shut down is to be prepared! Before you begin your travels have a clear idea of what you want to do. Prearrange your transportation needs. Know where you will sleep. You might feel it is constraining to have a hotel itinerary. Let me tell you the horror stories I hear when arrangements have not been made in advance and the city is sold out! It happens more than you might imagine. If you really what to go to a particular museum know the times it is open and get tickets in advance when possible. I was in Rome this spring and wanted to see the sculpture, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by Bernini. I have seen most of his work and this was high on the list. But I neglected to think a church would close for lunch, but then of course it was Rome!
Were you ever on the beach enjoying the warm bright light waves when you realized you had been in and out of the water and the sunblock was well worn off! Now I keep a tube of cream tucked in the side of my bathing suit as a matter of habit.
A little planning always helps. Then just go and enjoy!