There are a lot of reasons to love travel — escaping your routine, experiencing a new culture, food — but that seems fairly obvious. Instead, these are the unexpected things I love about travel.
I am a hot shower addict and a bit of a spa junky. The bath kind of makes the room as far as comfort and luxury goes. If a rustic room has a great outdoor shower, I’m in! Hot showers are one of the few things that ease my neck tension and travel definitely contributes to flair-ups. My favorite showers have been at Rock Island in Negril, Jamaica, Santi Mandala Resort in Bali, and the Skycity Marriott in Hong Kong. Oh, and what’s better than a luxurious hotel bath? An airport shower! I regularly travel 24 hours at a time to/from Guam, so when I have a long enough layover, I rent a shower at the airport. Hong Kong, easily one of the world’s poshest airports, and Tokyo, both have shower rentals. You can get an hourly rental of a tiny room with a bed at Tokyo’s Narita Airport.
Gorging on in-flight entertainment
I am an aspiring travel filmmaker, but long before I wrote my first script, I was a film junky. It starts pretty early in life for most of us — my dad is a huge film buff. I grew up in the ’80s so TV was a big part of my life too. I’m not ashamed to admit that I still watch network television (Cooking competitions? Oh, yeah.). That being said, I don’t mind spending 14 hours in an airplane (okay, I mind a little) as long as the guy next to me doesn’t stink or snore and the in-flight entertainment has plenty of options. I’ve discovered some of my favorite movies at 30,000 feet. I’m that passenger wide awake at 3 a.m., on the edge of my seat during the climax of “Whiplash” while everyone else is knocked out. Sleep can wait when there is great in-flight entertainment!
Power walking through the airport
Disclaimer: I don’t love exercise. That is, I don’t like working out in a gym. I like to be on the move. I like to have a destination. As you already know, my kind of workout is climbing a volcano or trekking through the forest to see wild orangutans. Perhaps that’s why I like striding through long, air-conditioned airport terminals — I’m heading somewhere in particular and I’m burning calories. I like long stretches of walkway and even airport architecture. Sometimes, I even like airport food! Wait, this was supposed to be about exercise…
The thought of editing thousands of photos actually delights me. (I shoot everything RAW, so I have to edit every single photo I post. Overachiever much?) Photo editing is like reliving the trip. I see things in my photos that I may not have observed in the moment. The smells, sounds, and feelings of the place come back to me. The more I photograph, the better I get, and I have a sense of pride when I see a well-composed landscape or a revealing candid. Believe me, sitting at a computer isn’t my idea of fun in general, but if I’m photo editing, the hours pass quickly. This is part of why I enjoy travel blogging so much!
I’m an overachiever, so I will overextend myself to accomplish a great itinerary. Add to that the fact that about 99% of my travel is budget travel. I travel hard and I often travel far and long. (Around the world in 40 days? Sure!) This makes me positively giddy about coming home. Once I get to Narita Airport (and I always end up in Narita on my way to Guam, my home), I’m delirious with exhaustion. I am mentally counting down the hours until I can reconnect with my kitties and my bed. I love stepping out of the Guam airport after 24 hours of travel in freezing cold airplanes and feeling the first wave of humidity come over me (it’s always 85º F with 90% humidity in Guam). I like swinging open the front door to see my cat’s reaction to me. I like emptying my suitcase and watching her play in it. I like transitioning from my tiny Macbook to my ginormous iMac. I like home-cooked meals (okay, if only for the first few days). Yes, I appreciate home more the longer I’ve been gone.