I like to think we all have the best intentions in life and that we aren’t liars on purpose. At least, I’m not. But man oh man, I lie to myself constantly when it comes to the things I swear I’m going to do when I travel and I know I’m not the only one constantly feeding myself untruths and falling for them knowing just based on my history, that I should know better than to believe me at times.
The psychology behind how and why we continue to tell ourselves we’re going to do things differently is rather interesting, honestly.
Between myself and my virtual friends in Nomadness Travel Tribe (a dope fb community of travelers of color), I’ve compiled a list of 10 things we constantly lie to ourselves about when it comes to travel.
1 I’m going to book my ticket a month in advance when prices are low
You know, if I were a truly fiscally responsible human looking out for my bank account like a good steward would, as soon as I know I’m going on a trip, I would do a search for the flight and set an alert to let me know when prices were fluctuating and then I’d book that flight at least a month in advance.
I procrastinated on booking my flight to Chicago for my annual summertime Chi visit last year. If you book early enough, you can snag a flight to Chicago from ATL for about $100-$130. But if you’re me and wait until the week before your flight, it’ll run you $300-$400. Sigh. I need adult supervision.
2. I’m going to pack early
This might be the largest crock of shit ever. This is a lie I don’t even bother to tell myself anymore. I’ve spoken to a few people who say they start packing a week in advance. FOR WHY??!! I don’t see the value in packing early, I usually need the stuff I’m going to pack so I’m just not doing it.
But apparently, this is a lie that a lot of people tell themselves. They plan to cut down on their stress by getting this chore (and it is a chore) out of the way early and they ultimately post that photo in their IG stories the morning of their flight with a suitcase that’s almost completely empty save a pair of socks with “ya girl is trippin, acting like I don’t have a flight to catch in 3 hours”.
3. I’m not going to be rushing to the airport
I can’t seem to figure out why but for some reason, before I go on a trip I suddenly need to run 9,000 errands and I always say I’m going to do these things the day before my trip so I’m not rushing to the airport and somehow, SOMEHOW I always end up doing running these errands at the last minute or not leaving home on time to get to the airport and now I’m mad at ATL traffic for “making me late” as if ATL traffic is a real variable. It’s not. It’s a constant. The highways are constantly packed. Especially if you have to go to the airport. It’s like everyone in the Atlanta metro area decided they must get on every highway at the exact time that you’re rushing to the airport just to punish you for not leaving for the airport 3 hours before your flight departure time.
4. I’m going to pack light, just take a carry on
This is another one I don’t have any issues with. I pack light, I’m team carry on. But quite a few of my comrades in travel have trouble not packing 4 outfits per day and enough underwear to support permanent expatriation.
I’ll be completely honest, I used to be one of the people who needed a separate bag just for her shoes. I do have many friends who need to pack bags and bags because “a woman needs options”. I also have lots of friends how are trying their best to become reformed bag ladies and join team carry on.
5. I’m going to do some work on the plane
Ha! I’m chuckling as I type this. It’s hilarious. I’m always like “ooh there’s wifi on this flight, I’m gonna get some work done!” and then I realize that 50 of the movies I’ve been meaning to watch are available on the plane and I end up watching all 50 of them plus taking naps.
We have the best of intentions to use that uninterrupted quiet time to be massively productive and somehow the laptop rarely makes it out of our footrest…err…I mean laptop bag under the seat in front of us.
6. I’m going to read on vacation
Another HA! In fact double HA! Those books in your “personal item” ain’t doing nothin but making your bag heavier. Listen, just go ahead and leave it at home, you’re not going to read it. You’re just not.
7. I’m going to work out while I travel
Every time. EVERY. DAMN. TIME. I pack my workout clothes. I take up space in my carry-on for my bulky running shoes and I tell myself I’m going to get a few runs in and/or work out if I can.
To be fair, the last work trip I took to Connecticut, I actually put on my workout gear, walked down to the hotel gym got on the treadmill, and then got off after 5 minutes when I realized the battery in my headphones had died.
But I got a 5 min workout in, that counts for something. Right?
8. I’m going to stick to my eating plan/diet
I recently visited Houston for a wedding and told myself I would stick to the 8/16 intermittent fasting schedule I was on and eat as many Whole 30 meals as I possibly could, and drink very little.
My first night in town, I ordered Kimchee Quesadillas at close to midnight breaking both the Whole 30 compliance and the intermittent fasting schedule. My second day in town, I had 2 glasses of champagne, 3 glasses of red wine, and ordered McDonald’s at 11:30pm.
So there’s that.
9. I’m only going to spend X amount during the trip
Part of the challenge here is foreign money often looks like Monopoly money AND we end up feeling rich b/c the American dollar goes so much farther in so many places. You can seriously “Oh it only costs this much” yourself into the poor house while on vacation.
So while you SAID you were only going to spend $1,000 on vacation by the time you pay for all your excursion activities, and then buy all the drinks and food, and then all the souvenirs and handmade art and clothing that “only costs this much” you’re returning from the lap of luxury and extravagant living to coming home and monitoring your HVAC levels, unscrewing lightbulbs, and eating spaghetti O’s for a few weeks to make up for balling like you were in a big pimpin video.
10. I’m not booking anymore flights
At some point, we travel addicts realize that our addiction has gotten out of hand. Maybe all the food in our fridge spoiled, maybe our dog has forgotten who we are, maybe friends stopped inviting us to things because we’re just “never home”, maybe we walked into the office and someone else was assigned to our cubicle because when was the last time we were even in it?
Ultimately, we proclaim “I’m not buying another plane ticket for the next 3 months, I need to stay my ass home”.
And then that email from The Flight Deal hits your inbox or someone posts an error fare in your fb travel group and just like that, you have lied to yourself.
I mean, there’s just no way the type of person who books a flight while on a flight could stick to this anyway. That’s just asking for too much.