Long before Ubers or before I could even fathom paying a hefty taxi fare, there was one way and one way only to get to and from the airport – via my dad’s unreliable, smelly and stuffed pickup truck (all of which were of various ages and models, but possessed the same decidedly unsatisfactory qualities).
Even though my dad frequently missed the Newark Airport exit and cursed out traffic – coupled alongside my bag’s unavoidable soaking from the storm that always seemed to be happen on the day it was loaded into the pickup – I could never really imagine another, if not more uneventful, way to depart and come from my latest journey.
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So, I was a little taken aback when my boyfriend Mike pointedly said as we were discussing our upcoming trip to Prague, Vienna and Budapest, “Your dad is not picking us up. We can just call an Uber.”
Call an Uber???? Hiring a human being and not relying on your dad (or even worse, Grandpa Sal, who would either be seven hours late or seven hours early) has always seemed like a travel ploy reserved for the rich and famous, not Mike and I, who will show up in our sweats to the airport clutching a few discount suitcases and our muddled passports.
However, Mike has a valid point. My dad does not live on the way to the airport, his truck is small and cramped and I constantly find myself peering into the pickup to make sure our bags haven’t toppled out.
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But can I give up this rite of passage, including my dad’s loud singing of country music and cutting off of each and every vehicle on the highway? Who will I complain about the annoying baby on the plane to and who will carry my bags to the door and make sure no robbers are waiting inside my apartment?
Old travel habits die hard – whether it be because they’re sentimental or simply since it’s just the way you’ve always done it. Hell, I’m not sure if mine will die at all – my dad may be waiting at the door when April 9 rolls around.
What ridiculous travel habits do you have that you just can’t kick?