"A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it." (John Steinbeck)
It's spring, and I have concluded all my travels this year for work. So good to feel free! Since I'm on the road so much for a good part of the year, and I'm gone for weeks at a stretch all over creation, I've learned that, while traveling, there are certain things you can control, and then there are those you just can't.
I recently stayed in one hotel where I got settled in for the night. I long ago learned that habit is important on the road: I situate all my things in their respective places so that in the morning, I can go through the rote motions of ensuring I won't forget my list of "things I need to remember:" cell phone, charger, laptop, cords, iPod, charger, camera, charger, watercolor palette, sketchbook, my hard copy list of hotels and itinerary, expense receipts in their envelope, GPS, soaps 'n sundries, electric toothbrush, and all my clothes, shoes, coats, meeting materials and rolling bag to contain them, etc.
I know the drill of doing the last minute scan of bathroom and bedroom to see that I have everything. Packing for road trips is an art, and one I'm good at. I'm accustomed to these things, and I'm happy to say (knock on wood) that I've never once lost anything.
What I'm not accustomed to, and throws me for a loop, is when I get all settled in, take a nice, relaxing bath, and sit down at the laptop, to check emails, only to find that there are ants in the hotel room. Yes, ...ants.
Now, I am the queen of negotiating rates in hotels, so I try to stay in decent places that are pretty nice, but ants are not discriminating creatures.
Not only is this a setback after a long day of parking on college campuses, holding meetings, driving or flying all over creation, remembering what color the current rental car is, and finding a decent place for a meal. This also involves repacking my bags, dressing again, and facing the front desk to negotiate a new room. Mind you, the fear is that you will get that new room and the whole process will be repeated if said ants have traveled to the new location.
So, it seems I have now adopted one more compulsive behavior on my trips: I zip my bag closed with most of my belongings snugly ensconced within it. Juuuuuuust in case...