Daylight saving has run up and kicked all of our collective asses, which means spring is finally coming around the corner and it’s time to rub what little coins I have together and start planning out my excursions for the rest of the year. Not only do I need the occasional respite from New York City and all the burdens of day-to-day living here, but getting older also means more annual trips that are obligations disguised as fun weekend getaways. You know, weddings, bachelor(ette) parties, baby showers, your least-favorite aunt’s 30th wedding anniversary, etc.
As I’m starting to firm up how I can manage to get myself on the Travel Noire IG page without trekking to Easter Island—I’ve already bought my dramatic floppy hat and picked out my most-flattering Instagram filters—I’ve come to realize that some corners I used to cut in order to finagle that extra stamp on my passport are just not worth the quality trade-off. Unfortunately, the more life experience I’ve acquired, the more I’ve developed these pesky things called standards that have evolved into nonnegotiables for any wayfaring adventure, whether it be by land or by sea.
Here are some things I just won’t do anymore:
1. Have hotel accommodations similar to the old woman who lived in a shoe. As a child, I hated naps. Which, to be fair, isn’t altogether unusual, except most 3-year-olds don’t take their apathy toward forced rest to such an extent that they lead nap rebellions in day care and promptly get kicked out as a result. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and sleep is one of the most valuable parts of my day, second to keeping up with Serge Ibaka’s antics on IG. And unlike Serge’s thirst trap photos, sleep is neither plentiful nor of consistently high quality for me, making guaranteed rest one of the most underrated parts of vacations. This means that I will not sign up for sleeping situations of 74 people to one room like we’re all headed to Myrtle Beach for spring break. If I am paying to go somewhere, I am entitled to a reasonable sleeping space, and that consists of more than “a corner to pass out in drunkenly.”
2. Make unnecessarily long drives. A friend recently proposed a weekend trip to either Toronto or Montreal for a weekend this summer. Which is all good and fine … except he proposed that we make a road trip out of it. *record scratch* You guys, there are three things that are never fun: dental exams, filing taxes and road trips. No matter how lit your driving playlist is, nothing is interesting about extremely long stretches of road with nothing to do but play bumper-sticker games and eat Wawa sandwiches while your friends fall asleep in the passenger seat on the way to the Canadian border. Also, after about a distance of five or so hours, you are not saving all that much money in the gas, tolls and food expenses you’re racking up—but you sure are wasting a hell of a lot of time. Suck it up and book the flight.
3. Live off despair and Twizzlers. I can’t afford to go on vacation if I can’t afford to stuff myself at will. I didn’t spend two months trying to shed these 20 pounds to not eat two dinners back to back if I am so inclined. Vacations are for gluttony as much as they are for showing off on social media, and I need to budget accordingly for that circumstance.
4. Spirit Airlines. Spirit Airlines is the Chinatown bus of aviation. I don’t care how cheap they tell me a flight will be (and after paying for everything from carry-ons to a damn napkin to wipe the sweat from your face from being in that hell machine on wings with seats that don’t even freaking recline, it’s not all that inexpensive)—you could not get me onto one of their flights if the Popeyes lady herself was standing at the gate gifting spicy two-pieces to everyone who entered. I still have some life to live and contribute to the world and a mama who loves me, and I am just not interested in wasting half of my precious days waiting at a gate for a flight that’s three hours delayed or a missing plane or one of the umpteen ways that Spirit Airlines is indisputably the f—king worst. I’m an adult. Adults don’t have to pay $3 for water in a steel cage without air conditioning like it’s a commissary.
I’m certainly looking forward to indulging in a bit of wanderlust over the next few months—however, that absolutely does not have to come at the expense of my self-respect. So I am readily anticipating comfortable flights, food and lodging from here on out. Here’s to an adventurous and pleasant vacation season for us all.
Shamira Ibrahim is a 20-something New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her as she waxes poetic about chicken, Cam’ron and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at Very Smart Brothas.