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Economy and Grace

Who wants to be a millionaire?  I do.  But I do not want to become a millionaire to start conspicuously consuming market goods.  I do not want to become a millionaire because I need to rub it in anyone’s face.  I do not want to become a millionaire in order to qualify for “The New Housewives of…”.  This summer I have decided I want to become a millionaire so I can start traveling like this:

and stop traveling like that:

I don’t want much more in life.  Really, I don’t.  I was recently asked how I would rate my life satisfaction on a scale from 1-10, and I said without a doubt it is an 8.  I have a peaceful non violent, war free life.  We have a safe, and comfortable home, and we have access to clean water and organic produce (not to mention endless varieties of potato chips).  We have good health insurance, and go to sleep each night without fearing what the next day might bring.  In the global scope of the kinds of lives we could have been dealt, ours is surely a good one.  However, this summer, I decided it would kind of rock if we had a few extra million dollars as a cushion in our account to justify traveling beyond Economy Plus and two steps up from Even More Space.  How I wish my travel were First Class.

Does anybody out there feel the same way as I do?  I know a lot of people our age who already travel both domestically and internationally on Business or First with their own money for personal holidays.  Seriously, Amen to that.  How I wish I could be one of them when United calls out for section 3 to start boarding and a line of people start yelling at us for blocking the way.  Um… we are already standing way back and to the side saying, “Move ahead, we’re in section 4!  Move ahead, please.”  Did they not hear us at all?  There’s a poor international traveler sprawled on the floor against the wall who is practically wearing  my ass as a hat because  I am leaning so far over to the side in order to make way for sections 1, 2, and 3 to board.   Air travel is so stressful and undignified, I tell you.

I love travel because it means spending time with family and friends and seeing new parts of the world, but I hate the actual traveling.  More specifically, I hate traveling by plane.    During our cross country flight to get to the east coast, from where I am writing you right now, I made a decision.  I told myself when I become a millionaire, after increasing our savings, contributing to more causes we believe in,  supporting scholarships, and treating our families to extra special presents,  one of the first things I will do will be to stop flying economy for the rest of my life.

I really wish sitting knees to nose were not the norm,  that paying an extra $60-$195 each way just to get a coach seat in row 8 instead of row 38 were not necessary, and that forcing 180+ travelers to share 3 bathrooms for hours on end were illegal.  No matter how efficiently I can navigate through the metal detectors, or that I have my favorite magazines and snacks packed in my hand carry, it is rough up there.  Wearing the softest, comfiest cashmere layers under a complexion flattering shawl and using a lavender eye pillow can only bring so much glamour to the mundane, no matter what the current Harper’s Bazaar Travel Feature tells you.  I no longer see them as the friendly skies.   It’s really beneath anyone to risk a urinary tract infection because of the massive sleeping giant tangled in his own web of headphone cord blocking your seat from access to the ladies’ room 20 rows behind you.  It doesn’t help that every passenger in the row before you has his seat back reclined the full allowable 5 degrees, blocking you completely in.  There is no  blanket fancy enough or miracle hydrating mist chic enough to whisk that worry away.

Would having several extra millions in the bank to spend on triple the amount of airfare be enough to consistently soften this kind of sting?

Featured Photo: Without historical documentation of what travel used to be ala Pan Am, I never would've believed it. Photo Source

2 Comments

  1. Ha Ha! Yes, I'm with you! One of the only things I miss about working is traveling first class. I swear it takes half the time to fly cross country when you are sitting in those first few rows. We actually went for broke (literally) and flew Business Class to Israel last December, and it made a huge difference, but sadly, it was a big exception to the rule. Have fun on the east coast!

  2. Oh Ms. Goo Shoes, if only I had the kind of job that included compensated travel! I can only imagine how much you miss it! 😉 My husband and I paid for First Class only once because of the massive blizzard at Christmas 2010. We were stranded on the east coast for an extra week from the backlash of cancelled flights, and paying $$$ was the only way to ensure a direct flight home before 2011! Somehow drinking orange juice out of a glass in that cabin was even better than drinking it out of crystal during brunch at the Ritz Carlton, you know??? 😉

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