How to Ensure your Vacation is not a Vacation: Anderson Trips 101

I have compiled some tips on how to travel with the Andersons. Side effects include loving going to work upon your return.  Your place of employment will feel like a resort for 51 weeks and your air-conditioned cubicle will seem more luxurious than ever.

  • pack lightly: you will appreciate your suitcase when we’re running, which in the past has been because we are chasing a plane on the runway or carrying luggage up a muddy hill in the rainforest.
  • Morgan is always cranky in the morning, so unpleasant that you may think something is actually upsetting her, or that she is possessed by the devil. A complete breakfast with eggs and bacon at a hotel buffet should subside her symptoms.
  • get in shape: if you can’t handle power walking in 100 degree weather without water, you best hit the gym. When we were getting our malaria shots, the nurse asked my mom what she did to raise children with such low heart rates, perhaps her greatest contribution as an American mother.
  • Beyond her health tips, ignore my Mom. She will be touting herself throughout the trip–whether it be for walking faster than the rest of the group or doing things her friends would never do–which include but are by no means limited to bungee jumping and hiking up a volcano.
  • Mom also may be caught pumping her arms and doing laps up and down an airplane aisle for purposes of exercise, very likely while sporting a Dublin Marathon jumpsuit. Pretend she is not in our party when she waves at you in your seat.
  • Do not be intimidated by Dad and Kevin’s outdoor experience. While they may have hiked through erupting geysers and slept tentless in sub-zero weather with the Boy Scouts, the BSA still haven’t kicked Tim out of the troop so none of what they do could be that hard.
  • Despite being solidly self-reliant, I sometimes require assistance with my punctuality. I will luckily (or unluckily) not have a cellular device to lose on this excursion, but will pack my watch.
  • One must not be too indulgent should you somehow be granted access to the executive lounge at airports. A flight was once missed because we stopped at the lounge for a free granola bar, blowing our cover as people that are sophisticated and successful enough to actually belong in the lounge.
  • Eating is a privilege: unless culturally immersive, this will be otherwise deemed unnecessary, as it drains funds and slows the group down. There will be days when people living on the streets eat more than you. Treat it as a lesson in self-discipline, or as my mom likes to remind us, “think of Christ at the crucifixion.”
  • America. While we are very proud of our country, we avoid contact with it while travelling, even in Canada. Fast food establishments under the guise of a bastardized french word like “Le Hippopotamus” does not qualify. However, it should be noted that under extreme circumstances, such as hospitalization or death, McDonald’s may be patronized should you order something that is not on a menu States-side. Examples include: Kiwiburgers, Macaroons and beer.
  • Conversation: Topics we can discuss as a family are somewhat limited. Oft-visited categories include: our other relatives, their dogs and Tim’s high school exam study guides. Because Tim has no finals to study for this time, there will be fewer conversations revolving around Louis XIV, the Gospel according to Mark and Huckleberry Finn. However, such subjects can be both thought-provoking and engaging and therefore should not be entirely ruled out.
  • Kevin and my Mom will try and guide the general conversation toward the arts–touching on indie films, pop culture or a rock band’s resurgence. Just go with it, even if you don’t know what they’re talking about, but contribute when possible. Avoid bringing up Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, as this is the film the two most vehemently disagree on.
  • My father does not believe in language barriers. While for many this is a result of anglo-globalization, in our unique case locals talk to us because they pity us first. Once our cab driver who spoke about 5 words of English took us to his house while his entire family was over to wash our muddy selves (don’t ask) before we headed to the airport.
  • Do not panic when Tim gets sick. This is to be expected of someone whose diet calls Mountain Dew and Gummy Bears staples. Tim’s most recent episode took place at a World Heritage site, where he threw up in an ancient temple. My dad did not let him go back to the hotel, but did buy him a Gatorade for $1.
  • we will often refer to “nominations”: in short we have an end-of-the-year sh*tlist for which funny and embarrassing instances are lumped into various categories, which include: Biggest Trauma, Most Unsurprising Event and Unrelative of the Year. 2012 is stacked and competition will be fierce as we approach the 2nd half of the season. Bring your A-game.

2 thoughts on “How to Ensure your Vacation is not a Vacation: Anderson Trips 101

  1. Pingback: The Makings of A Non-Vacation « Frequent Failer

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