My Life as a Traveler

The Quiet Room

Where do you go to get some peace and quiet? I’m a firm believer of taking some time each day for silence. Some days, the only time it happens is just when I wake up. I don’t use an alarm, but still get up when the sun does, especially this time of year. I can hear the cats moving about in different parts of the house, but otherwise, it’s quiet. I can just sink into my body and breathe; that’s all I have to do at that moment. It’s a great way to get my head together for the day.

One of the reasons I love traveling is that there are often opportunities to be in a place where it is relatively quiet and just be silent. Many times, but not always, depending on your seatmate, riding on the airplane is a nice quiet spot. When I travel with Morgan and George, they don’t usually talk to me, so I’m set. Sometimes the hotel room can be quiet, if Morgan is not watching tv and just has his headphones on.

Today I’m traveling to Phoenix for some hapkido training this weekend. I’m by myself, which is unusual, but nice. I’m enjoying the pure liberty of not being responsible for anyone else. I nap on the plane from Newport News to Charlotte, then make my way to the USAirways Club Lounge, where I will cool my heels for a couple of hours until my flight to Phoenix is ready to go.

We always stop in the lounge even if we only have 5 minutes between flights just to use the nice bathrooms and have a quick snack. But today, I have lots of time. It’s crowded and kind of noisy, this being a busy business travel day. CNN is blaring on the tv in every room and I know way too much about the business of the people talking on their cell phones.

But, as I walk past the bar, I notice a sign on the door. QUIET AREA. Wait, this used to be the smoker’s area. I walk in. Nobody’s here. It does not smell like smoke. Holy cow, I have found the Quiet Room, and I am one happy camper. I worry that I am disturbing the peace with my apple crunching, but even the one guy that came in has left. The quiet room is empty. I call Morgan, and then my mom, breaking the silence of the Quiet Room that has just become my personal office. I’ve got a glass of wine and internet. Life is good.

The flight from Charlotte to Phoenix is quiet as well. I write some self-defense articles for my doctor friend’s e-zine. In first class they bring you little wet warm towels followed by lunch. Life is really good.

By the time I get to Phoenix, I am relaxed, rested, and my mind is clear. The car rental guy tries to upsell me to a bigger car, insurance, and prepaid gas, but, instead of getting irritated, I just smile and say no. NASCAR is in town and some people are paying $200/day for their rental – I’m just paying $50/day with taxes and fees. Good thing I reserved ahead. I find the hotel, check in, unpack in my Quiet Room, then go get Mom.

Quiet time is over for now, but I am truly energized by the time I spent there. Where is your Quiet Room?

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