Tim Roxborogh on the joys of moaning about your holidays.
Shane Cortese, I owe you an apology
"C'mon Shane, pull yourself together! You're on a free trip to Sri Lanka and you're only away from home for a couple of weeks!"
That was probably the polite version of what I shouted at the TV, but I was frustrated that anyone could ever do anything resembling complaining about an all-expenses-paid overseas adventure.
The year was 2008 and TV star Shane Cortese was in Sri Lanka to host an episode of Intrepid Journeys. My main memory is of an emotional Cortese - then a new dad to baby Kees - gazing forlornly out the hotel window, saying something about missing his family and never feeling so far from home. I think it was day three. Day three!
For me as a then 26-year old watching my favourite show – the kind of show I would've done anything to be on – the concept of missing home while somewhere as exciting as Sri Lanka just did not compute.
Especially not on day three!
So I mocked the TV. "Give me a break Shane, you're on a junket! In Sri Lanka! You've got jungle and beaches and elephants and culture and curries and temples and sunshine and adventure! Do NOT tell me you're missing home!"
Well Shane Cortese, I owe you an apology. Fast forward to 2019 and the now 38-year-old version of me is a still a traveller, but is also a new dad. I recently did my first trip without little Riley Roxborogh and if not for the wonders of modern W-Fi and Facetime, I might've been just like Cortese all those years ago.
The travel was still as exhilarating and life-affirming as travel always is for me, but something was different. For the first time, I missed home. Not New Zealand, but my wife and baby. I may've even gazed forlornly out the window on day three.
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Remember your own headphones while flying
I'm yet to get the hang of this one, but let's just say it'll be a New Year's resolution for 2020: remembering to bring my own headphones on planes.
It's obviously better for the planet if we have less needless waste but there's also another reason and it's one that really bugs me: heaven forbid you forget to stash your own headphones in your hand luggage, because these days you're increasingly running the risk of a dirty look from a flight attendant. This strikes me as a recent phenomenon because I don't recall it happening outside of the past couple of years, but wow, you sure notice it.
"The look" in question is actually a look away. I've been eye-rolled by flight attendants as if I'm an annoying child begging to open their Christmas stocking for the 17th time before the rest of the family's woken up. Or David Boon asking for his 52nd can of beer while flying from Sydney to London.*
I'm all about the idea of bringing our own pairs, but be a little kinder to those of us who commit that most human of sins: forgetfulness.
*In 1989, Australian cricketer David Boon is said to have consumed no less than 52 cans of beer on a flight from Sydney to London – a much-celebrated, if not especially professional (nor liver-friendly) chapter in Australian cricket history.
Tim Roxborogh hosts Newstalk ZB's Weekend Collective and blogs at RoxboroghReport.com.