What makes a good traveling companion?


I love to travel. It’s a good thing, since traveling has changed my life so much. It put me in a new country that has been my home most of my life. I didn’t move here. I traveled here. I wasn’t going to stay. I was only supposed to stay here for a few weeks, and then head back. I didn’t. In one of many life-altering decisions I’ve taken, I thought, why not. So I announced the fact to my parents. I had made my decision, and that was that. Then I proceeded to make one mistake after another, not all of them bad. One of them, excellent. I also traveled a bit, and that brings to mind today’s topic: what makes a shrunken man a good traveling companion?

  1. After I tell him we’re going off for a couple of weeks, he’s happy. He asks questions about our plans, and takes little notes on his tiny notebook. Actual ink and paper. He loves those things. He writes down the dates, destinations, calculates mileage, highlights our path on a map (a real map), and marks points of interest with a bitty asterisk.

  2. He makes a list of snacks for me, and for him. We don’t like to snack on the same things, except for Cheetos, and he only needs one of those. We both drink water, as traveling by car (our preferred method) can be very drying.

  3. He inspects his travel cage. What? You didn’t think I was going to allow him to sit shotgun, unrestricted, unsafe, unwatched for most of the duration, did you? What’s the matter with you? I forgive you. Anyway, his travel cage is padded, and has grate doors on every side, so I can check on him, and we can look at each other every once in a while.

  4. He makes a list of our favorite traveling songs, and makes sure the flash drive containing it is ready when we leave. He always includes tunes we both know, so we can sing together:
    Slow – Depeche Mode
    Drive Like Lightning (Crash Like Thunder) – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
    Caminando – Ruben Blades
    Drive – The Cars
    Apple – Funnel
    Come With Me Now – Kongos
    Being Alone Together – David & David
    Crazy – Icehouse
    Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson
    Here To Stay – Korn (we love to sing that one at the top of his lungs)
    Miles – Mother Mother
    Man In A Suitcase – The Police
    Round And Round – Ratt
    Change – Tears For Fears
    All I Want – Toad The Wet Sprocket
    Don’t Want To Wait Anymore – The Tubes

…and many more.

  1. He can ride quietly next to me. He doesn’t have to yap-yap-yap the entire time. His great economy with words reflects mine to perfection, and he knows when to enjoy the silence. We don’t have to say anything to say everything.

  2. He gets out of the car with me when we stop at a rest area. We walk around a bit, I let him stretch his little legs (though he can walk around in his little cage), and we have a snack on a bench, in the sun. I take a picture or two of him as he tries to chew on a raisin. My gosh, he’s just adorable.

  3. When we get to the hotel, I lift him to the front desk so he can do all the talking. It makes him feel very important (which he is) to do that. “Hi, we have a reservation.” “Yes. Undersquid. The best room.” “Yes, that’s my last name. Is there a problem?” “I’ll take the card key, thank you very much.” And he does. He carries that big, flat thing all the way to our room.

  4. We unpack at the same time, but not before we try the shower. And the bed. Several times.

  5. We try the bed again.

  6. Why are we here?

  7. Bed. Bedtime.

Credit for this blog entry idea goes to Aborigen.

11 thoughts on “What makes a good traveling companion?

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  1. That sounds ideal. I like that roadtripping is your default mode. We also have special snacks that are forbidden the rest of the year but permitted without argument or even a sidelong glance on a roadtrip. The music selection is slightly more contentious: “You can listen to anything you like on my iPod.” And I’m much, much more comfortable with long silences than anyone I know. I like to stare out at the landscape and imagine myself huge, wading through rivers, striding over plains, climbing up mountains like piles of laundry. I can’t talk about those imaginings with my giantess or she takes it personally and we get into a fight.

    It’s so interesting that you liked the US enough to want to stay here. I guess this place looks exotic to people who aren’t from here, though it should definitely look familiar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Forbidden snacks, or unknown as of yet. During a road trip I got myself one of those nut logs. I took one bite and had to throw it away. It was disgusting. But Cheetos will always be welcome in my mouth. Well, not always. Once a year.

      It didn’t look exotic at all. It looked exactly like what I’d seen in movies all my life. There was nothing unfamiliar about it. At a very young age the brain adapts very quickly to mutating social, geographical, language, etc. situations, and that was no different for me.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Mercy, that’s sooo cute. Selfies must be a lot of fun, to capture all the places visited. Laying on the car hood on a warm summer night to watch the stars. Hopefully he’s smart enough not to play the “punch bug” game. Who wins when playing cows and cemeteries? And what are the stakes? ^^

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, boy… that would be the best Instagram timeline in the world. Little guy smiling in hand, big smiling face right next to him. Little guy standing on palm while extending his own to make it appear it’s holding a distant silo. Little guy sleeping in his cage, while I drive. Little guy waving at camera as he sits astride a rubber duckie in the kiddie pool. And then all the dirty selfies! How did they get on there? Oh, no! Delete, delete, delete!!! Too late. Coworkers shocked. Mom on oxygen. Dad enraged. Brothers snickering. Oh, boy.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I do love a good road trip. Often I’m dressed in a hula skirt and poised on the dashboard. Very brisk sensation when going commando. Sometimes I’m sprayed with a pine scent and hung on the rearview mirror. Yes, I know. I’m quite hung. But the best part of a road trip is Denny’s. I do love a good pig in a blanket.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was another excellent post.

    For the life of me, I’ve been wondering how best to create that travel case so he doesn’t get whiplash!

    I also like the music choice remembering many of those songs when they were first released…. This little man certainly has a good life. I am very envious of him!

    By the way, where is Horsehead Island. I think there is one in Maine and one in South Carolina, but not sure of any others.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Jean!

      Those islands do exist, but the island I’ve visited during that time of the year is somewhere else. The name is too unique to be a multiple-choice location, so I skipped it for anonymity reasons. A moot point, since any sharp mind that had followed my blog from its inception knows where to drop a bomb, and hit my home.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello, undersquid. It is great to see your posts again. Maybe you don’t remember me but i was leaving comments ( some rubbish comments:( ) to your posts years ago. You are right about keeping this tiny one in the cage while you are driving but i wonder his reaction. How did he react, when he learned he will have to stay in the cage?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi msg,

      Of course I remember you! We’ve had a number of tiny conversations here, and I remember all my small visitors. I would never call anything you say “rubbish”.

      His reaction is inconsequential, as I’m doing what’s best for him. However, my tiny man is a clever man, a practical, and one that dreams of pleasing me at every turn. His reaction reflected that dream. He smiled, and explored every inch of it, declaring it the best mode of transportation he had ever seen. He thanked me profusely. How can I not love such a little man?


  6. That’s great you remember all of your tiny visitors. Actually i have thought here as a queendoom and you are the lady and queen here and we are your tiny visitors/ servants. I will always be at your serve, queen :)


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