A bad case of post-holiday depression

20:56, Jan 17 2013

After three weeks abroad, I'm back home in the land of flightless birds and pineapple lumps.

To sum up my trip in one word - incredible.

In fact, it was so amazing I could wax lyrical about it for this entire blog - the buzz of downtown New York, the beauty of snow falling in Montreal, the sweet taste of a cocktail on a Bahamas beach.

But really who likes hearing about other people's holidays? No-one.

It's the topic people feel obliged to ask before moving on to discussing something that affects themselves more directly.

So, I'll save you the pain of that conversation.

Plus, I am suffering from a serious case of post-holiday depression. Remembering all the wonderful things I did is only serving to deepen my PhD.

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Instead, I'm choosing to concentrate on all the irritating things about international travel.

Queues, security checks, customs, jet-lag, trying to sleep on an aeroplane when the person in front of you has reclined their chair right into your face - the path to exotic locations can be less than relaxing.

However, the number one gripe of my three weeks of travel - including a particularly gruelling five flights over 36 hours to get back from Nassau to Christchurch - has to be this: Carry-on luggage.

My understanding of 'carry on' luggage is that it enables you to take what you need for the flight. I take my handbag - equipped with books, water, snacks- and it fits nicely under the seat.

Apparently, I am the only one who believes in this concept.

Every flight I got on, people lugged full suitcases down the aisle, banging shins and rolling over toes on the way, and struggled to lift them into the overhead compartments.

If they're doing it to save time waiting at the baggage carousel they're severely misguided as it adds serious time to the process of boarding and exiting the plane.

At one American airport the woman in front of me in the boarding queue had a coffee in her hand, a handbag over her shoulder, a large shopping bag full of purchases, and an over-stuffed suitcase.

The airport official at the gate told her she was only allowed two items and she would have to stick some of the items inside her bigger bag.

Of course, she disobeyed his orders and spent about five minutes installing herself and her excess baggage into her seat.

Such behaviour is incredibly frustrating for passengers like me who can walk on and off the plane in seconds.  

Now, is excess carry-on luggage a pressing problem that needs to be promptly addressed at a global summit? Of course not.

But is it irritating enough to take the gloss off my amazing holiday memories? Possibly.

So please excuse me while I close my eyes and concentrate really hard on waiting impatiently in a cramped plane while the person in front of me struggles to stuff a guitar case under the seat in front of them.

It might just cure my PhD.

What's your stance on carry-on luggage? What do you hate about travelling? Are you suffering from PhD? Comment below, email me at anna.turner@press.co.nz or follow me on Twitter.

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