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It’s well known that restrictions are very tight with what you can take on an airplane. Obviously, pointed objects or other weapons are a big no-no. Since 9/11, airports have also cracked down on liquids, creams, gels, pastes and aerosols. I’ve been stopped more than once to remove something from my bag, and more than once I’ve disagreed with their judgment (like the 1-inch beard-trimming scissors I had to throw away in Thailand). My most recent flight from Dublin crossed the line though. Mayonnaise!
Okay, chemically speaking, mayonnaise is a liquid (in a suspended form). But riddle me this. When I brought a chicken and sweetcorn salad with several ounces of mayonnaise (much more than what was left in my little squirt bottle) for my lunch on the plane, I wasn’t be stopped by security. I also once had a container with a few raw eggs, and that wasn’t stopped either. Mayonnaise is just eggs in a liquid form!
If you think I’m just being silly writing this, you got me. What’s a blog without a bit of comedy?
This is not a rant against losing my mayonnaise. Actually, this isn’t a rant at all, since I just found it funny that the security guard took away my mayo. This is a comment on the irrational fear that this world lives in. The last time I checked, mayonnaise wasn’t a lethal weapon, unless someone was allergic to it.
It’s one thing to err on the side of caution. It’s another thing to identify everyone and everything as a potential threat.
I get it. It’s fear that prevents many people from traveling. Unfortunately, it’s an inability to see differences which creates that fear.
How many times have you heard of someone who wouldn’t travel to a destination because of an isolated bad news story about that place? I know someone who wouldn’t move with his fiancee to a new town because of one story he found in the news from several years earlier.
I have many friends who won’t fly for fear of airplanes, despite the odds being one in 30 million of dying in a plane crash. Ironically, you’re more likely to die on the ground by a falling piece of a plane! The point is that it’s NOT likely a plane is going to kill you, whether you’re flying in one or not.
The actions of one person, or even a handful, can not be equated to everyone else who lives in that place. When someone who professes to be part of a faith (while going against the morals of that faith) causes trouble for others, it might give that faith a bad name, but it does not mean that every member of that faith is bad. Obviously no faith is free from fault, or couldn’t use some improvement.
I certainly couldn’t care less about a couple ounces of mayonnaise that was thrown out. I do care about how some people are trying to make the world a scary place, and I don’t think that others should buy into that fear.
Yes, there is crime in the world. Of course, there are things to be afraid about. It’s not uncommon that my traveling friends around the world have something stolen or lost. Sometimes I can help them recover it, usually not. In my opinion, that’s all part of the adventure, and the freedom, enjoyment and exhilaration of travel will (almost) always compensate for any stumbles along the way.
When I counsel people on how to live a happier life, I recommend ignoring the newspaper and other bad news in their life. There’s a difference between getting informed and getting force-fed bad news every day.
Traveling is about exploring the world and seeing that it really isn’t that dangerous. You get informed first-hand. You find people can be really friendly, and your faith in humanity is restored.
If you’re too afraid to travel, take a leap of faith. Pick a place that you’re not afraid of, and start there. Then keep going. You just might end up like me and never turn back.
Oh, and to get back to the mayonnaise, you would have thought they would have been more strict on the large knife I was once horrified to find I had left in my carry-on bag, but which had made it through airport security!