Team R&K’s best pre-travel advice. Plus, why doesn’t anyone care that everyone’s getting hacked?
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Happy Thursday, dear readers! I’m off to Copenhagen this weekend, and couldn’t be more excited to eat and drink my way through the city.
But before I can spend my days eating hot dogs and drinking fancy wines along the canals, I’m wading through the 10,000 actions that make up the seemingly Sisyphean process of getting the fuck out of town.
We at R&K have been chatting about our own go-to rules when prepping for travel. Personally, I insist on typing out an itinerary with flight times and numbers, reservation times and codes, addresses, and telephone numbers. Even if you’ve signed up for a temporary international plan or have procured a local SIM card, you never know when you might find yourself searching for a shadowy AirBnB entrance with no phone service. It takes very little time and has saved me countless times.
We all agree that dressing like a schlub is not an option; you’re a grownup in a public place. However, senior producer Alexa is a firm believer in not wearing a belt, since you’ll just have to take it off at security; co-founder Nathan, on the other hand, refuses to bow to the shoe removal gods, and would happily head to the airport wearing jackboots (“you only go through security once!”). We all agree that you should not be counting on airplane food. NEVER wake up for airplane breakfast. Do not. Always buy an extra bottle of water after you go through security. Consider edibles, if that’s your bag. Make sure your earphone situation is on point. (I like these if you can swing the hefty price tag.) If you can get Global Entry, do.
Those are all solid tips. But for you, dear readers, I’m going to reveal how I really travel. First, the night before you leave, drink two glasses of wine really, really fast. Toddle home flush with confidence. Pull out your suitcase and remember it’s already full of clothes you frantically stuffed in there while moving. Dump all that stuff on the floor. Now try on all your clothes. Why? I don’t know, I don’t make the rules around here. Just do it. Now throw all those clothes on the floor. Back away slowly from the clothes nest you’ve built. Obsess about cleaning your house, because believe me, if you can’t eat off the floor of the place you’re not going to see for the next week, your trip is fucked, my friend. Be sure to scrub the silverware drawer! Now fall asleep. Wake up the next morning at dawn. Is the sun up? No? Perfect. Now you have time to invent more things to worry about. What if your house burns down while you’re gone? That would suck, huh? What if you forget your toothbrush? Never gonna find another one of those.
Traveling is stressful and the most important thing is to try to just remain calm. My original idea for a packing-tips newsletter was just the word “Xanax” repeated 1,000 times. Make sure you download one book you actually want to read and one movie you actually want to watch, and other than that, almost anything can be fixed later on. I have a friend who forgot to bring a single pair of underwear on her honeymoon. She just… forgot. It was fine. Don’t freak out.
Speaking of freaking out, is anyone else extremely nervous about the worldwide hacking attack that just happened? Because it feels like no one else is properly concerned. You know how in the Harry Potter books the collective Muggle response to what are clearly evil witches running amok is a collective ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ? That’s what the general lack of concern feels like. They’re fucking with our internet, guys! Subtract the internet from modern society and most people are revealed as semi-literate malcontents who can recall, at most, seven facts, five of which are drawn directly from a Buzzfeed listicle. We need the internet to not be a weapon of mass electoral and economic destruction. We really do. (And happy birthday, Harry!)
And before I go, a few things I’ve been reading: 16 Things to Know Before You Go to Denmark! I also re-upped this New Yorker article on euthanizing Danish zoo animals. Seriously consider your actions when deciding to buy a banana online. (I say as someone who ordered multiple bags of Milanos just last week. Argh!) A fascinating look at the secret lives of young ISIS fighters. Can Monocle’s globalist capitalism survive an age of populism? Good article, TNR, but it in no way makes me want to buy wine from you. (God, the media industry is depressing.) Happy Pride, everyone! Check out these photos of trans Latina women in Queens. Vacations are a great time for catching up on fiction, so I’m packing a copy of Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology along for my trip, as well as Édouard Louis’s The End of Eddy. And while I’ve tried to foist this on you before, I’ll do so again: watch Fortitude! It will satisfy your craving for those bleak Nordic vibes I’m heading out to find.
Finally, the next installment of our Banned Countries Dinner series is scheduled for July 19. Up this time: Sudan. It’s going to be great, and the fundraising dinners feel more vital now than ever. Join us for a night of food, culture, and fun. Grab your friends and get your tickets!
That’s it for this week! I’ll be on a Danish island next week, but will tell you all about the week after. As always, tweet me stories you want to see here @caraparks.