Let me be perfectly clear. Terrorists are assholes. I don’t like them. It’s my dream to publicly depants every last one of them. In fact, I wouldn’t mind living in a world without them.
That being said, I do feel like I owe them a small bit of gratitude. They have made my traveling life so much more streamlined. When I would travel in the 1990s I packed my luggage senselessly. I threw crap into my suitcases by the handfuls and armloads. My thought process was that I would sort out my wardrobe at my final destination. Not the most efficient method, I know, but I am the creative type that tends to count on inspiration to fuel every decision I make. Planning flies in the face of my very nature. And yes, I realize that sounds like overly pretentious tripe, but I am what I am.
In addition to the way I packed, the way I dressed was ridiculously thoughtless. I wore clothes that I thought were cool. A side note; I am not cool, but I’m one of those guys who thinks he knows what looks cool. I’m wrong 98% of the time. To travel, I wore layers, boots, watches, etc.
Enter post-2001, and suddenly I am endlessly poked, prodded, and harangued at security checkpoints in airports. My method of packing and dressing for flights didn’t suit this heightened terrorist alert world. It was clear I had to adapt or subject myself to a public groping that would leave me stressed, humiliated, and oftentimes violated.
I started to plan for my trips. Gone were the two bags and the carry-on. Gone were the layers, the belt, the accoutrements, even anything resembling a liquid. I’ve organized my travel life down to a carry-on full of a basic wardrobe. My travel attire is a t-shirt, a pair of pants snug enough to be worn without a belt, my cell phone, a light jacket (only when necessary), and shoes that are free of laces. If I am in need of anything at my final destination, there is always a Walmart within a short driving distance, or in the case of New York, there’s a Duane Reade a block and a half away in any direction.