Skip to main content

Adventure Travel

One of the hottest segments of vacation travel is "adventure travel". Not content to relax and lay on a beach, or enjoy a comfortable excursion on a cruise ship, adventure travelers want to ski difficult runs, hike in the Andes, or traverse a glacier.


For those of you who crave the challenge of adventure travel, let me humbly suggest my recent arduous hike: from the main terminal to Gate B 84 at IAH. Pshaw you say, "I've faced the queues at Heathrow on a Monday morning. I've fought through the cigarette smoke at the Bangkok's Suvanarbhumi airport so thick it was like a dense fog. I've made it from Terminal E to A at the ancient DTW. I've survived a trek from the American to the United Terminal in the dead of winter at ORD. I've even made it from the International Terminal to Terminal E at PHL and lived to talk about it. What possible challenge could Bush International possibly pose?"

Ah, listen closely fellow adventurer. Don't let the sleek visible exterior of IAH Terminal B fool you; behind that false front is an endless, nearly unmarked labyrinth. While Gate 84 is a mere 12 miles or so from the ticket counter as the crow flies, spelunking through the barely marked criss-crossed passageways requires a hike of twenty miles or more.

While we can't verify reports of casualties rivaling the climbers attempting the ascent of K2, we advise the intrepid adventurers willing to challenge the course to take provisions on - the last section is the most treacherous, and has absolutely no resources for the hungry or thirsty survivor. Those lucky or skilled enough to solve the riddles and find the lost territory of high numbered gates of 80+, thinking that they are near their goal, have their spirits dashed when they discover that Gate 84 is nowhere to be seen. Indeed, Gate 84 is reached only by finding a hidden path and a sharp descent to a lower level.

There one discovers not a single gate, but rather the equivalent of another entire airport terminal. A Spartan, enormous, poorly equipped terminal. It resembles a very large bus terminal, without any of the endearing qualities of a bus terminal: the old coin-op pinball and video games, the grill in the corner with burgers and onions sizzling on an oversized griddle, the scent of coffee that's sat far too long on a burner, and newspaper vending machines. B 84 offers no services at all: no newsstand, no concessions, no restrooms. If one can summon the strength at that point (and I confess that my will was crushed at that point- I couldn't push through the wall to go back into the maze) one must retrace through distance passages for any necessities.

Those lucky enough to find a seat in the crush of throngs of exhausted wayfarers and plop down thinking that their journey is at an end learn that it is far from over. While there are a number of counters where flights are announced, passengers must hike much, much further to an actual boarding area: B 84 actually has sub-gates A though Q! Those trail over the horizon, not facing each other, but all in a seemingly endless line like tombstones at Arlington cemetery, proving a worthwhile test to the most experienced, thoroughly trained and skilled adventure traveler in peak condition.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: What Matters Now by Gary Hamel

Interview of Eric Schmidt by Gary Hamel at the MLab dinner tonight. Google's Marissa Mayer and Hal Varian also joined the open dialog about Google's culture and management style, from chaos to arrogance. The video just went up on YouTube. It's quite entertaining. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Cover of The Future of ManagementMy list of must-read business writers continues to expand.Gary Hamel, however, author of What Matters Now, with the very long subtitle of How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation, has been on the list for quite some time.Continuing his thesis on the need for a new approach to management introduced in his prior book The Future of Management, Hamel calls for a complete rethinking of how enterprises are run.

Fundamental to his recommendation is that the practice of management is ossified in a command and control system that is now generations old and needs to be replaced with something that reflects an educat…

7 Ways to Fix Your Gut and Help Your Brain

Author Peter Andrey Smith titled his article on the relationship of the brain to the intestines, and, in particular, the tiny creatures that live in our intestine beautifully: “The tantalizing links between gut microbes and the brain”. If the human brain is the frontier of medical science, the microbiome, those tiny creatures that live in our intestinal tract, is Jupiter. The linkage between what goes on in the gut and the brain is indeed tantalizing, and the subject of research worldwide. There are over 1,000 different kinds of those things living inside us. There are hints that having the wrong mix of gut microbes, or the absence of any particular type, is linked to asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and more. Further, antibiotics, illnesses and other factors can deplete the population. Here are seven things we can do to help keep our little creatures happy and healthy.
Eat the right stuff. There is evidence that the right diet helps keep …

Get REM Sleep; Manage Fear

A good night’s sleep may help you manage fear and risks better.

A study just posted in Journal of Neuroscience describes the importance of a good night’s sleep to controlling strong emotions, especially fear. Previous studies in this area attempted to discover what happens in the brain after a frightful experience.  These prior studies, for example, show how Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects sleep. A team at the Rutgers University Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, led by Itamar Lerner, has taken a different approach. They wanted to see if there is a relationship between adequate sleep and prevention or management of the brain’s reaction to subsequent stressful events. Research Team Lerner is a Postdoctoral Fellow in sleep research. Along with fellow researchers Neha Sinha-also doing Postdoctoral research-in her case in brain imaging, Shira Lupkin and Alan Tsai, they used new technology that allows mobile tracking of sleep habits over a period of time, not j…