A word from 36F
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A word from 36F

I am sitting in seat 36F on American Airlines flight 445 to Cancun. That’s the middle seat in the back row of the plane, the row that doesn’t recline. Earlier, my train to the airport was late, my toiletries spilled out of their quart-size Ziploc in the security line, TSA searched my bag and the flight attendant ran out of blankets. Mexico, let me in!

I’ve sat in the back row before, of course. I’ve also been upgraded to first class (once). I survived a flight that plummeted 10,000 feet in a heartbeat before leveling. I never knew so many people traveled with rosaries. I’ve flown with a baby on my lap, wailing infant in my arms and squirming kids at my side for eight hours trans-Atlantically. I and my copy of “The DaVinci Code” were vomited on by a strange man in 18C. Kids, comparatively, aren’t so bad. If it’s a B movie, chances are I’ve seen it aloft. “Spanglish” does not improve after four viewings. I’ve gone to London for the weekend (for theater). I’ve lived in Italy for a year (food). I lost my wallet and my bag en route to Easter Island. The airline that dropped me above the Arctic Circle also lost my luggage. Boots within. In winter. I’ve sat in front of Meryl Streep (she took the economy experience graciously) and behind Jane Seymour (forward cabin, natch). My entire wardrobe is travel-ready solid separates. My family of three fits perfectly into 737s. We can go a week with carry-ons and still dress for dinner.

I know travel. I make a living at it. With this blog, Read It And Leap, I’ll post trends, tips and tricks for your next trip — if, like me, you travel often, resiliently, and, sometimes, well.

Off-the-ground rule number one: just say no to the last row.