I promise never to complain again if my bags get lost for six days when I fly into Los Angeles and are returned to me the day I return home.
I promise never to complain again if my flight from Boston to Las Vegas was canceled because the plane flying in was coming from Fort Lauderdale – where a mass shooting occurred – and forced me to fly to Salt Lake City where, by the time I got to my hotel and woke up for the early morning flight to Long Beach, then Las Vegas, I got only 50 minutes of sleep.
I promise never to complain again if the production of goods I ordered in Shenzhen are delayed by three weeks and I have to end up spending weeks in Guangdong in the sweltering summer heat while navigating a cuisine foreign to me and sleeping on a bed which was essentially plywood with a sheet on it. (I learned to love the cuisine and the bed.)
I promise never to complain again if I fall asleep literally in front of the gate for my flight to Paris from Newark while everyone is called to board the plane and the gates are closed before someone wakes me up and asks if that was my flight that I just missed.
I promise never to complain again if when I land in Paris my bags are checked in all the way to my final destination which I will be flying to 24 hours later and my winter coat is in my bags and the airline says they can go get my bag back for me if it’s yellow or pink or some stand-out color but not my normal boring black bag, forcing me to buy an overpriced loud coat at the airport. (I learned to never use a black bag.)
I promise never to complain again if the French subway workers end up being on strike when I finally get out of the airport and I end up staying in an airport hotel for the full 24 hours.
I promise never to complain again if the cab driver in Guangzhou pretends like the meter overheats and keeps turning it on and off and wants me to pay all of the fares he marked down when he shut off and turned on the meter.
I promise never to complain again if Sixt in Dublin pretends I scratched up their rental car and charges my credit card 800 euros ($880) only to back down when I tell them I have pictures of the car before and after I picked it up and dropped it off.
I promise never to complain again if Sixt Estonia pulls a similar stunt and has yet to back down (I’m working on it).
I promise never to complain again if my flight to Havana gets diverted to Caracas because of a hurricane and the cab driver charges me 100 times the actual fare because the “official rate” is nowhere near the actual exchange rate.
I promise never to complain again after I get bumped from my flight to the Big Island from Oahu that I had just purchased 30 minutes ago at the check-in counter because the flight is overbooked.
I promise never to complain again if my rental car gets stuck on the curb while driving away from a gas station on the Pacific Coast Highway and a mysterious man appears out of nowhere with two large bricks that he lodges underneath the tires that fly onto the PCH and traffic as he guns the engine, pulling the car backward off the curb (no one got hurt).
I promise never to complain again after my computer and cellphone are stolen from my check-in bags and the airline says it's not their problem.
I promise never to complain again if I buy peanut butter from Walmart in Nanshan and while acting out the word “honey” to the employees (who speak no English apparently) I pretend to be a bear climbing a tree and getting honey out of a beehive and get stung by a bee, they enthusiastically take me over to the pest-control aisle and hand me a can of raid.
I promise never to complain again when I travel, as long as I can travel again.