traveling during the holidays

How to survive traveling during the holidays

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Traveling during the holidays is a really stressful experience. There are long lines, crowded gates, and unpredictable weather patterns that can really put a damper on your holiday. Here are some rules to follow to make sure you get to your destination as relaxing as possible

Have your liquids bag ready 

http://www.amazingpeople.site/airport-security-plastic-bag-liquids/

At the security checkpoint, make sure to have all liquids from your carry on are already in a plastic sandwich bag. It is so stressful when people wait until they are in line because it holds everything up while the search through there backpack. If it is not ready ahead of time, there is also the chance that you will forget that little bottle of hand sanitizer in the bottom of your purse, which most likely means that your bag will need to be searched.

Weigh your suitcase ahead of time 

https://goodmorninggratitude.com/2012/11/24/the-place-you-were-meant-to-be/overweight-suitcase/

There is nothing more stressful than having to take things out of your suitcase and reorganizing it in the middle of the line because it is overweight. To avoid this, weigh your suitcase and make adjustments before coming to the airport. Or, if having a bag that exceeds 50 pounds is inevitable, be prepared to pay the charges.

Do not overpack your carry-on 

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Only pack the absolute essentials in your carry-on. Try to pack as much as you can in your suitcase, and only the thing you are going to need during the flight in your carry-on. When you overpack your carry-on, you then have to lug it all around the airport as you try to find your gate. As the day goes on, it may become more difficult to carry and walk with it. If your carry-on is bigger, it is also more difficult to store it on the plane in an overhead compartment.

Pack your own snacks 

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I know it is very enticing to stop for coffee or a Cinnabon while you are waiting for your flight. However, during the holidays especially, the lines for airport restaurants and cafes can get insanely long and busy. From personal experience, I think it is better to bring snacks from home, and then buy a water bottle once you get through security

Leave early for the airport 

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This one probably feels like common sense, but never underestimate how busy airports get during the holidays. Leave even earlier than you think, because even if you do get to the gate earlier than you need to be, you do not have to rush and you can use that time to prepare for the flight.

Ship any gifts ahead of time

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If possible, try to mail any holiday gifts you have to your destination ahead of time, do not pack it in your suitcase, it takes up a lot of room that could be used for your clothes. There is also a higher chance something will be broken or damaged during the flight

Be prepared to wait in line 

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Even if you do leave early, you will most likely have to wait in line at the airport. To prepare, make sure all your electronic items are fully charged, wear comfortable shoes and layer your clothing so you can take something off if it gets too hot.

Be friendly to the airport employees; they are just doing their job 

https://travelupdate.boardingarea.com/united-airlines-employees-might-happier-month/

Please remember to be friendly to all the employees at the airport. Holidays are an incredibly stressful time for them and they often have to deal with being blamed for cancellations or yelled at by frustrated travelers. When you get to the front of the line, be sure to smile at them and thank them for their hard work.

Do not get overwhelmed 

http://www.atticushealth.com.au/blog/keeping-it-calm-over-christmas/

Overall, do not let holiday travel overwhelm you. Holidays are meant to be fun and joyful times, so do not let the stress of the airport cast a shadow on that.

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Bethel Church's Gay Conversion Program Is A Huge Problem And We're Not Talking Enough About It

Religion doesn't give us a right to purposefully abuse a community.

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About a year ago, in May of 2018, Bethel Church in Redding, California came out publicly against a set of proposed laws which would make it illegal for a licensed mental health professional to perform 'conversion therapy' in order to change the sexual orientation or same-sex attractions of a person. The head pastor of the church asked for members of Bethel Church to act against the three bills (California AB 1779, AB 2943 and AB 2119), urging them to contact their congressmen and ask for them to prevent the laws from passing, all in order for them to continue their harmful ex-gay ministry.

Today, Bethel Church is under scrutiny for the role out of their ex-gay conversion initiative, CHANGED. The website of the initiative movement claims that any change is possible through Jesus, and encourages those who identify as LGBTQ+ to abandon the "pain, rejection, and despair," of being LGBTQ+. (CHANGED website). This movement is not the first, but just the next in a long line of organizations claiming to provide change for those who identify as LGBTQ+, despite this being an impossibility. Ex-gay programs, in actuality, only serve to push those who go through them farther away from the love of God.

Conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ people has been proven not only to be completely ineffective but has also been found to cause intense mental issues and in many cases, a strong correlation to suicide. Those who have gone through ex-gay therapy programs such as Exodus International or Focus on the Family's Love Won Out have admitted that even after successfully completing the program they had not experienced a change in their same-sex attraction. The founder of Exodus International even claimed that by his estimation, 99.9% of those who had gone through his organization's therapy had not experienced any change in their orientation. Exodus International was considered intensely controversial, and their methods considered by most, if not all, mental health professionals to be incredibly damaging. Those who come out of conversion therapy experience intense feelings of depression and often experience a lack of self-worth.

As a Christian, I grieve every single time someone claiming to believe what I do comes out and condemns the LGBT community. It hurts to see one community I am a member of being hateful towards another community I am just as proud to be a part of. This news stung a little harder because I for a long time have loved Bethel Church's worship band. Their songs have spoken to me in ways I cannot fully describe, helping to bring me closer to the God I believe in. A God who I can say for certain would never advocate for something as damaging and destructive as conversion therapy. The same Jesus who Bethel's songs worship is the same Jesus who calls us to love everyone. Bethel Church is not following this call, and it is important that we speak out against conversion therapy, and not allow our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to carry out such a harmful program.

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.

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1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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