The Steps Of Traveling By Plane

The Steps Of Traveling By Plane

I'm really not smuggling anything.
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If you have ever been in an airport, then you know the struggle of trying to make your flight while navigating weird layouts, huge lines and TSA fiascoes. No matter which airport you're in or what country it is in, the process brings a sense of déjà vu. All airports seem to be the same, each journey kind of runs together, and these 13 moments of the process are always the same.

1. Check Baggage

First, find where you check your baggage. Muscle your 50 pound bag onto the scale as the worker stares calmly back at you. Silently pray that it doesn't exceed the weight limit. Nobody has time for that.

2. Wait in Line

Find the security gates. Join the line. Avoid eye contact with guards so they won't think you're guilty of something. I'm a non-threatening white girl, so I can't imagine how others feel going through this process. Plus, lines are just the worst in general.

3. Passport/Ticket Check

Here's my ticket that I bought and paid for and everything. Here's my passport. Really, that's me. Please stop squinting at me. That picture is only a year old. Yes, I'm wearing glasses, but I don't look any different. Just let me through.

4. Metal Detector/Bag Scanner

Anxiously wait in line for them to discover something in my bag that I shouldn't have, or realize that I forgot to take off a metal ring, or that, oops, there is a phone charger in my bag. Cue the suspicious looks and re-scanning of the bag. Meanwhile, try to look as innocent as possible.

5) Make Your Getaway

Collect all the items you had to remove from the bag in order to get it through the scanner, shove them frantically back into your bag so as not to further hold up the people behind you, and hastily leave the line with your shoes halfway onto your feet because there's nowhere to actually put them back on. If no one thought you were a terrorist, that's still a win.

6) Find Your Gate

Find your next waiting location. If you're lucky it will be easy to locate and also not change five minutes before your flight. Is anyone that lucky?

7) Waiting

Find another way to pass the time. I hope you like people watching and chatting with random strangers. If not, just bury your head in your phone and pretend to be crazy busy.

8) Boarding Pass

Wait until it's your turn to board. Hand them your ticket, and head onto the plane! Pray that you're the only person booked for your seat.

9) Locating your seat

Find your seat. You will inevitably be seated by the window, and the two seats between yours and the aisle have already been filled. Or, better yet, there's someone already in your seat. Have fun with that.

10) Security Spiel

Once you're finally situated, you get to learn about all the safety features the plane has to offer. You should be paying close attention, but we all know you're not listening at all.

11) The Flight

If you're lucky, your flight is short and uneventful. If you've got one that's more than a couple hours I hope you are easily entertained and don't want to use your armrests.

12) Landing

Finally! The plane has landed. Everyone claps for the pilot and then immediately stands up and rushes into the aisle like they have somewhere to go. Enjoy that backpack in your face for the next ten minutes.

13) The End

You're off the plane and out of the airport. You make a solemn vow to yourself that that will never happen again. Return flight? What return flight? You'll just live here now.

Cover Image Credit: Airliners

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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4 Cool Ideas Uber/Lyft Should Add  To Help Keep Riders Safe

Because enough is enough already.

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Over the past few months, there have been issues where Lyft/Uber drivers have been harassing, assaulting and even killing passengers. You never know who you get into a car with because there are sick people in this world. One girl came to social media to express her horrifying encounter with a Lyft driver. She was trying to go to CVS, but the Lyft driver turned the system off and proceeded to ask for her number and smoke. When the girl declined, he went off route and demanded she take her clothes off. She tried to call 911, but the driver tried to attack her. Luckily, there were people who witnessed her calling for help through the window and encouraged her to jump out of the car with scrapes and bruises.

This is scary because I had two Lyft drivers; BOTH were men, who asked for my number and to get a drink with me. I politely gave them my number out of fear, but immediately blocked and reported them once I got to my destination.

I shouldn't have to be put in this situation at all and no one else should either.

Earlier this year, a college student named Samantha Josephson was tragically murdered after entering the wrong car, which she believed was her Uber ride. After hearing the news, I started becoming super paranoid about riding Lyft/Uber. I started to become highly cautious when it came to the license plates matching the ride as well as the driver confirming his name. It is important for passengers to ask, "What is my name?" Before entering the car.

In April of 2019, Lyft shared its commitment to safety by informing customers about enhanced background checks and identity verification. However, that isn't enough in my opinion. Anyone can lie on their resume and still get the job. It's a sad case, but it's true. These ride-sharing companies should do more to ensure passengers are safe. You never know if someone is really trustworthy or not.

Riding in a vehicle with a stranger will always have risks, but these suggestions can keep passengers safe and stay alert to danger. After all, the key goal is to get to your destination in a safe manner. Some suggestions include:

1. Install a GPS warning/alert to authorities if the vehicle starts going off route.

There is no reason why your driver should be going off-route in the first place. Even if there is construction or an accident, the Uber/Lyft will update automatically for the driver. If the driver were to go off-course in the car, having the GPS notification will alert authorities immediately and track your exact location.

2. A safety/emergency button that will immediately call 911 (and also notify Lyft/Uber), which works if you cannot talk in the car.

This add-on will allow you to press and hold down a button, which immediately dials 911 and notifies Lyft/Uber. It will warn you and make you aware that you are alerting authorities. In most situations, calling 911 and "talking on the phone," will make the drive panic and act quickly. If the driver knows you're calling the police on them, they will strike. The key is to do everything in secret There is also an app called Noonlight (formerly known as Safe Trek) that does this. This works with or without internet.

3. A camera device that begins recording when the passenger enters/exits the car.

Some drivers have personal cameras for their own safety, however there should be one regardless that starts once the passenger enters and leaves. Some people are hesitant towards being recorded, but this will only be viewed by authorities/Lyft/Uber. I would rather be safe than sorry.

4. At the end of the ride, the PASSENGER would have the opportunity to end the ride, confirming they made it safe, rather than just the driver.

At the end of the ride, you get notified that you've reached your destination and the rating of your ride. However, the passenger should have the opportunity to confirm the arrival as well. Some drivers will say you arrived but you were probably dropped off at a further location. Some Uber/Lyft drivers will turn everything off. But the passenger will still have the power to confirm. If there is no confirmation after 30 minutes from drop-off, the authorities will be notified.

Honorable Mention: For now, it is best to start carrying pepper spray or a small knife with you. Always trust your gut.

Like I said, always trust your gut and if you have the opportunity, don't hesitate to take them down. This would be the last resort if nothing works out. But always CARRY a defense weapon on you. Your safety is the most important thing when getting from A to B.

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