Window or aisle seat?

“Who really knows though where the truth behind the airplane seat choice psychology lies, for all we know it’s just speculation and really has no bearing one way or another.”

It’s more than an internal conflict when coming down to the choice between taking a window seat versus an aisle, especially on a flight greater than four or five hours. The choice is a means to maintaining your control or relinquishing it for a view; possibly one that you’ve seen a hundred times before. Although, as a former aviator I can tell you, the sights from above rarely get old.

people inside commercial air plane
Photo by Sourav Mishra on

So you’re booking your ticket and the site or the rep asks you to choose your seat, and so begins the conundrum. You can take the window seat and know that you’re likely going to have a wall to rest your pillow against and catch some Zzz’s (hopefully you brought a pillow). However, if you are anything like me, you will have to become slightly dehydrated so that you do not end up being the person who is dancing in their seat every time your eyeballs are floating. And to be honest, the way pressure affects the body, it’s anyone’s guess how often you would need to go; not all bodies respond the same. Too much hydration means more trips to the bathroom, which means more of a nuisance. But hey, the view is a good one as long as there isn’t a wing in the way.

But what about the aisle seat? Aisle seats also has their benefits. If you’re the aisle person, you are the one with less anxiety about having to come and go as you please. While you may have sacrificed a view, you don’t have to be the one feeling trapped in that situation. Although, depending on the individual in the window seat–who may or may not be a conscious thinker–you might end up being woken in the middle of your finally able to find a comfortable position nap, just to accommodate. That part sucks, that’s for sure.

“It’s a means to maintaining your control or relinquishing it for a view”

A 2017 article in the Telegraph explains that more travelers are in favor of the window seat, just slightly over fifty percent of those polled. But also that the window seat taker is also a person who likely sleep better on flights, is more seasoned and therefore has a slightly higher sense of confidence (since they don’t mind bothering their neighbor), and that they are even a bit selfish. On the contrary, those aisle seat takers sleep less and have more anxiety about feeling confined. Who really knows though where the truth behind the airplane seat choice psychology lies, for all we know it’s just speculation and really has no bearing one way or another. But one thing is true, and that is that people go one way or another when traveling alone. It’s just a decision that we all take seriously, and depending on what we choose, we could be setting ourselves up for a seriously long flight if the choice isn’t a preferred one.

Like anything, experience has to be earned.

It’s take guts and a real f***it kind of attitude to say “to hell with survival and comfort, I want to know more.”

Experience changes an individual, often for the better and in permanent ways. So why should it not be fought for, sweat for, bank breaking for, and earned? Many believe that the best things in life are free; that’s true if those things are air, sun, and a view of the stars at night. But in reality, most things today are not free. Not the water we drink, nor the resources we depend on, the grass that we walk on, and even falling in love; it all has a cost. And with the exception of love, those things just sustain, not change us.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

~ Helen Keller

photo of woman
Photo by Tobi on

If a picture is worth a thousand words, where are we with experiences? Stagnation is a sad reality, but growth through learning about more than we are, seeing more than we know, and pondering more than we commonly conceive is priceless…I’d say. Therefore, the best way to learn, see, and conceive more is through experience, and that is what travelling is best for. To be clear, a person does not have to jump on a plane and fly halfway around the world in order to feel like they are legitimately traveling; a neighboring state will do just fine. Although, an opportunity to experience the way a foreign culture lives can promote tremendous perspective in all of us.

Logically speaking, its not the actual experience that brings anyone change. Instead, it is the result of an experience that yields the high returns. The actions–our experiences– those are just the means; the vehicle, if you will. But the result, the facilitator of change in all of us, that must be earned. And the cost…not always a financial dilemma. Rather, the cost of change (of experience) is fortitude; its facing a fear of the unknown, stepping outside the comfort zone, and taking away the most comfortable aspect in our lives, and that is control. Without control a person is powerless, and vulnerability is the absence of control, something travel presents an abundance of.

According to multiple sources, common reasons for avoiding traveling include the following: no one to travel with, can’t afford it, the element of danger out there, a lack of time and vacation days, language barrier, logistical nightmares, and germs (LOL). What these reasons all boil down to is a lack of resourcefulness and/or fear. Overcoming a fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of leaving the comfort zone, it’s not what we are designed to endure. Our brains are designed to do one thing, and one thing only; keep us alive. A desire…that goes beyond survival. It’s take guts and a real f***it kind of attitude to say “to hell with familiarity and comfort, I want to know and see more.”

Like most things in life that aren’t handed to us, we need to earn it. We need to put in, in order to be able to take out something in return. Experiences make a person grow. They formulate differing perspectives, intelligence, understanding, and debate. If you want the experience, you aren’t going to have it given to you. To learn about the world you don’t know, you will have to take yourself from the one you do. And it will cost. It will make you nervous, intimidated, and timid, until you return home a different person than the one who left. OF COURSE it comes with a cost, but almost anything worthwhile does, so you have to make the effort to be someone other than the person in you who refuses to change. You have to actually try, and want to be and know more. Jim Rohn once said, “if you think trying is hard, wait until you get the bill for not trying.”

So, if you want to know what the cost of experience is, it’s life as you know it. And whether a person chooses to experience all that life has to offer or not, they should know that they will pay in any case. Pay for the experiences now, or pay for the regret later. It’s something to think about.

The travel destination represents you as a person?

Wherever a traveler decides to spend their time and enrich their sense of exploration, you can be sure it has more to do with their personality than just what they find interesting in general.

There’s a reason why we choose the destinations that we do, and it’s not a simple as basing it on the aesthetically pleasing photos that Google has just revealed in your search for trip ideas.

“Energy is always a good indicator of where on the scale you are.”

In a 2017 article posted by the Huffington Post, travelers were identified as representing one of multiple identifiable personality traits in choosing the type of vacation that they want to have. People could range from being the classic or posh traveler, to the chill or offbeat, to the artsy or daydreaming traveler. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that where a person decides to spend their time has something to do with their individual likes or dislikes; obvious, right? But the decision to go somewhere you’ve never been comes not from a place of curiosity, but rather from a place within the brain that represents who a person is as an individual; it’s a clue which reveals their inner most personal design.

close up photo of assorted color of push pins on map
Photo by Aksonsat Uanthoeng on

Lovers of romance and traditional or classic aesthetics are more likely to find themselves wandering the streets of Paris, while the thrill-seeking adventurer type, who prefers the offbeat style, would more often find themselves in an area where they can participate in a more active lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that there is no mental flexibility, as all of us have taken trips to destinations that we just want to see, even though we lack a sense of true excitement while there. For example, historical sites are often an interesting find, but without having that true passion for history, with all the appreciation for what it represents, energy will be lower.

Energy is always a good indicator of where on the scale you are. A vacation to an area that is less aligned with a person’s personality is likely going to be met with less enthusiasm, a.k.a. low energy. However, in getting to visit those places that we’ve longed to see, we become charged, excited, and more inclined to get out of the hotel room and soak in as much of it as we can while the opportunity is present. Even if the trip is to just chill and soak up some sun on the beach or horseback riding at a ranch in the mountains, a person will feel that sense of being in the right place, rather than just experiencing something for the sake of experience.

When people go to where they feel more aligned with their interests, energy in them is higher, and the sense of being in the right place more in focus. An understanding of this concept can shed light on who we are deep down. Are we more romantic and traditional, or do we need a rush and sense of non-stop adventure? Or maybe does nothing more than falling off the grid completely recharge us? Wherever a traveler decides to spend their time and enrich their sense of exploration, you can be sure it has more to do with their personality than just what they find interesting in general. Having said that, have you ever thought about what your travel choices say about you?

What type of person does your destination reveal? It’s something to think about.

Why traveling says more about you than you think

A departure flight from Nuremberg, Germany to Istanbul, and then on to Tel Aviv, with an arrival of 5:30 a.m. Hit the ground, collect the baggage, head to customs, and then onto a taxi, hopefully getting to a bed sooner than later. Sleep sounds more than ideal, but the sun is already up and the body is fading towards shutdown mode, while the mind is becoming active with every passing minute into the day. Wanting desperately to get some shuteye, the Airbnb flat can’t be checked into for another five hours, so then the choice to grab a hotel room–just to be able to nap–is what happens.

There’s no fear, no regret, and no hesitation to step into a reality other than the one they are most comfortable with.

This was the introduction into one of my travel experiences, in the not so distant past. It was a stressful trip initially, but the thought to avoid travelling again never once came to mind.

Christmas time, 2017, hit the road later in the day, bound for Quebec City (QC), Canada. Traffic thins, temperatures are dropping, the roads of upstate New York are becoming more saturated in snow and ice; something virtually non-existent in the Philadelphia area at that point. Close to crossing the Canadian border and still no word from the Airbnb host, and knowing that cellular service will soon be lost, a decision is demanded in that situation, and once again–just to be able to sleep–a hotel room gets booked. An overnight stay on the outskirts of Montreal, then onto QC to haggle over the first day’s booking cost for a flat unoccupied the night before. Again, the thought of travelling does not become discouraged.

activity adventure blur business
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Travelling is–and always will be–an addiction for many. It’s a sensory experience that rarely goes as planned. Unless you are on a business trip and following a schedule, your time is yours and its subject to the extensive list of experiences that one can add to their individualistic bag. The things that stun and thrill travelers equally–an inability to speak the language, no knowledge of and discovering the hot (less touristy) spots, authentic cuisine, and getting to talk to people from a completely different walk of life–are what keeps them coming back for more.

Like many things in this world, the experience offers a number of stressors, likely to question the less adventurous why travelers do it as often as they do. But the simple, and yet strangely complex, answer…they don’t know. Travelers are special breed; a specific type of individual wired for and geared towards a love for the unknown. They love being out of their element and know that every experience gained in a far away place is just another notch in their adventured personalities. There’s no fear, no regret, and no hesitation to step into a reality other than the one they are most comfortable with. Being a traveler means being adaptive; someone who makes necessary split second decisions, has a sharp sense for independence, and a heightened posture of survivability.

Every traveler knows and can identify many people in and around their circle, who are less than willing to put themselves out of the comfort zone, and yet the traveler cannot seem to mentally identify with that concept. I alone know more than ten people who have never traveled farther than the neighboring state or set foot on an airplane. The traveler, he or she isn’t wired for limitations, for permanence in the comfort zone, or for letting a fear of the unknown trump the feeling of experiences. Being a traveler says a lot about a person, more so than it does to speak against them. They may be a lot of other things in their lives, and in some areas they may be much less. But one thing they will not be in the end is a person who regrets not living to learn and to experience the unknown.

All this is the reason why a traveler is much more than they appear to be on the surface; it’s just not something for everyone.

What makes this entrepreneur qualified to launch a travel business??

One thing in travel that is-and always will be-a certainty, planning increases confidence in one’s circumstances.

Entrepreneur, “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” This is what you’ll find when you research the meaning in Webster’s dictionary. It’s a good definition, short and concise. Yet it tells us nothing about why it is that an entrepreneur feels that a specific field is one in which they are qualified enough to offer something valuable to the world. Value… isn’t that why we start businesses? Because we believe that our knowledge and experience is enough to turn into a service that adds value to everyone else?

“where there is the will to have that sense of organization, deferring to someone else’s experience may be just the thing that’s needed.”

When talking travel, what exactly is it that makes a person qualified enough to create something which people will find utility in, at a value so substantial that the business itself grows, molds, adapts, and expands to a global level? This is something that I ask myself often. Creating a business is turning experience into something that serves the consumer, as well as generates growth and wealth for the entrepreneur; essentially an ROI (return on idea).  But honestly, haven’t most of us traveled? Are there levels of differentiation in travel experience that are significant enough for one person to offer others the lessons of their experiences for a cost? When do the scales actually tip?

Let's fly

The idea for Planiversity was developed by an individual whose mission was to expand on a concept learned over the course of fourteen years of military experience; nearly a decade of that time as an aviator. The concept was a simple one, to ensure that before we set our feet on the ground at our destination, that we are already empowered with information about that location. Now, while some may see the value in just going and learning on the fly, there are many that enjoy having a sense of control, which ultimately saves time, costs, and leaves room to enjoy those things that bring them to that location.

Most of us have experienced one of two variations of travel experience: the one where we figure things out as we go, and the one where we walk around with a binder or folder full of printouts, which are the itineraries, bookings, maps, etc. Obviously, for the uber-adventurer, who enjoys letting things happen as they will, a travel logistics and organization service is of little use; it’s the antithesis of what adventure means to them. However, where there is the will to have that sense of organization, deferring to someone else’s experience may be just the thing that’s needed.

For this entrepreneur, the skills learned while in the military were so valuable that it was difficult to avoid sharing the experience with the public. Although, it was obvious that some aspects of planning needed to change, and that is why the focus of Planiversity is to allow users to decide what resource knowledge is critical to have before arrival, and then provide them the tools to piece together their own travel packet. For example, maybe the user just wants to keep things simple and only have a single source document for all of their itineraries, while another wants the same, plus to have a schedule, maps, and knowledge of which hospitals, police stations, etc. are in close proximity to their hotel. But that’s only a fraction of what Planiversity can do. This service, it’s a logistics engine for the traveler, and designed by someone who knows the value of information while travelling.

So, when asked why THIS particular entrepreneur believes he is qualified to start a travel logistics service, the answer is an easy one; experience. Having traveled to 28 foreign countries, and with plans to see much more of the world, the experiences and knowledge gained while on the move generates the inspiration for designing a service that simplifies planning and reduces the need to occupy valuable time with problem solving dilemmas. One thing in travel that is-and always will be-a certainty, planning increases confidence in one’s circumstances.

So, give a shot. A little information and planning never hurts!