13:14 7 March 2015 Springfield, Missouri USA GS Jade Barrett CsbNews.org correspondent
«Touring is very grueling. It’s very taxing on the body and living out of your suitcase, going from city to city, night after night. It’s a tough job» – Janet Jackson
Virtually every day an opponent will mention how envious they are of our frequent journeys around the world of bridge. While we do derive a fair amount of pleasure from our travels, the constant hassling with luggage, traffic and airports often makes for an exhausting trip.
The ever present threat of a disruption to the schedule increases the stress, for even a short flight delay can completely decimate the best laid plans, preventing the arrival of team to the venue at the appointed time. Some travel days have us arriving within an hour of kickoff.
The packing – and unpacking, for that matter – has become something of a ritual: we have not «officially» arrived until the closet and drawers are full and the empty luggage tucked away. That alone is a major challenge at some of our hotels, as there never seems to be enough hangers, floor or storage space for all we have determined to be essential to our globetrotting selves. I swear that if I could compress my every possession to fit in the valise, there it would rest, no comfort of home left behind.
At times the joke has been made that the title of our driving trips should be «The Clampetts move to the Nationals» – in testament to the Beverly Hillbillies from the bygone age of American television, and sadly enough, it is true, for I am certain that if we stuffed one more item into the minivan, it would collapse from the weight if it did not explode. At least we have years of experience loading if we ever are called upon to find work in the freight yards.