Travelling to faraway places will always provide us with exhilarating moments. These are the ones that we use to make our friends and family green with envy on our return home. But a trip of any reasonable length will rarely pass without those times when our happy disposition has a day off (or at the very least takes a nap for a few hours).
We’ve all been there, whether it’s feeling nauseous on a long bus journey, getting annoyed at the selfishness of another traveller or just sick and tired of an absence of anything vaguely familiar. Sadly there is usually nothing we can do other than grit our teeth and ride out the bad times.
Have you ever stopped to think however that evolution could have given us a helping hand by now? Surely with all the changes that the human body has undergone to adapt to our environment, we could have undergone some anatomical adaptations that would make our travel experience a more pleasant one?
Here are five suggestions on how our lives could be so much easier with a little evolutionary assistance:
1. Retractable legs
Having long legs is generally great. You can reach the top of cupboards with no need to stand on a chair and you can see what’s going when there’s a big crowd in front of you. But on a plane it’s miserable. What if we were able to just pull a lever and shorten our legs by twelve inches? It would make a long flight far more comfortable and perhaps we would even be more tolerant of those selfish folks who insist on reclining at any opportunity.
2. Instant translation capabilities
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want everyone speaking English; what a dull world that would be. No, it would be far better if whenever people spoke to us in their native language, we were instantly able to understand them and reply back in their tongue. Surely all that’s required to make this relatively simple adaptation is a minor tweak somewhere in the brain?
3. Iron gut
One of the greatest pleasures of travel is without doubt the opportunity to try weird and wonderful food to which we’ve never been previously exposed. On the other hand the low point of many a trip is the time when we don’t dare venture more than three steps from the bathroom. Wouldn’t it be great if we were able to instantly adapt our digestive and immune systems to match those of the locals? We would be able to drink the local water, eat anything we see in the markets and never have to worry about the repercussions.
4. In-built deodorant
On many a trip we have those times when we don’t wash for days. It’s usually while camping, either on a long hike or when visiting very remote places. Sometimes a stream offers us the chance to wash and freshen up, at other times in very cold places getting undressed becomes such an ordeal that we avoid it at all costs. How useful would it be if we could have deodorising armpits, or sweat glands that released a pleasant pot pourri odour when required to do so?
5. An on/off switch
I would swap all of the above for this one. On a long flight or bus journey, imagine if we could just flick a switch and go into ‘hibernate mode’, where we drop into a comfortable sleep for 12 hours or however long we need to and then wake up again fully refreshed when we need to get back on our feet. All those tortuous night buses and red-eye flights would become easy in an instant.
What would you add to the list of anatomical changes that could ease your travel experience?