Photo: Izf/Shutterstock

Quitters Unite: The Joys Of Complaint-Free Travel

by Christine DeSadeleer May 12, 2009
Delays and irritations go hand and hand with travel, but what might happen if you simply remain positive?

Seems the law of attraction is even hitting the church.

Will Bowen, a minister in Kansas City, Missouri, has set fire to a movement aptly titled, A Complaint Free World.

The purpose of the movement is simple: go 21 consecutive days without complaining. To help you along, wear the group’s signature purple bracelet, and every time you make a complaint, switch it to your other wrist.

Some people are able to make the 21 days in a month; others take a year. Bowen says that it takes an average of four to six months to complete the allotted three weeks complaint free, but that awareness of how much we complain just continues to build through the process.

Like the Law Of Attraction, the idea is that the more we complain, the more we have to complain about. Being positive brings positive changes to our lives, and frees us up in many different ways – emotionally, physically, energetically.

So I began to wonder, what would complaint free travel look like? Oh, lawdy.

Complaint Free Travel

One of my favorite points that Bowen makes is that most of us recognize how much other people complain, but not how much we ourselves complain.

Even thinking about all the things that have gone wrong in my travels, things like:

  • Flying out of Oakland for a four month jaunt, hungover, not fully moved out of my apartment although my lease ended that day, and arriving at 5:40am only to find out my flight was the next day;
  • Several pairs of underwear falling out of my backpack as they kicked us out of a bus in the dark of night, nowhere, Zambia;
  • Bawling my eyes out as I caught the last train out of my semester abroad in Florence with two huge suitcases that I could barely move and then realized I was on the wrong train,

All of these make me cringe at how much I’ve complained on the road.

And the truth is, most of those “things that went wrong” make for the best damn stories when you come back (especially to write about).

Change Your Experience

Complaint free travel means you’d have to hold your tongue when you get to sit on a runway for five hours waiting to take off.

It means you’d have to smile and mean it when miscommunication occurs at a restaurant where you think you’ve ordered garlic tofu and instead you get garlic rooster balls.

It also means that coming back to your hostel and finding a couple having sex on the sleeping bag you so neatly laid out earlier for easy access after pub closing time would dignify only a request to move to another mattress.

And yet, not complaining may open you up to people, places, and adventures that would otherwise have been nixed.

Think about landing the perfect job because you met someone on an organized tour that your friends deemed not hip enough, seeing the most amazing landscape on Earth when you decide to visit somewhere that is “known” to be a criminals haven, or getting to know the love of your life by sitting on that airport tarmac for five hours.

Welcome to traveling with gratitude.

How would complaint-free travel affect your trips? Share your thoughts below.

Discover Matador

Save Bookmark

We use cookies for analytics tracking and advertising from our partners.

For more information read our privacy policy.