Planning a Trip Abroad Take a Lot of Visualizing.

I was upset about something the other day – a letter-to-the-editor in the Maui News probably – and toward the end of the tirade my wife glanced up from her half of the paper and remarked, “You know, too much outrage probably isn’t good for you.”

No doubt she’s right. And besides, you’re probably tired of hearing about how John Mica is trying to screw Amtrak.

So let me tell you about how this morning – and I mean in the wee hours, because I couldn’t sleep – I was going through the NationalGeographic Fall 2013 Catalog. It’s got a great deal of stuff for travelers that I would love to buy.

I’m going to be in London next month, and last night I could visualize my entering the Duke of Cambridge restaurant to join my niece and her husband for dinner. I was looking quite smart wearing the Irish Donegal Tweed Cap on page 60 that’s priced at only $69, plus shipping.

But just then, the South African Ranger hat caught my eye. It costs $120, plus shipping, but is made of rugged leather and is “ready to accompany [me] on a lifetime of adventures.”

I compared the two photos for some time. Then … knowing I would never have the daring to wear either one of those hats, I turned the page.

That’s when I saw the “Pocketed Security Socks” which promise “peace of mind when traveling in unfamiliar territory”. They look like ordinary socks, but just below the elastic top there’s a zippered pocket where you can stash your cash. Also, they say, credit cards and keys. What a good idea! Practical, simple, and so much easier than trying to get at all that stuff when it’s sealed inside a pouch under your trousers.

Again I visualize. I have just dined at le Café Antoine on rue la Fontaine in Paris. The waiter approaches my table and presents l’addition with a flourish. I smile, bend over, fumbling with the tablecloth, and unzip my socks. It was at that precise moment that I visualized the look on the French waiter’s face.

On second thought, $32.95 is a lot to pay for three pairs of socks. Even socks with zippers. And there’s the shipping, too.