When I had to write my passport number on an immigration form for the fourth time in two weeks, I realized I knew the number by heart. I didn’t have to even look it up.
Aha! I thought, with gratification and a smug sense of self-satisfaction that is so irritating in travelers. I have finally become a Globetrotter.
But am I really? Globetrotters have certain things in common besides shaky home lives and a glazed look in their eyes that indicates they seriously have no idea which airport they’re in today.
Are you a Globetrotter? Here’s a 12-question quiz:
1 Do you know your passport number by heart?
2 Do you know the names of the airport parking lot drivers?
3 Do the TSA people know you, and not because you tried to smuggle a kitchen knife through security last week?
4 Do you have a suitcase in the closet that is pretty much always packed?
5 Do you have euros or yen in your wallet?
6 Have you ever accidently tried to use a peso or ruble in your office vending machine?
7 Do you know the airport codes for obscure airports around the world, like Hanoi or Edinburgh? (Don’t peek, they’re HAN and EDI.
8 Do you have enough hotel points to take your family to Hawaii?
9 Do front-desk managers at certain hotels welcome you like a long-lost relative?
10 Do you know 24-hour time so well that you don’t even have to calculate on your fingers that 21:00 is (um, 13, 14, 15, 16 ...) 9 p.m.?
11 Can you say “thank you” in multiple languages even if you don’t speak them?
12 Have you achieved airline elite status for at least four years in a row?
Scoring If you answered yes to 8 to 12 of the questions, you are a god of the road and sky. We bow down to you, even if your family cannot recall your face.
If you answered yes to 4 to 7 questions, you are a rugged traveler who knows the ropes, and where the best parking spots are at the airport.
If you answered yes to 0-3 questions, you need more seasoning. Get out there and travel.