Our world is quickly becoming one of logic and science, and superstitions of the past are often mocked, thought to be little more then silly folklore and wives tales. But, whatever your opinion of superstitious rituals, what can’t be denied is that we are all guilty of them. From touching a piece of metal when entering a tunnel, to telling someone ‘bless you‘ when they sneeze, we all have out little rituals that we feel compelled to enact, and this goes for even the most staunchly scientific among us.
Some of the strangest (and widely believed) of superstitions are those related to travel, and it isn’t hard to understand why. We all get a little edgy leaving our comfort zone and traveling to a new place, especially when the culture is substantially different. This anxiety is intensified by stepping onto a plane, or a ship, or even just spending hours in a cramped car as you drive into the unknown.
But, however off these little rituals are, it can’t be denied that they help easy some of that discomfort in the usual stress of the hustle and bustle of traveling, so here is a list of some of the weirdest travel superstitions, and I bet you will find that you have done one or two of them yourself.
Never To Return
A common belief in many countries is that there is an action to dictate whether or not you will return to an area. From tossing a leaf into a lake to see if it floats or sinks, to throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain in Rome, the world is rife with these superstitions. I have never found them to be true myself, but they are a romantic notion that adds a little mystery to a country, and that’s worth all the coins in my pocket.
The Number 13
Anxiety over the number 13 is not limited to travel, of course. This number has long since been considered ‘unlucky’, and to some as a bringer of true tragedy. Where did the fear come from? Theer are actually a number of reasons why 13 has become such a jaded numeral, and it spans across many generations from all over the world.
Once reason is it’s association with the last supper, the 13th guest having been Judas, the Apostle who betrayed Jesus to the Romans.
Numerologists also consider 13 to be a ‘bad’ number, because it is one more then 12, which is considered the numeral of true completion.
No matter what the reason, the belief is so widely held that several airlines refuse to have a row 13 on their planes. Unnecessary? Perhaps. But there are actually people who will refuse to sit on the 13th row, so in the end, it must have seemed easier then arguing.
Lucky rabbit’s feet are becoming less and less common, especially as animal protection laws are increased. But anything can be a lucky charm, and plenty of people have their own that they carry onto the plane with them, whether it’s a lucky coin you found on the ground on that one amazing vacation, or that old pair of underpants that has the hole in the left cheek.
Even I have a lucky charm, I am slightly ashamed to admit. It’s an old, ratty blanket made of a soft material that I just can’t travel without. Even though I rarely even look at it when I am on the ground, I can’t seem to fly without it on my lap, and the one time I tried I found myself with an unusual sense of panic that I knew was completely irrational.
But so is the nature of superstitions, and as long as people travel, they are sure to keep their own close to their heart, logical or not.
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