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rafael nadalRafael Nadal is a traveler after my own heart. After more than a decade of crisscrossing the globe to play in one tournament or another, the pro tennis player from Spain has learned a few things about travel.

In a recent interview with CNN (see the video below), he reveals that, like me, he prefers to pack light. For a two-month trip, he brings only three bags, including his tennis rackets. (He carries those rackets as hand luggage rather than checking them — a wise move. Remember when Delta wrecked a $10,000 guitar that a musician had checked?)

Like most of us, Nadal appreciates a hotel room with a comfy bed that’s easy on his back. And he admits to an endearing propensity to be late to the airport — something I’ve personally improved upon after missing a flight a few years back.

16 Ways to Get Through the Airport Faster

Of course, a man ranked at No. 16 on a recent Forbes’ list of highly paid athletes probably isn’t jetting around in coach class the way I am — nor am I the part owner of a beach resort. (If you want to stay at Rafa’s digs, check into the Secrets Aura Cozumel.) And I can’t say I’ve ever tried to get a more spacious room at a hotel to make room for my massage table. Must be nice.

That said, Nadal and I have one other thing in common, whether we’re sitting in first-class or the back of the bus. Even after so many years and so many miles, he still gets nervous on bumpy flights. “If the plane moves, some turbulence, I am nervous flier,” he says. “My hands start to sweat.” Me too, Rafa. Me too.

Fear of Flying

Check out the full interview in the video below.

— written by Sarah Schlichter

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