When you’re little, you read The Magic School Bus and learn about how Mrs. Frizzle’s class takes a field trip to the clouds and you wonder if that’s even possible and half believe it just because you want it to be true. Well, now that I am twelve years older and supposedly more knowledgable, I have come to the conclusion that it is true, except the school bus is a metal box with wings and you can’t exit it no matter how nicely or persistently you ask. You can swim through the clouds in blistering weather in the middle of winter or on a hot day in July, and no matter how many problems you have, they all disappear when you are surrounded by those white pillows of your imagination-come-true.
Every time I fly, my world spins upside down and I enter into this alternate reality of time travel and teleportation. Over my lifetime, I have been extremely blessed to have been able to travel the world. It’s something that I don’t take for granted at all and something that has changed me as a person wholeheartedly.
Traveling is in my top five list of favorite things to do, right up there with car sing-a-longs, quiet mornings at the local coffee shop, and s’mores. Airports are this magical place where you can step off the ground and end up anywhere in the entire world in a matter of hours. Airports are a place where I have found myself sprinting down the hallway, shoes in my hand, trying to make it to a gate, or simply just sitting there and people-watching. I’ve watched military families reunite (yes, I cry every time) and little children go on their first flight all by themselves. Let’s just take it back to when I was approximately nine years old and the solo travelers in the row in front of us got to pass out the peanuts and I was SO mad because nobody had ever asked me to pass out the peanuts. What a rip off. I’m still bitter.
On a related note, I just don’t understand how in the world people don’t enjoy airplane rides. Let’s just take a moment here.. On any given airplane ride, you sit in a semi-comfortable seat and nobody can contact you for at least an hour depending on how long your flight is. You can take a nap, watch a movie, count how many times the person next to you snores, etc. AND THEY BRING YOU SNACKS AND REFRESHMENTS. I mean, I really don’t see how it can get any better than that. I especially enjoy international flights because you can take at least three naps and watch at least three movies and still have time to go to the bathroom.
And I guess one thing I’ve learned lately is that the airplane is a wonderful place to have conversations. I’m gonna be honest here, I used to hate people. Not all people, just the people I sat next to on airplanes. Because I mean, the nerve of them to even say hi to me and then proceed to ask me about my future? Who did they think they were? This was very counterproductive because up to recently, it had always been on my bucket list to make friends with somebody I sat next to on an airplane. And then one day, I was taking a late night flight from Los Angeles to Sacramento that was basically completely empty and I had an entire row to myself which I was very excited about. And then, the second before they closed the door to take off, this guy with a skateboard walks onto the plane and just so happens to have the seat right next to mine, taking away my empty row before I could blink my eyes. And I knew when he walked up that he was a talkative one. I just knew it. And I was now dreading this flight because I was still in my “can’t-talk-to-people-on-airplanes” phase. But little did I know that that flight would change my entire opinion of airplane conversations. He was one of the sweetest people I had ever met and he probably learned more about me in that hour and a half than my friends learn about me in two weeks. It was a moment. I finally came to the realization that it’s okay to talk to people you don’t know and learn their story because everybody has a spectacular story to tell. You never know who you’re going to sit next to. It could be a really obnoxious person who smells bad, but it could also be your new best friend.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for existing. You are wonderful. Happy Thursday! (It is Thursday, right?) Stay tuned for the second part of this travel series coming to a computer near you soon! bye.