Saturday, December 19, 2009


"You're like a boomerang," said my older brother when I talked to him last week on the phone. Yes, I am, in the sense that I flew across the country back and forth three weeks ago and then again last night.

My journey to and from school is always long. I never appreciated living "close" to an airport (under 1 hour driving time away) until now! When I booked my flight, I knew that I needed to have at least a 6-hour window of time from when I leave my room to the actual take-off. Time to wait for the taxi to come, to take me to the train station. Wait for the train, get on the train, make it to the other station. Walk to the bus, wait for the bus, wait for them to load the bus, then make the trip to the airport. Wait in several lines to check in, go through security, then wait to board. Get on the flight, wait to get to the destination, wait for the baggage, wait to get picked up. It is a long, long process!

My waiting time is usually filled with reading, naps, staring off into space, watching the scenery, and doing some thinking. Yesterday I realized that it's been at least a year and a half since I traveled with someone else. It gets lonely traveling by yourself all the time. I don't like to impose on others around me, so when things get frustrating or annoying, there is no one to gripe to. Any observations I make, I just think to myself. I carry everything myself, eat by myself, and sit by myself. This wouldn't be so bad if I only took one or two flights a year, but I travel a lot. This year, I've logged 14 flight segments. For the last 5 years, that's been my average I believe.

The good thing is that I'm a pro at flying now. I know how to pack well and quickly. I'm prepared for the trip, I have everything ready before I get to the counter. I can zip through security when my turn comes. I am familiar with several airports now and I know how things work. However, I fear that the novelty of it all has worn off. I no longer pay attention to the flight attendants' spiel or the general comments made by the pilots. I don't check my watch several times while in the security line - I'll get through when I get through. I know to drink a lot of water before the flight, to bring emergency snacks in case I get stuck on the runway, and I bring earplugs as well now to block out the noise from crying babies and loud sighers.

The only thing that is exciting to me about flying now is what is on the other end - a new place, a familiar face, and the hope of good things to come.

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