Leavin’ on a Jet Plane…don’t know when I’ll be back again
My excitement is actually palatable. I am thrilled. Thrilled. Thrilled. And I don’t even have my plane ticket yet…but I will on Monday. It takes very little to make me happy. Rather, I should re-state that, it takes a very small category of things to make me truly happy, and travel just happens to be one of them. I am going back to Nepal in order to see my husband through the immigration meeting, to visit a refugee camp or two, and hopefully score an article to publish on microfinance or Nepali politics, to boot…Oh, yes, this will be a productive trip. But first! I get to get on the airplane.
I know air travel is supposed to be awful, and anymore in a way it is. But it is also highly exciting, and admit it, just a little bit magic. For example, I go to sleep on my outbound flight from Newark and when I wake up, I am just a few hours from New Delhi. That is still magic in my eyes. I don’t mind the lines checking in, security doesn’t really bother me- it is a hassle we all must endure- but I LOVE it when I board the plane, and get my little nest going in front of me with my less than three ounce a piece potions and lotions, elixirs for my skin, comfy funky socks I wouldn’t be caught dead in public anywhere else in, throw my unruly curls into a ponytail, put on a hideously comfortable outfit and start a movie on my little screen on the seat back in front of me. Oh yeah, when I am in that place, it is the closest to Zen I think I might be able to achieve in this lifetime. The fourteen hour flight doesn’t bother me really. I sleep a lot, a benefit of being absurdly short for an American woman, watch some great movies I haven’t had time to see, munch on the awful yet somehow appealing airline food, and occasionally strike up conversation with those next to me. I am not one of those “talker” people on the plane, but if I find opportunity for good conversation, as I have on few occasions, I go for it. But what really gets me going is that I know from the moment that I sit on that airplane seat, my adventure is about to begin. I may plan my trips, have an idea what might happen, but I never really know what is going to happen while I travel…that to me is the coolest part of all.
When my plane lands and my magical little journey has come to an end, despite the lack of a nice bed to sleep on, despite the quasi-food I have ingested, I am usually exhilarated as the real adventure begins when I step off the tarmac into a land that is not really my own…I am usually a bit too upbeat to make the custom and immigration officers comfortable, but that is ok, after a thorough check of my bags, and maybe me (eek!) I am on my way …as I climb down the stairs, and walk out through the crowd greeting their friends and family; I find my husband, and maybe just where I belong...for now.