Friday, July 3, 2015

Musings from airports

Hello again! I have taken to writing a physical journal on this trip so I can document as much as possible while away from my loved ones.  I hope these typed journal entries are enjoyable and promote you to think about traveling in the future.  Here is my first journal entry. Thanks for reading!

July 1, 2015
                The website said to show up 2 hours early for International flights. Too bad I showed up, as requested.  I was one of two people at the airport for about 30-45 minutes.  Oh well, I read and it gave time for my nerves to calm.  I was afraid my check baggage would weigh too much, but thankfully it was half the maximum requirement! Woo hoo! While waiting in the TSA line I had a conversation with a guy who works with the UN. He was headed to Siberia to watch the countries version of Tribal Olympics.  I thought my day was going to be long. This poor guy is traveling across like 12 time zones. Oh my!
                I remember why flying freaks me out. It’s like riding a roller coaster that is thousands of miles above ground.
                I safely landed at Chicago O’Hare and began my 4 hour layover.  Thankfully they have fairly easy to understand signs, lots of ways to get updates on your flight and places to get some grub. I found a market that sells fresh fruits and veggies so I have a little food to keep me full without eating a bunch of junk fast food. 
                While in Chicago I was taken under the wing of a couple flying back home to North Carolina after a U2 concert.  The wife and I talked quite a bit. She had an accent from NY. It was fun to listen to her. The couple are retired teachers! They watched my luggage when I had to go to the bathroom. I am so thankful for that alone, as I had to go to the bathroom multiple times while we waited.  Speaking of waiting, airports will teach you patience.  According to the constant updates from American Airlines, our flight appeared to be on schedule.  It wasn’t.  I am thankful we weren’t on our original plane as it was grounded for mechanical problems.  I’ll spend time chatting up an awesome older, retired couple over getting on a broken plane! The additional time to get a working plane eats into my layover before London.  That’s okay as long as I can walk for a little bit, go to the bathroom and make my flight.
                While in Chicago I had a few interesting thoughts.
1.       It is amazing how many people take an airplane to a destination only to part ways, join others and continue on their journey.  You never really know another person’s story or life.  You should always be kind. You never know how someone is feeling, you are a spectator in a moment of their life, make the most of it.
2.       Sitting hurts after a while. Period.
3.       There are still nice people in the world.  You’d be amazed how many of them are waiting for their plane to show up.
4.       Kids can be entertained by the simplest things, like simply seeing an airplane through a window.
5.       Four hours of sleep isn’t nearly enough when you’re traveling all day, internationally.
6.       Having my feet touch “ground” between the legs of the flight helped me cope with the distance, both from friends and family AND my body and the ground while on the plane.

I hope I am able to sleep some on the way to London from Raleigh. I am so very tired.

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