Airports have become something enduring to me. People zipping along in all different directions. Suitcases of all different colors, wheeling along. Everyone’s wish is to get through airport security as quickly and smoothly as possible (even though it never usually is quick and smooth).
Airports. I love them.
All the different signs around, gate calls, tagging bags. Where is each person going? Who are they visiting? What adventure are they about to embark on? It’s interesting to think about and something that keeps you from having to think about the way overpriced airport food. (anyone got $500 bucks they have to spare so I can buy a burger?)
During my last semester in college and for a few months after graduating, I was in and out of airports a lot. Going to different places and taking it all in. There’s something people often don’t talk about when they travel: airports and flying. Why?! Probably because it isn’t all that exciting most of the time. You gotta sit in those super tiny seats. And all they serve on the flight is one drink so you get super hungry.
Well, over my several flights covering a few months, I got to see a lot and meet a lot of people.
2nd time visiting Chicago in the span of a month. This 2nd time was shorter but way more exciting because I got to be a featured guest on a national talk show! (a post on that is coming soon!). Excited from the trip, I boarded my flight back to Austin. It was nighttime, the plane had been boarding for the last several minutes and no one was in my row yet. I got comfortable and thought it was nice to have an entire row to myself.
Before getting comfortable to lay down on my impromptu bed, a woman appeared before me and and pointed to the window seat over from me. We each got settled into the seats and the plane took off.
A friendly “What brought you to Chicago?” turned into an awesome conversation of the next hour. The woman and owned and operated her own writing and editing company with a small team. While on the flight, we talked about career changes, transitions, finding purpose and so much more. She talked about all the different jobs and roles she had held throughout the years and what she learned when finally taking the leap into entrepreneurship.
Shaking our empty cups of ice, we continued to talk. Being a Owner/CEO of a company, playwright on the side, and past drummer (!!), she really was such an incredible resource of experience and knowledge.
Learning more about her entrepreneurship journey, she mentioned h0w she didn’t have a full set of clients or big amount of savings when quitting her 9-5 to pursue her business full-time. Something she said about the experience was instantly quotable.
“Sometimes you aren’t ready and you just have to have this ‘fuck it’ attitude and just start doing it”
I left the flight, not only with a great trip behind me but also a great conversation full of learning.
New York City
4th trip to The Big Apple. I’m obsessed with the place. A weather storm was going on outside, flights were delayed and cancelled, and long lines and pissed off people were abundant. After waiting in line for an hour and a half to get a boarding pass for my updated flight, I sunk down into the hard faux leather chair of the flight waiting area. It was crowded and a young woman from Mexico sat down next to me.
Before long, we started talking about where we were headed. Me to New York City and her to Mexico. She worked 12-hour days at a Nisson car factory. The work was stressful. Everything was all about being quick. Get as many cars made as possible. There was no slowing down.
She mentioned how the work was hard but she lived in a town where she was one of the lucky ones because she had a decent-paying job to help support her family. So many families around her struggled to make ends meet. Her job was hard and stressful but she said she focused instead on the smile on her kids faces when she got home after a long day. The money her and her husband made from their jobs got them a house and they were able to provide for their kids.
Stop and think. Think about what you’re doing and how it is helping and hurting you. Think about ways to make your life more enjoyable. Things aren’t rosy and great all the time but even when going through a stressful time, their is always a light guiding you. Find it.
After being in NYC for the 4th time, I booked my return flight. This flight was one going from Dallas to Austin. 50 minutes. So short. Even in the short amount of time, I got to meet with Denny, an older woman who along with her husband, were going back to their Austin home after visiting their son who was in the Air Force and stationed in North Carolina.
Upon first glance, she thought I was a college kid coming back from a spring break trip. She went on to talk about other things. Crossword puzzles. This lady loved crossword puzzles. LOVED them.
Their was a challenge.
50 minute flight and a full newspaper crossword puzzle to finish. The outcome? She did it! She finished the crossword puzzle in less than 50 minutes. This woman was a wizard! I’ve never done more than three words on those things, let alone finish one in such a short time.
On the Road to NYC
This one took place on a Megabus in route to NYC, rather than at an airport or on a plane. I still thought it would be fun to include. Back last summer, I had decided I wanted to go to NYC again (I hadn’t been in five years). With not a lot of money to spare, taking a bus rather than a plane.
Anyone who has ever taken a Greyhound, Megabus or something similar knows the struggle that comes with riding on them. They suck. Close quarters, not enough space, smelly people, smelly things, and types of people way different than airplane flying people. All of those things and more happened while on the bus from Chicago to New York City.
On route, I sat next to a a 63-year-old woman. Closing in a stop to Cleveland, Ohio. She displayed her phone to me, urging me to look at a picture of a dress. She wanted to look pretty, she said. Her 45-year high school reunion was coming up. She was excited about it and meeting people again, especially an old arch nemesis she had had while in high school.
She wanted to look good for the reunion and went through all who she wanted to meet while there and how much planning had gone into actually attending the event.
Honk. Honk. Bus stop.
We were in Cleveland, Ohio. Her destination.
She waived goodbye to me, telling me how great it was to have someone to talk to about the reunion and other life things.
I really hope she had a good time at the reunion.
Traveling. It’s a fun thing. Airports? There usually not looked at as something enjoyable. Long lines, security, and delayed flights. They’re not always like that though. Something lost in a lot of travel posts is the interactions a person can have along the way. It’s easy to just post pretty pictures of destinations. Interaction is important. Don’t forget that!