Travel is hard. You have to pack up whatever you think you might need into a small suitcase, consider if you need to pack fluids in those 3 oz containers if you'll not be checking luggage, wear appropriate clothes for the trip (too hot or too cold on the plane? non binding slacks, especially for long flight), go through security in stocking feet making sure you've worn "airport socks" (aka socks without holes!) get wanded at airports with bored TSA agents (happened to me in Cody, Wy. 6 TSA agents, 5 passengers at the time = bored TSA agents; it also makes Cody one very secure airport!), find food at the airport past security, find coffee at the airport past security, find the restroom hopefully past security (if not, repeat the going through security step), hope your flight is online (especially if you have a connecting flight), line up for the "cattle call" airline and find a seat that you can call home for the next few hours or so, shove your carry on in the overhead bin, wait for the 10,000 feet ding before turning on your ipod (though if something the size of a postage stamp can hamper an airplane we've got big trouble!), hope the guy next to you doesn't encroach on your space (I may be small but I paid for my seat just like he paid for his!), listen to the weather report from the cockpit for your arrival city, listen to the Southwest flight attendents sing their version of the "Rawhide" song, land and then watch the plane drive the rest of the way to your arrival city because the landing strip is remote, watch as 90% of the plane gets on their cell phones the minute wheels are down, watch as 90% of the plane unbuckles their seatbelt before reaching the terminal, wait patiently as everyone stands up to leave when the doors haven't opened yet, walk out of the gangway into a strange airport and try to find signs directing you to the restrooms and the baggage claim, find the right carrousel for your flight, grab your bag and heave it off the belt, find the airport exit and hope that your ride hasn't forgotten about you!
Yes, travel is hard, but it is also rewarding. Travel allows us to expand our world, to see things we've never seen, to have experiences we've never had before. It's a way to see far away family and enjoy the celebrations that go with it. It opens up your mind to other cultures, other ways of doing things, to rituals and traditions that are foreign to you. And it reminds us that we are constantly learning new things, that education doesn't stop at graduation, that there's a whole world of things we don't know. But travel is one small step toward changing that ignorance.
My travel won't be exotic, but I'm sure I'll learn something new because every time we travel, even to a place we've been before, something has changed, or we find something we missed the last time. My travel won't be long, just a week, but there will be a while when time has slowed and it seems like a day can last forever and then there will be those days that fly right by.
So where would you like to go, on a fantasy trip? And what would you like to see or do there? Can you dream? If you can, you can make it happen! Bon Voyage!
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