Greetings From The Sky
I love traveling by myself.
Of course, I love going places with loved ones, but there's just something I enjoy about a solo travel day. Maybe today is especially juicy because I've got a whole 10 days of dance and song and friends ahead of me in a city I've been waiting to strategically visit.
I've always loved air travel. I'm not immune to the occasional snark at a $16 sandwich, but I can usually look past the security procedures and inflated price tags to something I don't usually allow myself proper access to... Time.
Time travel and teleportation aren't yet in wide use (I'm sure Elon Musk is working on it), so the time it takes to get somewhere is pretty consistent, even at (checks flight tracker) 557 mph, 39,000 feet above the earth. Sure, that time might start at 5am and be full of bag-dragging and sardine-like sitting conditions, but that time is your own. You can finally catch up on reading, journal with no prerogative, or watch that movie you meant to see in theaters. You can meditate. Honestly, if you don't meditate on a plane, you're missing out. The fuzzy hum of the AC and the space constraints set the perfect tone for a little stillness of mind and body. In short, air travel offers you a little time frame to do one or two things you don't do enough for yourself, whether it's kicking the crossword's ass or just letting your mind wander. The time it takes you to get to your destination is out of your hands. Also, no one will resent you for being on a flight that gets delayed. A flight is an exercise in letting go of time management for a while and being free. Hand me that sudoku, I'm killing time. :)
I like observing all the other folks in transit, too. Airports are a hodge podge of different cultures and habits. I always notice the kids running around, their parents keeping track of toys and bags and food and strollers and passports. I also have a habit of watching people's movies over their shoulder. Even without the sound on, I get drawn in! I can't explain this.
My favorite thing, though, is watching the desk/flight attendants at work. They some how stay organized and polite fielding thousands of travelers through the day, and they constantly say funny things on the intercom or as they're passing out pretzels. I get tickled when someone makes an announcement, cuts out, and just gives up halfway through, because they said the wrong thing or someone interrupted them with new info. This is hilarious to me. I'm so glad announcements aren't automated yet.
Today on the tarmac in Denver, the pilot went on the intercom to say, "Yeaahhh, I don't know why we're still here. We're late. Everyone knows it. I don't know why we haven't been given the go ahead. I'm ready to go." ...They keep it real on Southwest.
It all serves as a reminder that flights are part of a massive, complex system operated globally 24/7, and with all the things weather and miscommunication can do, most flights still get you there almost exactly when they said they would. On top of that, the system is regulated, observed, and operated by human beings! Regular people who have bad days and good. People working out their joke material flight after flight. Pilots who have landed 5 planes and 5,000. A flight isn't a boring necessity. It's a window into life you don't normally get back home.
I like things that get me out of my head and into how curious and epic the world is. I can get stressed out trying to stay with a group, or get sucked into the frustrated mood of someone who hates all the security checks and gate searches. But when it's just me, I take my time, eat chips before 9am, meander around, and laugh at the little things.
Thanks as always for reading!
I'm aiming to attend 7 auditions in 10 days, starting tomorrow morning. Stay tuned :)