Let us all take a moment and think about something for a minute. Let’s think about what all you can do in the span of 16 hours.
You could have two good nights of sleep. You could work two work days. You could drive through 5 states. You could do anything, really.
Now imagine sitting in a small seat. In a metal contraption. With 300 other people. For 16 blessed hours.
Also, imagine that being your third flight of the day.
This might be depressing for most people, but to me it was like climbing Mount Everest, or running up those stairs like Rocky, pumping your fists high into the air in a sign of victory. I mean, how many other people can say that they’ve been on a 16 hour flight? I was fortunate enough to get this opportunity to even be on this flight in the first place. You know why I was fortunate? Because that 16 hours meant I was going somewhere worth while. Somewhere foreign. Somewhere far, far away from home.
My first impression of the plane was pretty much: holy shit. Ladylike, I know. My sweet Southern charm was wearing thin with my lack of sleep and fast food diet. But really, holy shit. The plane was bigger than my entire high school, I was sure of it. My eyes were filled with pink and purple lights as if to set “the mood” of our trip. Walking through first class was like a slap in the face. 16 hours wouldn’t be so bad if I got to lay down and drink champagne until I forgot where I was going in the first place.
Then I got to my section of the plane. Again, I would never imagine that something this big could fly. I couldn’t even imagine that it would float on top of water. This was a mansion filled with tiny seats and warm peanuts.
The numbers ticked off as I searched for my last seat in my last leg of the journey. My fingers were crossed that I would not have to sit in the dreaded middle seat for this long flight.
Finally, luck was mine.
I had finally acquired a window seat. Third times the charm, right?
A couple sat down next to me and greeted me kindly. They were Australian and on their way back from Vegas for a holiday. They were adorable.
I filled them in on where I was heading and why and they had the same expression as mostly everyone else.
You’re flying across the world for a guy?
I just nodded and smiled, butterflies filling up my tummy like they always did when I thought about how crazy all of this was.
Then it was time for take off. And let me tell you one thing guys, I couldn’t feel a thing. We were up in the air before I even realized that we had left the ground. The view from my window was to die for. I had never been to California before, and the view from the top was simply breathtaking. The lights of the city sparkled in my eyes and I soaked it all in. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. Land was out of sight within minutes and I was now staring at a map of black with a bright pale moon hanging high in the sky.
After they served us dinner (at two in the morning), the mood lighting changed from a bright pink to a soothing blue. It was now time for everyone to go to sleep. Everyone except me that is. I was too anxious. I wanted to talk to my boyfriend so badly. I had missed him more than ever even though we hadn’t seen each other in 8 long months. And for those you who do not know the story of how we met, no we did not meet on christianmingle.com and I was not flying across the world for a man I did not know. But that’s another story.
I spent most of that trip standing by the bathrooms talking to strangers, something I was very good at. I spoke with people from all over the world and heard so many stories about their lives, including why and where they were traveling to. I talked to the flight attendants about where I should eat at and what I should see when I landed. The longing for their homes that they missed dearly shone brightly in their eyes and I felt as though I knew what they were going through. Leaving home is hard. Leaving family is hard. Leaving friends is hard. Leaving your life behind is hard.
Leaving is hard.
But you do it anyways. You suck up that pain and heartbreak and you do it. Because sometimes you just have to. You don’t really have a choice in the matter.
Like my favorite author John Green says in this quote (yes, I know I’m using him again as a reference):
“It is so hard to leave–until you leave. And then it’s the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”
Never had a quote been so real to me in my life. I was gone. I had left. I wasn’t hurting anymore. All of the fear that I had tucked inside of me about this trip was gone. I was independent for the first time in my life and I was the happiest I had ever been. I could not wait for the plane to land. I could not wait to see the man I loved so dearly. I could not wait to see Australian soil for the first time and to see if the air tasted differently on my tongue.
I glanced at my watch. Eight hours had passed. I still had eight more to go. The last leg of my long journey was almost through.
That is, if I could find my way through customs.
Oh, and also if I could find my boyfriend.
Not to mention meeting his family for the first time ever….
The hardest part of my trip hadn’t even happened yet and I was scared shitless.
This should be rather interesting…..
To be continued….
Until next time!!!