My family and I are starting a much anticipated, much needed vacation. As I type, my son and I are on a plane headed west. Usually our spring vacations are to Florida, but this year thanks to us tying on to a work conference my husband is attending, we are having a new adventure to Arizona and California. Getting us to this point has been exhausting, but once I’ve had a good night’s sleep and feel warm sun on my bones, my energy level will begin to show the excitement and appreciation I feel deep inside.
I don’t exactly enjoy air travel. I’m not especially fearful of it, but I hate feeling nauseous if we have a bumpy ride, and I’m not a fan of waiting, sitting for long periods of time or feeling cramped. So I crossed Pilot and Flight Attendant off my list of “careers to have some day” a long time ago.
However, each time we do fly, I still appreciate the marvel of it. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, each flight can bring with it frustrations, delays, problems – and there is no lack of people who are thrilled to share their war stories of each bad experience. Yet…. we are sitting in a big huge metal thing that is hurling through the air at approximately 500 miles an hour. I know Aeronautical Engineers can explain why it can fly, but I am still amazed that it can. We will reach our destination, even with one stop over, by early evening. If we were driving, it would literally take days. We may be cramped, but are otherwise comfortable. We can sleep, read, listen to music, play with electronics, or just stare out the window – because someone else is doing the work of getting us there. A very nice woman just dropped off a beverage and snack for me to enjoy while I blog. Call me crazy, but I believe there could be far worse things to endure.
One of the benefits of travelling that I enjoy the most is doing it with my son. We are lucky, he has always been a good traveller…. Probably because we started him early — he was just weeks old when we took him on his first road trip. No matter whether via car, train, bus or plane, he’s up for the adventure. There is a pure joy and wonder in a child’s eyes and mind with each new experience. Sure, he’s 12 now, so some of the newness may have worn off a bit, but he still sees the fun in even the little things, and I love re-living some of it through him. Like the thumbs up and smirk he gave me after passing through security at the gate at the airport….the excited updates he gives me as we leave cold temperatures and head to warmer climates…his fascination over the upcoming time change…..even his unbridled appreciation over the fact that the Attendant let him have both peanuts AND cookies (“I just LOVE these cookies!”)… it is all awesome and makes me enjoy and appreciate the journey even more. And to think we haven’t even reached our destination yet!
For some, the act of “getting there” may seem agonizing. But for me, vacation has already started – with each mile that literally flies past the window, I feel more responsibilities and stresses falling off behind me. At this rate, by the time we meet up with my husband at his conference tonight, he will not see the uptight over-tired stressball he’s been married to lately, but the vacation-mode Real Woman who is ready to relax and have fun.
Life really is good.