From as early as I can remember, I’ve always loved to travel. My mom always used to tell me that I could have had a decent bank of sky miles by the time I was one year old! We flew for free back then (perk of having family members working for Delta) but that’s beside the point. We frequently took road trips all over the south and southwest as well. I would get way too excited about staying in hotels. Actually, I still do.
It’s only been in the past couple of years that my love for travel has evolved from being something really cool to do as a kid/young adult to something awe inspiring and dare I say emotional as I’ve grown older. Let me explain…
Several members of my family currently work and/or have retired from the travel industry. My maternal grandfather retired from Delta as a “Red Coat”. My father and step-mother are air traffic controllers. I have an uncle who is a commercial pilot. And, my paternal grandfather retired from Eastern Airlines. So, to say it sort of runs in my blood would not be an understatement. And yes, I do believe that these kinds of things are ingrained in us from the beginning. The lyric “I got it from my mama” didn’t come from nowhere as they say.
I’ve recently started traveling for work so I’ve been flying quite a bit. I was sitting on the tarmac watching the line of planes in front of us take off down the runway when I felt my throat tighten up and tears fill my eyes. My mind was going from the science behind flight, the excitement of just being on a plane in general, the trips I had planned with my brother, the logistics of air traffic control, and the list goes on. I felt a few things; excited that I have a job that is allowing me to travel; inspired by the said excitement to continue doing what I love to do; giddy about the physics of how fast planes have to be going before they can take off, and how the shape of the airplane helps the air lift it up; amazed at how the pilots have to be able to detect wind patterns and speed to manage the angle of the plane in order to remain on course; intrigued by the level of concentration it takes for controllers to keep planes appropriately separated and therefore the passengers safe. I’m a bit of a science nerd, I’ll admit but it was all pretty overwhelming in the moment.
But, on top of that, the traveling I’ve done in the last couple of years compared to when I was younger has become so much more interesting and inspiring. When we’re young we don’t always appreciate what we’re actually seeing/doing/eating, etc as we travel. As an adult, I feel like I’ve completely engrossed myself in each destination. Regardless of if I’m traveling solo or with a group, I try to make it a point to eat what, and where, the locals eat and not just run to the nearest American chain restaurant. I try to really absorb my surroundings when I travel.
Travel has changed me. It has made me a more patient and open-minded person. In the last 12 months it has been something I’ve come to rely on to take me away from life’s attempts at bringing me down. And, while I’ve always been eager to learn, travel has even taken that to a new level. I don’t know where, or who, I’d be today today without it. And, not to be a total cliche but, I can’t wait to see where travel will take me next.
Is there a destination that has completely changed your perspective on travel? I must go there.