I am fortunate that I don’t have to travel very much on business. It’s not that the experience isn’t interesting—it is. Feeling yourself in the mainstream of America along with the real “road warriors” that travel all the time from one place to another is an adventure in and of itself.
One that does get old after you miss flight connections and you end up spending whole days waiting for new flights in the inner sanctum of airport food courts and waiting areas. I believe on this last trip the drone of “We apologize for the delay” was almost constant—the domino effect of winter weather taking its toll on our sensibilities. The waiting does begin to grind you down no matter how well you have prepared yourself. For me the preparation was having a USA Today, a fully loaded Ipod, a journal, some books and chewing gum and a waterbottle.
You will be surpirsed at how quickly you can go through all of that stuff and end up just watching the crowd and listening for the next announcement telling you that your crew has not arrived yet and it may be another half hour or more before they show. And that even when they do show up you will all have to wait until your jet arrives.
That just about sums up air travel during the big storm winter times. Sketchy at best. Crowded airports, frazzeled nerves and not enough reading material or attention span to go the distance.
That’s the down side of wintertime air travel. The upside is the occasional interesting conversation with another passenger and the thought processes that seem to be broadened during a period of time away from home and family.
Old sayings aren’t old sayings for nothing: absence does make the heart grow fonder.
During my last flight into Greensboro, North Carolina, I struck up a conversation with a gentleman to my right. He had just pulled out a bible from his briefcase and had turned to Jerimiah. After finishing my journal, I boldly asked him what the old guy had to say on this fine evening 22 thousand feet above the ground.
What proceeded was a 15 minute conversation about church and all that kind of stuff. We talked about our struggles and collective walk within the Christian faith among other things. I then went back to my book and het took his computer out and began watching the latest superman movie. We landed a bit later, picked up our bags and gave each other the high sign and both headed home to wife and family.
This conversation was significant in other ways as well. On the flight to my business meeting, I didn’t interact with the guy sitting next to me at all, nor did he say anything to me. Go figure.
Part of the story that I left out is the fact that no matter what the reason for a trip, I don’t usually sleep very well in the motels and hotels along the way. The pillows are too big or the heater to loud or the sheets to stiff—whatever the reason, nights seem to be a series of waking ups and going back to sleep times. Mornings find me almost refreshed but not quite as ready to go as when home.
So this morning, I allowed myself time to sleep in somewhat after having gotten home much later than if the planes had been running on time.
I feel refreshed and ready to take the next step—whatever that may be: life has already begun.