It's 3:30 in the morning. This is one of the reasons that I really hate traveling -- not the hobby -- just the actual act of getting from place to place. This jet lag has definitely gotten the better of me, and for the past three nights I've been wide awake between 3 and 4 am; ready for the day. But jet lag is just one of the nuisances - a necessary evil for a greater, grander good. The thing is, there are just so many more: lost luggage, paying for luggage, mean airport people, silly security procedures, and ultimately finding the place that was once home feels a little more foreign than you ever expected it could.
In the past month I've flown eight times. While waiting to board my flight home from Belgium, I determined that I have been on fifty post-9/11 flights. Fifty. It made me think of just how much money I've spent on flying, how many miles I've covered, how many times I've had to remove my shoes, take off my jacket, and dump my bottled water to get through security. It made me think about all of the random people I've met on planes and in airports, how many flight attendants have annoyed me, how many days I've felt perfectly caught up with the world and its happenings after watching hours of the same news stories on CNN. It made me think of how many delays, cancellations, technical problems, shaky take-offs and rough landings I've experienced. It made me think of how many times I've cried for the person or place I've left behind. Or for the person or place that I'm about to see. Or for the person that is supposed to be in the empty seat next to me. And with all of that, I've determined that I'd be just fine with taking a break from the airport for a little while.