I have a process I go through when preparing for a big trip.
To me, a big trip is more than a few days and requires a significant distance. Typically, big trips take me away from most of my family and friends. I’ve gone on four big trips in my life thus far, ranging from 1 week to 4 weeks long.
I tend to panic: I realize I have a big trip coming up and I go through every single possibility for any and everything I may need. It leads to conversations like,
Me: “I have four pairs of shoes packed.”
Anybody Else: “Oh my God, why?”
Me: “You never know when you need platform heels.”
AE: “Please don’t pack those.”
You never know when you’ll need a platform heel though.
I go back and forth, all while procrastinating the real preparation. Reading up on things to do, understanding how to get around, getting a greater feel for an area. The real research.
Next thing I know, I’m in the airport, trying to adjust to the reality that is the big trip, all while having wasted so much time focusing on the stuff that doesn’t matter and now it’s too late!
Then I cry. I cry a lot. Big trips make me cry. I… I’m an emotional person at security checkpoints. Please ignore and go ahead of me as my tears hit my laptop in the security checkpoint.
I’ve realized one major thing from these experiences: I really, really love airports.
- I love the hodgepodge of necessities you didn’t know you needed but you come to find out you do.
- This manicure’s a lil’ pricey but…. I guess I need one?
- I love the restaurants that disappoint you, but serve alcohol so it’s okay.
- I love how there’s always a coffee place that isn’t a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts that also disappoints you, but sometimes that’s all there is and you just need caffeine.
- I love eavesdropping on people’s conversations.
- I especially love it when those conversations are in Spanish or Portuguese. It’s like a mini challenge.
- I love watching airplanes take off and land. Modern marvels, man, it never gets old to me that us humans have made that happen and have gotten that good at it!
- I love seeing people come and go, sometimes in a rush, sometimes taking their time. It’s people-watching overload.
- I love the fact that in airports, everybody’s in this together. We all want to make our flights, our connecting flights, our children’s birthdays, our family gatherings, a friendly visit, or a seminar in France on the merits of cultural heritage.
Speaking of which, I’m on my way to France. I’m typing this from the airport now and am utterly excited, anxious, confident, and filled with butterflies. I’m trying to stay focused so that I can arrive in Paris to give my all to this interesting seminar and discussion, but I’m also feeling really rusty. I’m not sure if my academic skills are still up to par! But we’ll see. I have a few days to find my feet in Paris, so here’s hoping that it comes easy to me.
So yes, A Ticket for Two is back, baby, and we’re going to Paris!
See you there!