I love reposting blogs from Karen!
I Traveled Most Weeks for a Month & This is What I Learned check out her site Millennial Mouth
March was travel madness for me. From going to the UK for work to Vegas to see Taylor Swift, to finally, Mexico for more work, I am beyond exhausted. I have learned more about uncontrollable variables on airplanes than anyone should ever know.
Did you know that pilots can be in the cockpit of a passenger-filled aircraft, ready for take-off, only to announce they have ‘timed out’ and cannot take flight after all?
Or how about that stairs break on airplanes, and it can take 2+ hours to be fixed? And that that little issue can then cause you to miss your connection home?
How about that when the president decides to go to Las Vegas on Air Force One, it causes all surrounding airports to stay grounded, leading to hours upon hours of delayed flights and cancellations?
Well, if you had no idea, now you do.
While I traveled, I did my very best to stay “grounded” in my energetic body. I even talked to my therapist before all of the madness ensued. We made a plan, and we were going to stick to it, damnit.
I brought all the lotions, potions, oils, playlists; you name it. The Killers, The Who, and Harry Styles, one of them, would save me for sure… Did you also know that London Heathrow airport denounces travel-sized toiletries if they can’t all fit in a tiny, sealed sandwich bag? Yea, not a big freezer-sized ziplock, just one itty-bitty sandwich-for-a-baby-sized bag. Anyway, most of all, those cool potions and lotions are now in the trash (they were so darn cute, too).
So, I prepared myself for the gypsy life only to find out that none of those things would save me from what travel had in mind for me to learn. I learned that airports feel like you being admitted into a jail cell. They strip you of all your belongings, even make you throw a lot of them away, then strip you of your actual clothes and shoes, then violate you to make sure you don’t have something strapped to your body. I appreciate the safety measures, I really do, but man, does the whole process feel icky. You feel like a number in a sea of anxious people acting like children, terrified they will lose something in one of those millions of filthy gray bins that go through the x-ray machine.
I learned that there is no cure for homesickness. No matter how many books and music you ingest, home will always do it better. There is nothing like coming home and turning on the endless apps you have on your tv while snuggled up to your cat boys. There’s nothing like sharing your comfy bed with the heavenly white sheets and your chosen life partner. There’s nothing like knowing you are geographically near your clan, the ones that love and nurture you to be better every day.
I learned that at some point on travel adventures, you will hit rock bottom if you go hard enough. If you don’t sleep in over 24 hours, it’s totally okay to cry, especially when the pilot announces he can’t actually fly you home while you’re sitting on the plane that was supposed to take you back to your reality. Your body knows what you need before you do; let it do what it needs to without shame or guilt.
I learned that airports scare people. Humans panic when they have to put all of their things in little exposed boxes, subject to public searches. They worry they will forget things or miss flights as they make their way through the airport processes. Airports are hubs of anxious energies, each with their travel story hanging heavily upon their shoulders. Whether traveling for work, pleasure, or pain, the airport is the intersection of all the feelings of all the people that cross paths while on their individual journeys from one place to the next.
Above all, here are the greatest lessons I learned during my March madness travel season:
1) Opportunity: If you can survive the many uncertainties of long-distance travel, you can surely unlock unexpected opportunities and experiences that await you at your travel destination. Sure, the airport can be unpleasant and unpredictable at times but think of how far we have come as a society to make traveling a mundane thing – something you can book at a simple click of a mouse to transport yourself to anywhere in the world.
2) Perspective: Home is where the heart is, and traveling can make you appreciate your life on a deeper level. When I come home, my spirit fills with more gratitude than I ever thought possible. My life – and everything and everyone in it – is shinier than it has ever been. If traveling and its uncertainties are what helped me get to this place of boundless gratefulness, I think I was always exactly where I needed to be exactly when I needed to be.