I managed to sleep just fine last night which was a relief, especially since I knew I had a long day of traveling ahead of me. Luckily this time I didn't have so many stops; it was just Reno, to O'hare, to Bradley. We gathered our things, said goodbyes to the cats and rats, and out the door we went. Once we got in the airport, Anna and I got separated before we could even have a proper goodbye. She was headed to check in with her flight; and I with mine, and we figured we would go through security together, but something got lost in translation and I found myself in a gigantic line. Seems self-baggage was down and backing everything up leading to over 50 people waiting in a long line that snaked around the lobby. Luckily I had plenty of time before my flight, but some people in line were due to take off in 20 minutes; wouldn't you think they would take those people first? After a hundred tiny steps forward; I began worrying that this line wouldn't move in time for my flight, luckily I neared the counter with time to spare. I checked my bags, got my boarding pass, and headed for security; it's always interesting rushing through an airport you are not familiar with. I had a little bit of a walk to get to my gate and as I jogged slowly, I noticed others doing the same; that delay at the front really wasn't helping with people's flight times. I made it to the gate in time to stop at an overpriced "healthy" airport kiosk with $10.00 sandwiches and $3.00 bags of chips half full. I grabbed some food, a drink, and sat to wait to board. It wasn't long before the last few rows were being called; this is when I decided to get up and wait in line to board the plane (why wait squished in a seat in the plane when you can wait until the last minute?) I wasn't as fortunate on my way home as on my way out; I had a middle seat with someone on either side of me. The flight took off and not before long, the guy next to me had fallen asleep and was basically leaning right up against me; how I wish I could just fall asleep too. Coming from the girl that rarely talks to people on flights; I am the one with my headphones in the whole time closing my eyes pretending to sleep, not the one enjoying sharing my life, never mind my arm as a pillow. (See photo below, the guy's shirt is green, and my hair is clearly all over the place on my arm that he is perched up against.) Otherwise the flight was uneventful, I ordered a water to accompany my ginger ale and listened to some country song or Eminem; really don't discriminate when it comes to music, I love it all. After hearing the captain announce we would be landing soon; I studied the terminal map and took a photo of it to refer back to later, I needed to get to G13 which would be a little bit of a walk in an airport I have never been to. I get a little anxious thinking about getting lost, and not getting to my gate in time and missing my flight so I wanted it to be as easy as possible. Thankfully I only asked for directions once to make sure I was going the right way! I arrived at the gate, checked in, and took a seat to wait eating the second half of my sandwich and chips. I looked around to find the typical person flying to Hartford, Connecticut; 9 out of 10 people were white males in their late forties, button down, blazer, dress pants, backpack or briefcase, smartphone in hand, and short neat haircut (see photo below of an example.) Oh, and how could I forget the occasional elderly couple bundled up like they were heading to Alaska; and here I sat with my Hiker Trash trucker hat, tank top and hoodie, looking like I belong back on the West Coast. The day was going by much quicker on my way home than my travel day out; and I thought it would be worse since I would be losing time with the timezones. I sat in the plane in my window seat waiting for the next contestant of shoulder sleepers, staring out the window at the blue skies wishing I was somewhere sitting on the beach or mountain top. I would be seeing my family in only a few hours, and as much as a beach would be nice right now; their faces will be better. We took off into the sky one last time today, and I again ordered a water to accompany my ginger ale. For almost the whole duration of the flight; I was able to stare out the window and see the landscapes below. This made the time pass faster being able to see points of interest such as highways, housing developments, rivers, bridges, mountains, ocean, and lakes. We neared Connecticut and the excitement grew; excitement to get off this plane, excitement to sleep in my bed, and excitement to see Hunter and the family. I gathered my backpack carryon, stood to stretch my legs, and one by one exited the plane to my final destination. Bradley was pretty deserted as I made my way to baggage claim. As I turned the corner, something hilariously surprising happened; Hunter and I both scared the shit out of one another by accident! I didn't know that they would be there waiting for me, I figured they were parked out front so that surprised me, and then Hunter didn't see me coming until I was already there so we both had the same shocked and then excited expression upon our face. I hugged her and picked her up, and then gave my mom and Felix a hug as well. We took the escalator downstairs to pick up my two bags which came out without having to wait very long, and as I stepped outside; I was reminded I was back in New England towards the end of September! It was a lot cooler here than it was this morning in Reno, that's for sure. I climbed in the car for a short 20 minute ride or so home; and was relieved as I walked through the door to be home. This past summer has been filled with so many great experiences, and adventures; I started the summer out with a cross country road trip of 29 days, I then WWOOFed at two farms in Vermont for a month, and then I ended it with another road trip. I cannot explain how grateful I am at this point in my life to be able to be unattached and able to experience these things, but I also long for the stability of everyday life. It is a constant pendulum that swings within me; when I am home for an extended period of time I long for the next exciting adventure. Though, when I am off exploring for over a month I yearn to return back home. I am excited to see what this next chapter brings to my life; at this time I am focused on trying to plant my roots back in Connecticut for awhile with a career back in place, and possibly a house and relationship in the near future. I don't know exactly what I want to do, and that is the beautifully disaster of a problem; what's next!?
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