Posted in Travel

I’m leaving on a jet plane…

And always with a journey ahead.

As a disclaimer, this is a bit of a quirky post but I’m kind of in a quirky place…(not literally, just in my head).

Uneventful travel would be such a drag. Good thing mine is always the opposite.

It started off last Monday morning, waking at the hour of 4am, which entailed a 1 hour drive to the airport, trying to leave Knoxville, only to find myself in a mess by the end of it. First the plane changed from a 76 seater down to a 64 seater. Now, I’m not sure how the airlines do that, nor am I criticizing that this is a rare commercial transaction where it seems you pay for something and sometimes don’t get in return what you paid for exactly, but I did feel bad for the poor guy delivering the news that 12 people needed to give up their seats… Upon boarding, we find out about a slight delay because of storms, and naturally I start praying, cause ain’t nobody want to fly in that!

“Please be sure to collect all personal items & carry ons upon exiting the plane.”
Yep, we deboarded and returned to the airport gate, to wait it out…

As I’m sitting waiting for our 1/2 hour updates, I get an email that my connection has been cancelled. I call the travel agency and they have already re-booked me for a later connection. Great! I continue to chill out & peruse work emails and social media. This is not me y’all! I was calm the whole time. It’s crazy. Normally, I would have been a hot mess, but from the time we deboarded I had the thought, “what is God trying to teach me from this?” Now I’d like to say the rest of my trip was this spiritually insightful, but it wasn’t. I reverted back to my flesh at some point, but between a book I finished reading in 4 days (it usually takes me 4 months) & my husband, we decided God is teaching me to breathe. (More on that in another blog post, on another day)

Anyway.

An email of my new travel itinerary comes through only to find that my “re-booked, later connection” was 24+ hours later. The next day! I called back.

Now it’s Tuesday. I finally leave Knoxville because all other options left me stuck in Charlotte airport, in a dress, with heels, until 10:30pm Monday night…~I’ve always wanted to be that carefree passenger. You know, the one not worried about anything. He’s not preoccupied with getting on the plane early, so he continues to sit until time for him to board while the rest of us stand in group, hovering around the gate entry, even though we still just stand and wait, while he sits and waits… He also has no carry ons because he’ll just buy whatever might be needed; yeah totally not me. I love my stuff. Well I don’t love stuff, because if you know me, you know I hate excess “stuff” but I do like to have my necessities. Snacks. Notebook. Gum. Phone chargers. Ear buds. Lotion. Hand sanitizer (even though I haven’t packed it the last 3 times I’ve traveled, but it’s a nice thought).  So as I’m looking out my window, one of those carefree travelers boards. He’s pretty much a modern day hippie. Long hair. Flat bill hat. Backpack. Probably had ear buds in. And the last one to board.

“This is going to New Bern, right?”
The flight attendant says “Yes, what seat are you in?”
“I have no clue.”
Wait, what? You are given a ticket. How do you NOT know your seat. That is too far carefree for me. I’ll keep to my OCD travel ways.

~And then there’s That One person. You know, The One. They have no clue of airline etiquette, that or disregard that it may apply to them. So we land in Charlotte and a lady stands up as the ‘fasten seat belt’ sign goes off with a “ding” 🎶. Now this is typical behavior but what comes next is not. She makes a bee-line to the front of the aircraft. Even up through first class. I always chuckle inside when I see the folks that do this, because then the rest of us just kind of look around at each other.

But wait. Before my cynical & critical thoughts take off, perhaps people just don’t know. I myself still don’t know all there is, which is why I have such eventful travel. Maybe there should be a class.  A class to teach all the pieces of airline travel. Like proper boarding etiquette, how to check-in, how to get through security in the most efficient way, when/where you have to have extra passport checks while flying internationally (this one gets me every time). Yes, there should be a class.

~And finally, as we prepare for take off and hear from the cockpit,it seems that our American Airlines pilot has a fake British accent. (Try that on for an oxymoron).

It’s like when you can tell someone is trying to fake an accent, in the sense of, it becomes so thick and heavy that it seems like an act. That’s how this was. It didn’t feel natural.

And so now, regardless of if he’s real or fake, I am wondering what would make one fake an accent. If I tried this, it would end with myself, mid-sentence, reverting back to my Tennessee southern drawl, probably not realizing it except to finally stop and ask myself “why is this person giving me the strangest look.”

And then that led me to think, do WE ever “fake an accent”? Not for real. But in life. Maybe we fake to have the perfect family. Especially as we walk into church, because we definitely don’t want to be real in front of those folks, we want to be perfect (or maybe your like me as we prepare to leave church, yelling at my oldest while the van doors are open, and my husband asks me to lower my voice…no shame here). Or maybe fake at work and trying to constantly please everyone (that is so tireless). Or here’s the real kicker, maybe with money, by decorating our home and “ourselves,” while credit card debt piles high.

So my final thought inside this quite random post is: Let’s be real.

Real about the fact that we can all be panicky travelers sometimes, or have moments where we fail to adhere to proper airplane etiquette (or any etiquette for that matter), or that sometimes we simply have no clue which “seat” is ours and that’s okay because that is what can make the journey a little more interesting.

And by being real, we become what the world needs, what our co-workers need, what our people need, and importantly, what our children need.

And Coke. We all definitely need Coke. (My husband disagrees).

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