While traveling, the days meld together: dates don’t exist and it’s all I can do to just keep track of the new time zone I’m in. I find myself looking at my watch and counting forward “x” hours, calculating what time it is back home in Manila. Jet lag is another reality in itself. When I first got here, it felt odd to be eating lunch when my body was used to being asleep at that time.
Take offs and landings are my absolute favorite parts of an airplane ride, the bumpier the better. Heheh. Last night while waiting for my plane to take off, I saw five other planes take off and land in different directions. It reminded me of the line that’s made when one completes a row in tic-tac-toe. Watching a plane fly off is witnessing grace in flight: a beautiful silver bird ascending into the skies.
I witness the world in transit in the numerous airports I’ve been in and out of in the past 11 days. As I wait to board my plane, it’s become a game to determine the nationalities of people walking by. I wonder where they’re headed off to and marvel at the heavy Australian accent of the man who looks Indian to me. Since I’m traveling alone, my eyes automatically spot those fellow travelers who are also by themselves. Ah, we the mighty, independent ones.
I’ve always had a window seat on the plane since I started flying at 4 years old. Sometime in my mid-20’s, I got this silly idea that I had outgrown a window seat. So I started booking an aisle seat and felt oh-so-grown-up. Not. Now, I have to watch out that my foot doesn’t trip the flight attendant and that my head doesn’t get chopped off when the meal trolley passes by. I also yearn for the window seat of my youth so that I have something to lean my head on while trying to fall asleep. I don’t think the stranger beside me would take very kindly to having this stranger lean her head on his shoulder.
When it comes to airplane food, I am the only person I know who is a fan of it. I have heard others describe it with terms running from the polite (puke) to wretched (“it’s worse than s**t, I tell you!”). Whatever it is, I love it. How could I not like a meal so carefully arranged, every portion pre-measured? The portions are a bit too tiny for me granted, but I’ve never had a problem keeping my food down in flight. Throwing up doesn’t come easily to me. Food likes me too much. The feeling is mutual.
My senses are on full alert when I’m traveling. Everything is new and I do my best to immerse myself in everything that I’m taking in. Every meal is precious because there is only so much space in my stomach to accommodate what I want to take in. Sigh.
Travelling is all about getting lost and seeing things in a new light. Every act of kindness extended to me is greatly appreciated. It allows me to step back and see that the world isn’t just about the city I live in. The world is one ENORMOUS place. But most of all, traveling lets me see my life in a different light, making me aware of how awesome the one I have back home in Manila is.