Boarding the early morning flight in Denver was the first step on a long journey to the other side of the world. The woman’s dream to return to Africa was coming true and her hopes were high as her teenage daughter would be sharing the adventure with her. Surely, this would be as good as it gets.
Upon arriving in Washington DC for an afternoon layover, the girls giggled with excitement as they grabbed some last minute essentials before leaving the country: fish and chips from an overpriced airport pub and a fancy Starbucks drink just for the heck of it. With their phone and iPad fully charged to record their adventure, they boarded the plane.
Their seats were as optimal as could be, twin seats together with a window and aisle for maximum mobility. The teenager watched as the only country she knew faded into darkness and the clouds below lit up like a miniature volcanic landscape, erupting as the sun set below them. The yellows and reds exited quickly and the stars took center stage, sparkling brighter than could ever be seen from land. Her “Love for Africa” playlist, made especially for this trip, filled her head as she gazed outside.
The well-traveled woman slipped off her shoes and tried to get comfortable in her temporary home for the next day. Movies – check, music – check, old lady compression socks – check. Times had changed for this traveler, no longer able to just hop on a flight and go to any far off destination. The dream was still there but her body was a not-so-eager traveling companion. A long flight meant loading up on Dramamine at just the right time so she didn’t fall asleep in the airport or get sick in flight, toting around multiple pairs of reading glasses, well-planned snacks so her sugar levels didn’t drop too low, and very fashionable pink knee-highs that ensured her ankles didn’t balloon up to the size of canteloupes. Yes, flying did make her spirit feel a little old. She adjusted the blanket and began watching the first of many movies.