The familiar tears started forming behind my eyes as I hugged my Mother goodbye one last time. Sure, I had traveled alone before, even across the seas but something about her being there to see me off on my adventure made me a little emotional. The airport was bustling for so early on a Thursday morning. My Mom stood at the first checkpoint snapping pictures on her phone while I went through security and had my passport checked. You would think I was leaving for a month or more.
My first stop would be Newark, New Jersey, which included a six-hour layover. The flight itself was relatively quick and painless; I slept almost the entire flight. When I landed I groggily made my way through the huge airport checking out my lunch options. I settled on mushy spaghetti and ended up throwing most of it away. As I walked the airport looking around I couldn’t help but replay music and scenes from the movie Garden State over and over in my head. “New Slang” seemed to play like a broken record I couldn’t shut off. Finally, I found my way to my gate and decided to camp out there until my flight left. I took out my book “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac and started a new chapter. I was easily distracted however, by the pigeons that seemed to be keeping me company on the next chair.
I have always found airports fascinating for the simple fact that they are a mixing pot of cultures. As I sat observing my surroundings I started to consider the various languages, mannerisms, and personalities that come through this place on any given day. How wonderfully strange is it to know that all of these people scurrying by have a unique and different story, one that you will never know?
Finally, six hours later my flight was called for boarding. I grabbed my carry on and headed for the plane. Unfortunately, I was seated in a middle seat. 😐 blah. Approximately eight hours on this thing, the last thing I wanted was to be sitting in between two people but such is life. Thankfully this time my TV screen was working which helped entertain me some. I turned on various episodes of television comedies such as How I Met Your Mother and The Office but nothing seemed to keep my attention for more than twenty minutes. I finally drifted into a light slumber, one that I only awoke from for dinner, Chicken and rice. The oddly familiar food is actually my favorite of all the airline foods I’ve had.
After dinner, I feel back into another slumber and this time slept right through breakfast.The next time I woke up I heard the announcement: “Ladies and Gentlemen we will be landing in Dublin, Ireland momentarily please ensure your seat-belts are fastened. The local time is 7:00 a.m. and the weather is 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Again, welcome to Dublin”
I felt my heart skip a beat. Hello Ireland!