My first two experiences on a plane happened before I can remember them. The first was when I was only nine months old and my parents took me across the country to see my aunt and uncle and cousin. I don’t even count the trip to San Francisco as a place that I’ve been.
The next experience on a plane was when I was eight years old and my parents took my sister and I to Disney World. I remember Disney World, but the travel part is a complete blur. I think that was intentional on my parents part, because who wants to travel with a couple of hyper kids? As far as I can remember the flights were either really early morning flights or really late night flights and I probably slept the entire time.
My third flight is the one I remember most vividly. I am sure that no one on that flight thought I would grow up to travel and fly at the frequency I fly at. It was only a few years after 9/11 and I was terrified. I spent the majority of the take off and boarding process sobbing. The flight attendants took me to the cockpit, let me meet the pilot, did everything that they could to comfort me. I was still a complete train wreck. I was also ten or eleven at the time and I thought I was going to be traumatized.
When I was thirteen I got to go to Puerto Rico. Again, I was terrified to fly, but I’d learned to keep my shit together at this point in my life. I think that it was this trip that made me want to see the world. We were there for a long time, about two weeks, I got to miss my first week of high school so that was awesome, the water actually looked like it did in postcards and more importantly in my imagination and there were so many fears that I overcame during that trip.
My sophomore year of high school I’d stayed home “sick” from school and was reading a message board on a band’s website. I found an ad looking for someone to write up articles about bands, albums and concert reviews. I got in touch with the guy who ran the site, applied and got hired on. There was no pay but I got free concert tickets and the opportunity to meet a bunch of really awesome musicians and industry people. I was also able to make some really great friends from all over the country.
The summer that I graduated one of the friends who I had made flew out to Ohio from California to drive with me up to Chicago to meet up with our other friend. We all wrote for the site and went to Warped Tour in Chicago. It was the first time I had traveled without my parents and it was one of the best experiences of my entire life.
Later that year I stumbled across a super cheap, round trip ticket to California. I bought it before I even realized I bought it. Suddenly I was going to be flying across the country all by myself to a city I’d never been to before. I was way too excited to be scared. I kept expecting to get scared or nervous like I had in the past. I was on the plane in the air, still waiting to get nervous but it never came. I was excited. I was so excited to finally be going to Los Angeles. I’d been dreaming about it since I was seven and it was finally happening!
It was nothing like I’d expected it to be, but in a good way. That’s for another post, but that is when fell in love with traveling. I loved meeting new people, seeing new places, eating new food, and feeling independent.
Since then I have made it my life mission to see as much of the world and do as many of the things on my bucket list as possible while I am still young enough to enjoy all of it. The last thing I want in my life is to end up old and bitter because I spent my whole life working for money that never got to see the light of day. I work with an older lady who has told me multiple times that I should travel as much as I can now. She was able to see so much of the world and has never regretted it a day in her life. I’m fortunate enough to have a job that lets me travel, friends who are always up for an adventure, and a boyfriend who takes me on random trips and supports all of my hair brained ideas. Okay, almost all of my hair brained ideas; he’s still not 100% sold on diving with sharks without a cage for some reason.