Last week, we went on vacation with friends. We took a great trip to Orlando, Florida, home of the place where dreams come true. Yep, Walt Disney World! (SN: I’m a big kid and TOTALLY geeked out on this trip). But, that’s not the purpose of today’s blog.
My 6-year-old daughter joined us for the this trip, and it was her first time on a plane. Now, I have traveled quite a bit, and have a routine down for the airport. I have a travel wallet (a nice, leather one, not one of those vinyl, zip up wallets) in which I carry every frequent traveler card (yes, I am a member of them all), my trip itinerary, rental car reservation, boarding pass, passport (for photo id), etc. I keep it in a strategic location in my carry on so that I don’t have to fumble for it. I also have a specific location for my quart sized bag, which is not a Ziploc bag, but a durable, plastic like one that I bought from Target. I know exactly where everything is in my carry on, and I even pack my luggage in a very specific way to ensure that I remain under the 50 lb weight limit. I don’t get in security lines where I see a lot of small children or people who look like they’ve never traveled before. By the time I get to the line, I know exactly how many containers I need to place my shoes, laptop, purse, quart sized bag and other items that go on the conveyor belt. I am, by my own standards, a professional traveler.
Well, clearly on this trip, I had to learn to give up my professional traveler status for my daughter. Now, I had everything organized and packed properly. I had both my ID and my husband’s ID paired with our boarding passes, and my daughter’s boarding pass ready to go for the TSA agent. Her carry on bag was her doll baby carrier/backpack that carried her doll, the doll’s change of clothes (3 outfits), a small stuffed animal and her headphones for the tv on the plane (yay for JetBlue). So I was ready.
Once we got cleanly through security, though, her excitement boiled over. She couldn’t wait to see the plane, and was very proud of her wings, given to her by the gate agent. I’d shown her a video of the plane a couple of weeks before, so she knew what to expect. But as she sat on the plane behind us, with her buddy, Jalen, I smiled as I listened to her excitement about everything. They were trying to find Nickelodeon on the tv, trying to look out the window, and were amazed at how it was storming on the ground but sunny when we got above the clouds. They were fascinated to see the moon and the sun and wanted to know when snacks would come.
Their excitement reminded me to, once again, take time to smell the roses. As a business traveler, it is easy to settle into your routine; to get to your seat as quickly as possible and turn on the tv or, in my case most days, nod off. You know the polite things to say to the flight attendants, to thank them when you deplane, to stick to your space and not spread into your seatmate’s space. But how often do we look out of the window in excitement or amazement at the true miracle of being able to fly through the air on a HEAVY plane? How often do we appreciate that is around us?
I always learn so much from my baby girl, and this time was no different. When I get on another plane in a few weeks, I will remember to enjoy the experience, and I smile as I remember how much she enjoyed her first plane ride. In her words, “It was AWE-SOME!!!”