I am writing this post from the seat of an airplane — about 30,000 feet above the ground. Beyond the wing of the plane, cotton candy clouds are the only things visible for miles.
This is a milestone.
Today marks the first time in almost nineteen months that I have been on an airplane. It is the first time in a year that I have left the state of Arizona.
I am on my way to Kansas — to visit family. Although it is a brief visit, it feels like a significant step toward regaining opportunities lost during the pandemic.
There are reminders that it’s not quite the same. For example, I am wearing a mask. In all honesty, I’m not quite sure why that wasn’t a thing before the pandemic. I’ve always been a little suspect of the air in the cabin of a crowded airplane. There are no pretzels and drinks, but I suspect that has more to do with the airline pinching pennies than with concerns about COVID.
Some things haven’t changed. Passengers are crammed into the rows like sardines. The chairs are still uncomfortable, and I feel like I am holding some strange yoga position to get my legs to fit in the allotted space.
But, I’ll take it. Seeing family and travel are the two things I have missed the most this past year. Any discomfort experienced in making both of these things happen is a minor sacrifice, and well worth the insignificant inconvenience.
As you might imagine, Kansas is not an extremely popular spring break destination, but for me it is home and that is enough.
There will be time for visiting by the fire and playing video games with my nephews and niece. I’ll undoubtedly get beaten in dramatic fashion on NBA Live and spend a significant amount of time firing my laser into the ground while playing Star Wars. There might be some fishing, driving country roads, and planting Christmas trees on the family farm. This morning I marveled at tomorrow’s weather forecast. One-hundred percent chance of rain. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that in Arizona. I love rainy days.
All of this will be nice, but the best part of this trip is that a small burden has been lifted. Being on the road again feels like a step, or a flight, in the right direction.