My back was sore, my butt was numb, and I had a serious crick in my neck. By this time, I’d been traveling for more than 24 hours and had been sitting in the same tiny seat for the last 12 (and I still had a few more to go). But as I looked out the window of the airplane and saw the sun rising behind me, a wave of colors bursting over the edge of the clouds, excitement was all that I felt.
The next chapter of my life was beginning. A fresh adventure, a change of scenery, and an unknown future. Challenges are sure to follow as I find myself working through the twists and turns of where this phase of my life will take me. A new day was beginning, both inside me and outside that plane.
I’d spent five months planning this trip and it had finally arrived. Generally, I try not to get too excited about things until they are inevitable; I’ve had more than a few trips canceled for one reason or another and it’s extremely disappointing. It might sound pessimistic, but something can always go wrong, so until I reach the point of no return, it doesn’t really feel real. But now I was waking up somewhere over the Pacific and, unless something catastrophic happened, I was soon going to be in Australia.
As I looked out that window, I thought about how lucky I am to be alive during a time when travel like this is possible. If I had been born a hundred years earlier I would never have had this opportunity.
These days travel is easy. Thousands of planes, trains, and buses are setting off at any given moment for a new destination. The internet lets us stay connected with family and friends even when we are a world away. And many parts of the world have whole governmental departments and industries designed to help us experience their city/culture/country when we arrive.
There are, of course, still challenges (time and money being the big ones), but the world has never been more ripe for exploration than it is right now.
As this new phase of my life begins, I am grateful that it is even an option for me, that I have an opportunity to experience countries and cultures that were completely out of reach just a few generations ago.
After trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to capture this moment with my camera, I settle back in my tiny seat and reflect on all the opportunities I’ve been given in this lifetime. I think about how much more is in store for me and hope for a world where everyone has the chance, at least once, to look out their airplane window and see the sun welcoming them to a new adventure.