A View From The Main Cabin

I wrote this post in April of 2014 from row 31, Seat B of a six hour flight from New York City back home to Seattle:

Yes, 31 B is without a doubt a middle seat in the coach cabin of my flight.  I am just five feet five inches tall and my knees nearly touch the seat in front of me.  It’s so cramped that when I dropped my crochet hook I edged into the personal space of my row-mate – a Pakistani gentleman who is sitting to my right.  He is a lovely man – he even offered me part of the sandwich he brought onboard.

I have probably knit eight inches of a paprika orange scarf.  I read the New York Times from cover to cover and saved a couple of the articles for later perusal.   I tried to doze since I was up until 1:30am this morning, talking with my sisters.  I couldn’t fall asleep. The steward – I think that’s the PC name for a male version of flight attendant – passed through the cabin and ignored me when offering cups of water.  After a light breakfast this morning,  I didn’t have time to make a decent bag of food for the plane, so I ordered a wrap from the airline menu.  I hate wraps.  I really do.  And I’m thirsty.  Forget getting up to go to the restroom.

So why do I put myself through long flights, bus trips, subway rides, train rides, boat rides on a pretty frequent basis?  Because I really love to travel.  I want to see as many places in the world as possible.  I want to visit my children and grandchildren when they’ll have me.  I long to  be in the same room with my sisters.  I wish to be with my extended family and friends who live far away to keep our connection.  I hope to climb mountains, swim in oceans, ride my bicycle without gears, walk through jungles and cities, go to foreign movies, see theater productions … I’m game for pretty much anything.

Some day, and I don’t know when that day will come, I won’t be able to take a red eye flight.  I won’t have the strength to lift my carry on suitcase into the overhead compartment of a train.  I won’t be able to figure out the subway stops or the exchange rates.  I won’t care to stay for three weeks in a recreational vehicle or tent.   I will no longer want to pack three weeks of clothing into a 20-inch bag.

But that some day is not today.  And it is so worth it to me to see as much of the world as I can.  It really is.  For me, travel is a perfect vehicle to learn history, geography, language, culture and  anthropology.  Most of all, I know that my travels throughout the United States and the other continents have given me a real appreciation of people and their differences, a birdseye view of culture that makes stereotypes and judgments explode.  People are people; we are individuals who have more similarities than differences.  And there is beauty everywhere.

And so, for now, I will keep traveling.  Many of my views have been transformed through travel.   Through travel I believe I understand better, make fewer assumptions, and form my opinions and intentions based on lessons from people I’ve met and places I’ve visited.

Here are some of my pictures that I make me smile, make me cry, and make me who I am.

Sausage Tree Camp - Botswana, Africa

Sausage Tree Camp – Botswana, Africa

Cape of Good Hope, near Cape Town, South Africa

Cape of Good Hope – near Cape Town, South Africa

Cuzco, Peru

Cuzco, Peru

Making Fresh Salsa, Oaxaca, Mexico

Making Fresh Salsa – Oaxaca, Mexico

Native Vendor - Oaxaca, Mexico

Native Vendor – Oaxaca, Mexico

With Sister Kay and Nephew Elliot - Dodger Stadium, New York

With Sister Kay and Nephew Elliot – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles

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