I remember the first time I went on a trip by myself. I was 7 and my mom put me on a plane to go visit my cousins in Nashville. In those days, you could walk up to the gate even if you didn’t have a ticket. You could send a young child on her way by herself and have her actually end up in the right destination none the worse for the wear. The fear of the unknown would be in her eyes, but she’d get a tour of the cockpit and be greeted warmly by the flight crew and pilots the entire trip. She’d get a set of flight wings that weren’t deemed too dangerous to take on the plane because of the sharp pin on the underside. She’d beem at those wings and show them off proudly and say her daddy was a pilot too (although of much smaller planes). She’d marvel at the cockpit with all its instruments – a big huge maze and wonder at how such a big plane could fly with such little buttons. She’d gaze out over the clouds and forever be enthralled with the beauty that is flight. And she’d be able to meet her cousins at the end of the jetway and know she was in the right place.
Looking back on it now, I learned a lot through taking that first solo trip. I learned that it’s okay to go off on your own – there are nice people out there who will take care of you when you need it. I learned there are little perks to travel that aren’t always apparent at first. I learned that travel opens up doors and you can become entranced by something you didn’t know even existed five minutes earlier. I learned how travel gives you a different perspective. I learned we all have similarities that bring us together. And most importantly, I learned how even if your journey wasn’t what you’d thought it would be, in the end, you’ll end up right where you’re supposed to.
This week’s prompt for the 2012 Indie Travel Challenge what was what have you learned through travel – care to share what you’ve learned?
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