Thoughts On Airplanes

Recently I traveled to Australia and thought I’d share some thoughts since I’m procrastinating already at 9 a.m.

April 30th 2016
I’m on my way to Beijing right now. I’ll spend 7 hours there before heading off to Australia for the week. When I got to my seat and the plane began to take off, I instantly started thinking of my sister. This was the most beautiful take off I have experienced. The sun beams.. the clouds… I wished she could see it. Through my new life of wandering about I think all the time that she should be beside me and I’m wondering how life can drag us all down such different twisting paths.

***

I’m at a pizza hut in Beijing, China. I can’t get wifi. I’m not sure how to contact my friend. I can’t find my pen I like to write with. I only have yen… This is adventure.

Trust me… At first when I found I couldn’t get wifi I panicked a little about what I’m supposed to do for 7 hours. But after a little pep talk I realised how stupid that sounds. I have a book and a journal and endless thinkings. When traveling we should disconnect more anyway. Plus, these inconveniences are what make traveling so amazing. Getting through the struggle.

With my few hours in China I’ve gotten the culture shock I never had when I first came to Japan. I know nothing about China. The attitude is strange to me, the air is heavy, and I have no idea how to act or what language to speak. I think I’m looking like a typical super out of place American.

People from English speaking countries are lucky though. Almost everyone tries to use English in different countries. Most Americans can’t even accept that there is a Spanish option when talking to operators on the phone. I feel both grateful and guilty to have grown up where English is primary.

And of all things to have in an airport… a pizza hut? I was shocked. But I ran here defeated looking for familiarity.

***

They finally announced the number for my gate. It’s delayed until 2 a.m…. I heard Japanese being spoken on my way and felt relief. I keep wanting to use Japanese but then I think, this isn’t Japan anymore. But I can’t assume people know English… I think everyone should learn sign language. I think I’ll sleep awkwardly wrapped around my luggage for the next few hours.

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May 1st 2016
I’m flying over Australia now. According to the flight map, I’m over Cannondale Mountain. The sky is a very pale yet somehow bright blue. The clouds below look like plateaus. I’m flying over the second country I wanted to visit the most. I knew about Australia before Japan from a birthmark I have. When I was little I thought it meant I was supposed to come live here. I wonder what adults thought of my thoughts when I was small.

Well, I guess they still think I’m weird now. But it’s so crazy to me. Two dream destinations, done in one year. Until this week I never gave credit to myself. But I think I did well the past year. The choices and steps I took, not worrying what adults think, or anyone, and just following my crazy, twisty, unrealistic path. I’ve done the things growing up people made feel impossible or worthless.

No one can tell you what is going to bring value into your life. We all have our own wants and needs. Trying to follow this set standard I think is why some people go so crazy. You shouldn’t be forced to live up to anyone’s expectations.

I used to crave, well I guess sometimes I still do, to be extraordinary. I worked hard to fix my G.P.A and get scholarships/grants to come to Japan. But I should have worked harder. Sometimes I can speak basic Japanese, but my level should be higher. I should study so much more. Financially I have always supported myself, but sometimes have had to ask for help in desperation.

I’m just average. And I’m becoming happy with that. Traveling has allowed me to meet people who think so much like me, but still in their own unique ways. I’ve been able to see that there is a whole world of misfits out here and though we can never 100% understand one another, we can knock down so many walls to meet, learn, and support each other. Interacting with these people always seems too fleeting, but having them in my memory gives me hope and inspiration to learn more.

Looking at the sky makes me feel at home. As I travel place to place above the Earth in the area I spend so much time gazing at, knowing that I could come crashing down at any second, I feel like I’m living. At least in these brief moments, I want to believe that trusting your heart can take you anywhere.

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May 6th 2016
The hardest thing about travel is the good-byes. Constantly you are meeting and parting ways. My time in Australia has come to an end as I await my flight to China then back to Japan. My week was too fast. I’m not a typical traveler. I don’t go to a country to see all the tourist attractions and I know people will ask, well what did you even do? Why did you go? I go because I want and I do the things my feet take me to. I travel without a plan. My only hope is to experience and learn.

I came to Sydney to meet a great friend. A lesson I learned this year is that people gossip and talk about things they don’t understand. But the best friends worth having accept you on all fronts. I’ve been lucky to make a few friends like that the past few years.

***

Looking down at Sydney from the flight is like looking down at the sky. So many glittering lights. I’m wondering which one is my friend. Lately anytime I leave a place I feel like a little piece of me gets left behind. The question of “who am I” becomes both more difficult and more simple. I’m just a girl that travels with her Simba.

My head isn’t the most clear. Good-byes are hard for me. People say the more you do it, the easier it gets. But I don’t feel that. The people I meet, the feelings a place can give me, it’s so much that I can’t help be crushed by the weight of leaving it behind. Nothing is permanent is the worst thing, but also the only way life continues.

The ground has become black beneath me. Sydney is gone. And I wonder, when and where can I meet my friend again?

I’m so lucky right now. To meet all of these people. To be able to say I hope to meet them in Spain, New Zealand, Germany, Finland, etc, etc. Pieces of my heart are all over the world. The past year I keep trying to comfort myself by saying the world is my home. Things are incomplete, broken, sad… but these people and these moments… how they make me feel and grow.. I hope I can see my friends worlds.

Somehow in this weird life we cross and blend paths with so many people. I want to experience more. Many of my international friends became a family I never felt I had and I’ve met the most kind hearted and true souls. I know know much about what I want, but I hope that I can give others the kindness and acceptance these few souls have given me. I want to keep becoming a better, kind, honest person.

“Not all those who wonder are lost.”

Thank you Sydney.

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