The time was 4:45pm on a Friday and his fingers were frantically trying to finish up an email for his replacement on the project he had been working on for the last 6 months. This project was his all he focused on the last 6 months and finally he could see his release in sight, vacation. He just needed to finish this email with the final details of what needed to be accomplished in his absence.
As the clock struck 5 o'clock, the email was finished and his vacation notification was set, “I am currently out of the office this week, for any immediate issues, contact my replacement below”. He then shut his computer down, grabbed his keys, and headed to his car. As he stepped out to the parking lot, a long list of things to do flooded his mind,
'pick up kids from daycare, call mom to make sure she’s made it to our place to watch the kids, call wife, stop to get snacks and a new carry on, don’t forget the clean underwear in the dryer!, print off itinerary, and breath, the flight will be okay, everything will be fine'.
A few hours went by and the kids were finally fed and everything was packed into the car. He hopped into the car and looked over at his wife and smiled thinking they were so close to relief; beaches, sun, relaxation, good food, a suite to themselves, and most importantly no mention of work! As he drove to the airport anxiety started to set in.
‘Did I leave money for mom to feed the kids? Did I remember to tie up all the loose ends at work? Do I have my ticket? Are we going to get to the airport in time? Hopefully my suitcase isn’t too heavy. Will we make our layover? I really hope I don’t get sick with the turbulence. I really really don’t want to be cramped into that sardine can for 4 hours. Breath.'
He parked the car and they wheeled their suitcases to their terminal. His anxiety continued to build,
‘Oh great a line to check my bag, I knew I shouldn’t have pack those extra sandals. Do I have my ticket? Did I forget my swimsuit, oh no I remembered that. breath.'
Once his bag was checked, over to security and his thoughts continued to flow,
‘Another line? You’ve got to be kidding me. We can do it. Do I have my ticket? Oh crap is my ID in my wallet? I’m not a terrorist. I’m not a terrorist. If I’m frisked I have nothing to hid because I’m not a terrorist. My belt? You want me to take off my belt!? Wait, you have to pat me down because there’s something wet on my back? It’s sweat! I have been in lines for the last hour and I’m sweaty and tired! I just want to get to my vacation, but I’ll smile and allow it because I’m not a terrorist.'
He put his belt back on and looked back at his wife, who looked miserable, so he smiled and re-assured her that they are on vacation and it will be good to be away from everything for a week.
‘We can still make it. Just hurry down the terminal, wait, which way? Where’s my ticket, it says on there. B4? B4. B4…. where the heck is that. Ah, B1-B15 to the right! What boarding group did they announce? Wait, what boarding group are we? Never thought I’d be so relieved to see a line at my gate, we made it. Time to get into that sardine can. So close.'
He and his wife board the plane with the stress starting to come off… but only to build back up once he enters the tiny vessel that will be traveling 500+ mph, 6,000 feet above the ground, and almost no movement room for 4 hours.
‘What’s that smell? Did you really have to reapply the perfume right before you got onto the plane? Why does first class already have drinks? I’m not even to my seat yet. Where’s my ticket? What’s my seat? 31D, a middle seat. That guy overflows into my seat! How am I supposed to fit!? Crap, I checked my headphones… and my book.'
The flight attendant comes on over the intercom, “Welcome aboard flight 2033, flight to… please take a moment to look at the card in the pouch describing this aircraft…. in case of a emergency…. in case of a water landing…And thank you for choosing us for your flight”
‘Wait, what did they say about a water landing? We shouldn’t be flying over water. Are we really in danger of crashing? Maybe I should tell my wife I love her. oh shit the plane is moving. Breath. Quit biting your nails, it’s fine, everything will be fine. Wow, that’s a lot of acceleration. The engines are really loud.. please please don’t fail, I just want to get to my vacation. There goes the front wheels. Breath. Okay, here we go.'
Stress free vacation, here he comes...
I came, I saw, I travel.