I just arrived back to Hawaii after a long, arduous day of traveling from east to west. As I was dropped off to the airport with my sister and her boyfriend at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, she was flying east to Philadelphia. We parted at the gate at six a.m. and I knew she and her beau would arrive safely to their destination in 2 hours. I felt happy for them.
I, on the other hand, was getting ready for a 20-hour solo traveling day. I packed the basics: my journal, my newly updated ipod with the classics and a book. I could entertain myself for hours, upon hours, right?
I started by flying from Chicago to Los Angeles in a 4 and 1/2 hour stint. It wasn’t so bad because it was morning and I was able to sleep a bit through the ride. But for some reason, all I could think and dread over was my six hour layover in Los Angeles. LAX takes a certain amount out of you. It’s busy, congested, crowded. It’s rude and crude. But it’s also the crossroads to the world.
Among the typical fat Americans shoving down McDonald’s before their flights (Hey, no harm there, I was one of them), I was with world travelers. LAX isn’t all bad. I get to pretend that I’m traveling to these far off countries across the world when I hear the final boarding call for Shanghi. I listen in earnest to people greeting one another in Japanese. I watch the French couple taking turns sleeping on the black seats in the gating area, waiting for their flight halfway across the world. I almost rub feet with a Filipino man trying to catch a rest before his flight as I cozy up for a snooze before mine.
Somehow at the airport, we are all one, going somewhere, partners in adventures and transit.
I arrived in Hawaii at 8 p.m. local time and felt like I had just survived some larger than life hands sling-shotting me across time zones, albeit really slowly. I was exhausted by the day of traveling and could not believe that even though I had traveled starting at 3:30 a.m., I still arrived nearly 20 hours to it still being light out. It was such a bizarre sensation.
It officially took me about 8 days to adjusting to being back in Hawaii. I am especially sensitive to jetlag, and since I’ve been flying like a maniac all year, I think my body is finally screaming at me, “SLOW DOWN, STAY A WHILE.” Touché, body, touché. I will be here living the island lifestyle for as long as it has me. I’m glad to finally be over my jetlag and settling in.
I’ll let you know how it goes. So far, so wonderfully good.