Friday, January 23, 2015

How to Travel Around the World

There's no perfectly graceful way to pack yourself into a small space and hurl through the air defying the earth's rotation, the pattern of the sun, and the time of day. There's no way to do this with perfect ease.

And are we even meant to do this? Is this how it's supposed to be? Obviously our bodies can withstand the air pressure and we don't, like, actually lose time by crossing the international dateline. It just feels like it.

It's long.
It's tiresome.
It's just plane hard (see what I did there?).
And yet, we do. Because we can. Because at the end of the day, this terribly exhausting process we willingly put ourselves through is a beautiful gift.

I'm reminded how blessed I am to be in a minority of people who have this wonderful opportunity to travel and see and experience and, yes, battle to the other side of the world. And on SEVERAL occasions, too. How cool is that? Some people never get the chance to leave their house, their neighborhood, their city, their state, or their country.

Blessings, blessings all around.

I need this now as I'm sitting at the airport hyping myself up for the next 24 hours of travel. We spent the past week in Lincoln, Nebraska for my best friend's wedding. How crazy is that? We can just hop on planes to visit the other side of the world! It was just as disorienting as it sounds.

This picture. Moments after landing. Friend time begins. 

We've only lived in Korea for 18 months and yet, when we visit the States, I'm always a little blundered at how accustomed we've come to Korean life that the adjustment takes some time for me. Korea is a different place. A place with rules I'm forever misunderstanding and customs that still surprise me. A place that both astounds and challenges us.

We're different animals now, and we know this because, upon landing in the States and stepping off the plane, we are greeted with smiles and chatter between strangers. STRANGERS, people! We don't even know each other and we're chatting about the weather in the women's restroom. Why? Why the hell not?!

And like my first morning in the States, I went for a jog and a gal out walking her dog said, "Good morning!" She said GOODMORNING, folks! She doesn't even know me. This America is a wild place.

I also bow at people. It's kind of awkward.

And also, I think I do a lot more listening and observing than I have before because it's kind of my permanent posture in Korea. We rarely know what's going, what's being said, or how things are being understood. We are constantly taking notes, watching, waiting, stepping back, looking again, and fumbling our way through. As I result, I think I'm a little less outgoing and more cautious.

So now we go Lincoln to Omaha,
Omaha to Detroit,
Detroit to Korea,
airport to bus terminal,
bus to taxi,
taxi to home.

Well, "home" for now.