There is something about people watching that makes the long hours of being stranded in a airport Starbucks fly past. Everyone is going “somewhere” presumably for something.Though I know not why, I often imagine their life stories and why they are going where they are going or what their real lives are actually like. Overly manicured business men, frazzled parents toting their children behind them, and my very favorite-the yoga pant divas and their pajama clad counterparts; all of them have a purpose in travel. But why are they going where they are headed?
Something we (Drew and I) had never experienced before this trip was the feeling of “going back”.
Travel is usually accompanied with a feeling of adventure. A light hearted freedom in not having a set schedule for every moment of every day, an escape if you will. Wake up when you want, go where you want, do what you want… normal structures aren’t usually in play. For this trip however, going back meant constant scheduling. Making things fit into our days became our motto… “how can we make this fit?” or “oh yeah, I can fit that in at 2 I think?” A never ending barrage of tasks and requests.
I think there is a finesse to going to a place where so much is vying for your attention. The plans you start mapping out begin to grow legs. More and more branches creep off in all directions creating a horrifying mess of “to dos” “to see” “must do” and “must see”.
Here is what we decided.
There has to be grace. We have to allow for people to be upset because we can’t please everyone all of the time. Though we would love to make every coffee request and lunch date happen, there are only so many hours in the day.
There has to be flexibility. Plans will change… deal with it.
We need to pick our battles. What really matters and what doesn’t.
And in the end, it’s the two of us, and if we are happy with how things play out- who we got to see and what we got to do, then it was an amazing trip.
When we landed in LA our friend Hannah picked us up from the airport and we shared with her some of the chaos that we experienced in the last ten days. She herself moved to LA five or so years ago and she told us that it took her two plus years to make her trips back to Grand Rapids not feel so cramped and rushed and seem more “normal”. Hearing this made us feel a bit better I have to admit. Knowing others have been in the same place before and have managed to come out the other side unscathed is always comforting.
There will be more journeys of going back, but I have a feeling we will be a little more prepared in the future.
Bon voyage for now, the sunshine is calling.