I honestly didn’t think I’d be posting any updates until I actually got across the pond…but there is so much worth writing about and I’m already starting to feel the excitement so I thought I’d share those details with you, my loyal readers.
I’ve always wondered what awaited savvy businessmen on the other side of the smoked glass doors at MSP. The Delta Skyclub had a certain allure but no real practicality for me. Unfortunately you don’t become a super platinum member of Delta by going to Chicago a few times over a year with some miscellaneous travel added in.
What awaits is something that equates to a high school cafeteria, if it had booze and comfortable lounging chairs. The booze is free, and as I write this I’m drinking some decent scotch with a bit of coke to settle the nerves, settled in on a post in the corner with my own little private cubicle. From my Herman Miller Aeron chair I’m starting to feel the anxiety mix with sleep deprivation and alcohol as it creates a comfortable and warm sensation on the mind.
To be perfectly honest with you all, I have not been anxious all week. More of a zombie, trying to catch up on work after being gone in Illinois for a week. Once I stepped of the plank and left the building I said goodbye to work tension, responsibility and then it hit me that I was going to be leaving my bubble for a while to find greener pastures.
I wouldn’t call myself sedentary, but I’m not exactly a “hang upside down from life while chugging mountain dew” type either. I travel well but typically have the comfort of either traveling with other people, traveling for work, or meeting up with friends in US destinations. I’ve never traveled through multiple countries, some English speaking and some not, with the intention of simply wandering.
.. and that’s exactly why.
I think that the most important feature of life is the fact that it can be as random and unexpected as you let it be. Control is only an illusion and a need that can’t always be fulfilled. If you take the opportunity to put yourself in a new situation, let go of that rope, and let the wind be your guide then you might just find something you never knew existed.
That being said, I might just end up getting hammered all over Europe and not learning anything.
Either way the opportunity to step outside of my box and remove myself from everything I call normal and comfortable is exciting as hell to me. A type of excitement that only really came to fruition in the past forty minutes once I opened my mind to the idea of leaving again.
Today has been a sort of strange marriage of timing and luck. I was tasked with picking up some catering for, what my predecessor would call, “forced socialization lunch Friday,” and I walked in just in time to have the owner point at me and ask me if I was the “catered order.” Moments later a horde of people walk into the deli and the place becomes inundated with patrons.
I wrote that off to chance.
On the way to the airport the traffic was heavy as it usually is and I told my “work mom” to drop me off my favorite check-in spot which no one seems to realize exists. It was empty…almost eerily. I swiped my passport through the new Delta terminal and it scowls at me “Your passport is expired, please see a gate agent.” Whhhhaaaa? Luckily it must have been a scanning error, but I chatted up the lady for a while exchanging pleasantries and commenting on my baggage. 43.25 lbs! I’ve never packed a damn bag over 30…
I think it was the Milk Duds Jim wanted me to bring over for him. Apparently they don’t have those in the UK.
Anyway, as I left the completely empty curbside check in I made my way to the main terminals array of security checkpoints. Empty! All of them! That has never happened to me. So I asked the TSA agent who was checking my passport if it’s ever this dull at 7:00…She told me that mere moments ago the entire place was packed and it was “shear hell.” How is it that I manage to perfectly miss two queue ups so swiftly in one day? I don’t have that kind of luck.
It’s the sort of thing I can only chalk up to a well wish from fate. A sort of nod to approve of my current course of action and karmas way of giving me a great send off.
That being said, I’ll probably have crappy luck the rest of the trip, stuck in lines and constantly trying to find the right place to be in, only to realize I need to be in *another* line I didn’t see. Let’s hope not, eh?
So as I sit here, drinking my scotch and soda (tip of the cup to you, Annie Oakley) I’m filled with excitement, wonder, and an understanding that I’m about to spend 9 hours as a second-class citizen flying the lowest coach fare you can get without having to be stuffed in a dog cage and flown in the baggage section of the plane.
Ironic, that I’m basking in the glory that is the Skyclub, only to take a steerage ride to England, probably next to some guy with a mild touch of SARS and a pension for laying his beastly head on my shoulder, whispering sweet sleep-induced nothings into my ear while he practices olympic medal farting skills.
Alas, who gives a hoot, I’m mere hours from being in a different country, continent, culture, and experience!
Cheers for now, may all your drinks be stiff (like mine, damn man I’m bright red right now) and your days be great.