Posts Tagged ‘california’

The Turmoil of Travel: It’s All Worth The Destination

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

My college life in New York can be draining, like a giant leach latched onto the back of your head that relentlessly sucks day and night. It sucks out the happiness that keeps you going, which is why mental health trips are important.

One minute I was in the Uber alone, pooling across New York City to John F. Kennedy International Airport. Another minute I was talking to a stranger named Kristin who reeked of cigarettes, booze, and tales of misspent youth. She entered the Uber cab in haste and rambled on about the homeless man who assaulted her for fifteen minutes. It was 4:30 in the morning and she was trying to get home from a club. Then she rambled about her Jamaican and Chinese heritage and how she was always so upset that people didn’t identify her as such. She must have been in a drunken stupor because she introduced herself to me four times throughout that thirty minute car ride. She yelled at our driver for not dropping her home first. “It’s not your fault sweetheart, you’re a dear. This guys just an idiot!” she babbled as I just sat and nodded my head. I felt bad for her but when she began to say nasty things to the Uber driver I couldn’t wait to escape her exhausting presence. “You’re on your way to California. This will all be worth it in several hours,” I repeated myself in my head to drown out her constant rebukes to the driver.

We finally reached the JFK airport. I thought, things could only get better from here. But as I stepped on to the extremely full flight and found my seat, all optimism just melted away again. I was sandwiched, paninied to be more precise, between two adults and one of them took up a large chunk of my seat. She was unable to put the armrest down that acts as a much needed divider between strangers on a six-and-a-half hour flights across the country. “The seats are very tiny,” she whispered apologetically. I gave her an apologetic smile, but my rigged posture gave away my disappointment. The man next to me who sat near the aisle must have seen our awkward exchange, for in my peripheral vision I could see him nervously looking at her, at me, and then scanning around the plane. I became even more filled with dread, as my eyes hastily scanned the plane for an open seat. I thought, “Great, I am going to be skin to skin with a stranger for seven hours while another stranger creepily stares at me.” However, I guess when I am already in a bad mood, or maybe when I just forget my coffee, I immediately look at the most negative qualities and outcomes of any situation. Once the plane had stopped boarding the man looked at me with fatherly eyes and told me there were plenty of open seats if I would prefer to move.  I gladly moved a row behind of us.

 The plane ride was as good as it could be expected from a cheap American Airlines flight. I awoke flying over a red and brown desert as the morning sun was blasting through the tiny cold windows, and the excitement soon followed. An hour and a half later, I was in California, talking on the phone with my mother while I waiting for Alex, my best friend, to pick me up from the bustling LAX two days before Thanksgiving.

Words could never describe my love for Alex. There are some people in this world that are medicine for the soul; they scoop out all the evil and hate that had been building inside you for months with just a smile, a hug, and a genuine “How are you?”. I’d fly across the world to see Alex, even for just a week, for just an hour, for just a car ride with her. Being in California, seeing Alex and her family, seeing her friends and mobbing around with them, is medicine for my soul. 

Yesterday, I trekked through hell to come to the paradise of California. It’s all worth it: the lack of caffeine, that deafening car ride, that unfortunate seating circumstance, the thirty minute wait at the airport. Living in New York is difficult, especially for a small town beach bum like me, but it will all be worth it. In New York I was having a hard time putting things into perspective with the lights clouding my judgement and the streets’ constant cacophony  tuning out my senses. I could see myself raising a family here in California far in the future, once I have my PhD and a steady job and met the man to love and travel the world with him. New York is tough and cutthroat, but to escape with my head on straight and a degree in my hand will mean that my dream is right within grasp.

Things to remember

  1. Take a trip, somewhere you are loved, somewhere you feel at home
  2. Don’t lose sight of the future, “the world is yours”
  3. Have fun, your not even fully an adult yet

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