Sitting in the airport waiting for my flight, I observe the anticlimactic nature of the start of my journey. Nothing like in movies, no fanfare or last minute emergencies. No dramatic goodbyes. I sit at the gate, waiting, patient, excited.
Boarding the plane, again, is nothing special. It suits me. I sit in my seat and pull out a book. We sit on the runway for while longer than I would expect. The captain comes on over the intercom and says something about a light and an electrical problem. Huh, I think to myself. Maybe I was wrong.
Once we are finally in the air, I am thankful for the assigned seat that puts me near the front of the plane instead of my usual preference for the rear. It’s going to be close to make my connection, but we are still estimated to land 30 minutes prior to my next flight. I keep reading and put it out of my mind, nothing I can do about it now.
Taxing off the runway to the gate in L.A. feels like it is taking ages. I look at the time. My flight is already boarding. I wonder how far the away the gate is. I grab my bag and scurry off the plane. A woman waiting at the gate asks where I’m connecting to- Auckland I tell her. “Straight down this corridor, take the first right, straight and then the third left. You better hurry.” I shout my thanks over my shoulder, I am already running.
Tap-tap-tap-tap – My feet rap out rhythmic beats against he tiles. It drowns out to commotion of the airport around me. Tap-tap-tap-tap – A wild race through the airport to start my journey, a little cliché, I think to myself. I can’t help but smile though. There is no panic in me still, for I am not running from, but running to. Running towards an adventure, towards what I know will be incredible. My steps come easy, like a child running barefoot and carefree across the grass. Exuberant and joyous, I have not felt so light in years.
“Hi. Did I make it in time?” I breathlessly ask the person at the gate. “Yes, are you Mr. Tanner?” I nod. I hand over my boarding pass and passport. “You’re our last arrival.” “Perfect, thanks,” I reply as I head down the boarding ramp.
The New Zealand landscapes look beautiful from the plane. Less so from inside the baggage claim area. “Yeah, it looks like your bag got left back in L.A.” she tells me. Not the auspicious start I was hoping for. Well, at least it is warm here.