While I was in the present and knew what I was embarking on, the actual journey and concept of my trip hadn’t quite hit me yet. Like most moments in my life (you think I would know this better by now) the full actualization of my trip smacked me in the face as I was standing at the baggage claim waiting for my red backpack to come around the carousal.
As I’m standing there I become fascinated with watching the other passengers from my flight hungrily seek out every black suitcase that went by; hoping, wishing, and begging for their own. Black suitcase, after black suitcase went by likes a strange army of robots waiting for their owners to claim them. – Oh and there goes another black suitcase but this one has a pretty green ribbon tied to the handle. Must be a really special bag. You can read the thoughts going through the bystander’s minds: “Why didn’t I think to add a pretty ribbon to really differentiate myself from all the others?” or the other people: “wait did I add a ribbon on there at the last minute? No I didn’t. Wait maybe I did….Damn I really want my suitcase.” All muddling, irritable and just wanting one of those black suitcases to be one of their own.
And there like a bright light at the end of a tunnel, I spot my red backpack with my purple yoga mat strapped on the front, coming around the corner straight for me. Maybe it was my delirious brain, but I swear I saw it wink. I squeezed my way past the other gatherers, grabbed my backpack and threw it on my back (transitioned my smaller one to the front) and immediately my heart exploded.“Now this is what living feels like!” This is the exact reason the phrase “you do you,” was created.
So I headed out, leaving Terminal 1 and needing to get to Terminal B (international departures) at LAX. Although it was 12:15am (3:15am EST), I decided to walk (instead of taking the shuttle) about 4 terminals down to Terminal B where I was going to set up camp for the night. There I would wait until it was an appropriate hour for me to check in to my flight overseas. Walking from terminal to terminal, I saw an array of people, lots of individuals of all shapes and sizes and cultures. It was a lovely night about 74 degrees. I passed by a long line of taxis eagerly waiting for their next passengers and to take them to their desired destinations. I had to laugh silently as I flashed back to an old chapter of my life: New York City. I remembered the euphoric feeling of spotting an available taxi, charging ahead for it (black suitcase in tow), scarf wrapped tightly around my face to keep warm, and jumping into the oddly comforting and smelly back seat that would bring me “home.”
I got to Terminal B, brushed my teeth, washed my face and exchanged my contacts for glasses. I decided that hanging out in the LAX airport after hours, without the security of being checked into a gate; I should probably down play the single blonde female travel vibe I had going for myself. So I added my trucker hat, glasses and flannel to the mix. Plus my appearance was not at the top of my priority list, after all this was MY story for the next 3 weeks.
I found a lovely little spot on the ground by the window, semi-private with an outlet too. I rolled out my yoga mat, plugged in my electronics, set up my backpacks as support and began the adventure.