Phone, wallet, keys… oh wait, I don’t need keys on this trip. I’m all set. I checked my oversized pack under the plane—something I was hesitant to do—and took the necessities: a book to read, a grip toy, deck of cards, the smartphone, all important documents, and my comfy, compressible pillow. Looking at my Apple headphones, I thought to myself, “this is not going to be enough bass.” Last night, I downloaded a whole bunch of Dubstep to my Palm knowing that I will need a Soundtrack to accompany me on this trip. So I went to Brookstone and picked out a pair of ear buds. Thunder Bass was the name of the product and it lived up to its name.
As I look around me at Gate D12, I notice mostly older folk and 1 or 2 female travelers, 2 young guys sit next to me, also on their way to Newark NJ. I have not left anywhere yet, but I feel like I am already gone. There will be many interactions with strangers and few of them will become more than acquaintances, maybe even friends. But I am not on this journey to be friends with everyone. I am not going out to expect something amazing or spectacular. The fact that I am travelling alone to another part of the world is phenomenal in itself. And to have friends and family to wish me luck and support me on my endeavors is a blessing. Constant reminders: Take Your time. Observe patiently. Be open. Be considerate. Watch your step. Breathe. Be yourself. B. Lee.
I walk into the gate to the plane heading for Newark and I’m surprised to find myself outside. A 20 row puddle jumper looks a bit unnerving, but I proceed to the door so I don’t get anymore wet. I finally find my seat and attempt to find comfort in the little space the plane provides. A tall man walks up behind me, who also looks very cramped, signals to me that his seat is next to mine. I comment on the literature he was reading. It was an article from the Journal of Craniomandibular such and such and then I said, “I remember reading a bunch of those in college” –I meant journal articles in general. He asked me if I studied Tourette’s syndrome. But I quickly realized that I didn’t specify what it was that I remembered about his article. He ended up being a college professor at Washington University in Seattle. We talk about Tourette’s and about how a certain nerve near the joint of the human mandible and how a pinched nerve leads to motion disorders; what a smart guy. We have great conversation leading into my travels and where I will be going. I tell him, “I’m going to Munich for Oktoberfest and he suggests I learn German phrases if I am planning on performing street performances and make some euros. I think of a great act.