I was about as prepared as I could get for my first airplane trip. My family, friends, and coworkers all contributed helpful hints in hope that my experience would go smoothly. Here are a few lessons they taught me before my trip:
Lipstick counts as a liquid – I was disappointed when I found out my most recent cosmetic obsession was limited to a small ziplock bag. For the next week I will survive on only three shades. It’ll be tough, but somehow I’ll make it.
When packing, stuff your socks into your shoes to allow for more space in your carry-on – This was an extremely helpful lesson taught to me by my shoe-lover friend that gave me twice the space for footwear as I originally had.
Listen to your mother – My mom taught me more lessons than I can count and without her help I probably would have ended up either arrested or on a plane to Nigeria.
Because of the helpful people in my life I was confident and ready to go on Wednesday morning. My dad took this picture when he dropped me off in front of the airport. It is nice that someone was able to capture me at that moment, because it was definitely the most intelligent I looked all day. For the next eight hours I might as well have walked around in circles while holding up a sign reading, “Just point me in the right direction and maybe I’ll make it.”
When I walked through the airport doors I decided to go for the “celebrity in hiding” look, so I kept my sunglasses on. This lasted for about two seconds, until I realized the lighting was too dim, took off the sunglasses, and knocked over my luggage. At this point I abandoned not only the celebrity look, but also any hint of poise, realizing maybe there were some things about flying that could only be learned from experience. Here are some of the lessons I learned along the way:
Keep your bags in the vertical position – There’s nothing like the good ol’ travel bag tumble to scream, “Look at me! I’m the doofus who has never been on an airplane before!”
Getting dressed the morning of your flight is overrated – Once I turned in my boarding pass I waited for fifteen minutes to have my outfit and three-day packing job torn apart and thrown into plastic bins. Next time I’ll remember to just come in my pajamas.
Riding on conveyor belts with your luggage should be left to the professionals – I’m not sure what they’re called, but I tried riding on this flat escalator-like-thing only once before I realized that if it’s difficult to keep your luggage stable on solid ground, it’s impossible on a continuously moving band of rubber. I’m glad my dad wasn’t there to take a picture of that scene.
Refrain from injuring people – This lesson was unfortunately the result of doing the opposite. When I was on the plane I hit a man in the head while opening up the storage compartment above our seats, and to make matters worse he was the man who had only moments before helped me with my suitcase. I apologized immensely, but the incident did not go unnoticed because throughout the rest of the flight the stewardesses continued to make comments to me about being careful and not hurting anyone.
Window seats are worth it – I am so glad I reserved a window seat! My favorite parts of the journey were definitely the take-off and landing. I’m sure I looked like a five-year old gaping wide-eyed out the window, but I couldn’t help it…..the view was incredible!
Despite my ignorance and inexperience, I made it! I arrived in Spokane right on time, with Shannon and her friend, Cassie, waiting to pick me up. And so began my Spokane adventure! Be sure to come back soon for more fun stories about my trip!