The day before
It’s the evening before my trip. I’m double-checking my lists, starting to pack, and getting very nervous/excited.
I have nothing in my database of experiences to pull from for this trip. No flights longer than five hours. No jet lag. No cross-ocean flights. I’ve been to Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands—nowhere that required a passport. This is going to be all new.
Fourteen hours. That is the length of my direct flight from Chicago, IL, USA to Abu Dhabi, UAE. I think about how much I could get done with 14 free hours in one day. I wonder what I’ll get done in 14 hours on a plane. I’ll write little travel stories to post on my blog one I land. I’ve bought two books to read. I’ll have on-demand entertainment on the plane. The problem is, I don’t know how to sit still and be physically unproductive for so long. There will be no choice.
My plan in the coming weeks is to be a giant sponge. I want to soak up every delicious minute of all the things I will see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. I feel a little bit like a kid all over again—fresh-faced and eager to learn. Look out world, here I come.