Every now and then I marvel at the fact that I’m an adult. I tell my students when I’m giving a “you need to work hard to get a good job and have a good life” pep talk about how I can go home and eat ice cream all night in my underwear if I want to. I even remember first living with someone years ago and saying aloud, “We can do whatever we want to!”
Sometimes this sense of independence gets muddled and overlooked, though, as the bills roll in or you walk past the weeds needing your attention. But I was reminded of the joys of adulthood today as I helped my sister navigate through her first trip abroad.
She’s flying to Grenada today for a ten day veterinary camp and has two flights before arriving. I’m not sure how well my parents prepped her, so I started sending texts as I thought of things and as a response to her question texts she was sending me. I was immediately reminded of all of the travel details you take for granted when you are with someone, especially your parents. You can just follow their lead to your connecting gate, never really having paid attention to how to get from point A to point B.
Traveling alone, however, takes much more attention. I wondered if she even knew how to check for her next gate. When she confidently texted about how easy it was to get to her first gate at the St. Louis airport, I realized I needed to prep, but try to not scare her, about how large her next airport would be. She innocently asked if there would be a charge for the tram that I just told her she would probably have to take to get to a different section of the airport.
Although I am anxiously awaiting my Viber messages from her telling me she’s arrived safely and enjoying herself, I can’t help but feel a sense of excitement at the feelings of confidence that I know are developing inside of her as she successfully navigates each aspect of her trip. There is nothing quite like traveling alone, and I’m so proud that she was brave enough to pursue this opportunity.
And, I think looking at flights for my next potential trip is definitely moving to the top of my to dos for today.