Right now, I’m sitting at the airport waiting to board my 5am flight to New York. I’m stopping in Brooklyn for a couple days to visit friends before heading out for the second leg of my travels; first a layover in Ireland and then finally to my final destination of the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. I’m that perfect combination of scared and excited where I remember what it’s like to really live, to live fully and completely, like I hope to in the upcoming months. I imagine what I would say if I were to narrate the first leg of this trip, the upcoming flight I have ahead in the style of the late Anthony Bourdain. I’m trying to channel yet another one of my favorite artists who has died too soon.
It would go something like this: I sit, stacking my thigh up on my backpack and resting an elbow on my smallest suitcase so that I can keep track of my luggage even if I look away. My stomach is growling, but I ignore it because at first I don’t really believe I could be hungry from the enormous going away dinner I had the night before. I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich my mom made me waiting in my backpack for when the rumbling gets to be too much. I can never eat anything before I get through TSA security at the airport. This gate, like every other terminal of domestic flight at LAX, is subpar at best. There are a few select stores open, namely the Coffee Bean with its wraparound line of half-asleep Angelenos waiting for their morning skinny latte.
I’m careful to continue to keep up with the nonstop texts I receive from my mom who is back home, stalling for time until she can head to work and forget that I’m gone. I always forget, in the midst of all the excitement for what adventures are to come, just how hard it is to leave home. It’s been just me and my mom for more than half my life, and, especially since I left home earlier than planned for a boarding school across the country, it’s always a hard goodbye.
Before I board the plane, I work on my checklist of things I want to do while in New York. I want pancakes from a neighborhood diner, mango drinks, and to watch a couple last movies before I get too busy. But this will have to wait because of course, like any frequent flyer in the states I’ve already had my flight canceled, switched, postponed, and delayed three times over. My flight out of Los Angeles landed in Kansas, where I was connected to a flight in Texas, and if all goes according to plan I should be in New York around midnight. I’ve spent the past four years traveling back and forth across the states, but admittedly these are two that I’ve yet to set foot in. Guess I’m seeing a little bit more of this country before leaving for these next months. I could see cows from the airport window in Kansas and the first thing I read when stepping off the plane was a barbecue advertisement, so it’s safe to say these states did not fail to fulfill their stereotypes in my first impressions.
So for now I’m off (hopefully), off to a new adventure and new people. I’ve done this before, created a pattern leaving whatever I’ve come to call “home” for a new adventure my own. I like to think I’m starting fresh, giving myself a redo every couple years. But the beginning leg of the trip is always the hardest, and I have to keep reminding myself that it’ll only go up from here. So welcome to my adventure, believe me I’m just as excited as you are to see where these next few months take me. I’ll check back in once in Amsterdam, wish me luck!
More Blogs From This Author
<p>My name is Makai Andrews, born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I attended a boarding school, Interlochen Arts Academy, for my final two years of high school in northern Michigan before making another big jump across the country to study as a double major in writing and psychology at Ithaca College. Right now, I am working on coming to the conclusion that in order to write well, you have to live well.</p>