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Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Travel Too Much


I travel too much.

I was just thinking this morning that my blog would be more interesting if it served as an airport restaurant review. I could tell you about Paulino’s morning paninis or their tangy BBQ Pizza. I could describe for you the tender chicken found in the middle of the delicious Blue Burrito Grande Chimichanga. Or perhaps you want to hear my airport-to-airport comparison of Cinnabon employee fingernail colors.

Sadly, I am not planning on making the switch. I am going to continue to do whatever it is I do on here.

As I was saying…I travel too much.

As I travel I see many forms of "traveler".

There is the business traveler. He/She tends to be a little chubby as he has inevitably enjoyed a few personal pan Pizza Hut pizzas. He has one black suitcase that he carries on every day. He has a folded USA Today held securely by his armpit. As he enters the plane, he removes his suit coat, sets it nicely on top of his luggage in the over head bin, sits back down, opens up his laptop, puts on his Bose headphones and begins watching his most recent Net Flix rental or, if in a time crunch, studies the monthly revenue summary. Her trip is about work. Her attire, her mannerisms, even her order (bloody mary in the morning, jack and coke in the afternoon) scream to her fellow travelers “I am all about business”.

Then there is the “I gotta get to the ______” traveler. These are the talkative ones. You can fill in that blank with, “big game”, “family reunion”, “star trek conference”, or “guy who I have met online six months ago”. These people have their thoughts on one thing and one thing only. You know this of course because they have talked your ear of since the moment you sat down, thus not allowing you to pull out the headphones and ignore them. They are not really on the plane. Their bodies are, but their brains are not. They gotta get to the ______ .

Then there is the panicked traveler. I get one of these a trip. Its guaranteed that I will sit next to someone who has not flown since 9-11. They tell you a story about the last time they traveled, remind you of how difficult it was to get through security, and organize their back seat pocket so that the “barf bag” is on top. As the plane lands, their arms stiffen and their back arches. They want everyone to know. I may be traveling, but I am not comfortable.

I am sure that I am missing many travel stereotypes. However, I bring it up only because we live life much like we fly. We fly with a purpose. Why else would we pay an exorbitant amount of money to put ourselves through fifty minute lines and a mandatory strip search? Our reasons for travel are endless, yet more often than not, we do not name relationship as one of these reasons. We fly for work, to see a national monument, to take a break, to learn more at a conference, or to meet the demands of our families.

Which of course had me thinking…how often do we live life with an agenda other than relationship? How often does work (just because its church doesn’t make it better) dominate our conversations? How often do we set our sites on a project, game, or achievement and miss connecting with others? How often do we allow our own fears to navigate how we engage with others? How often do we live under the guise of relationship only looking to have our own ego stroked?

It is my hope that over this next year I will find myself on planes talking more about who I am going to see rather than what I am going to do. It is my hope that my life can be more about relationship than personal agenda. It is my hope that I will begin to measure my life not by my agenda driven goals, but by my relationships.

However, I will always go to the airport with some kind of agenda…and that agenda looks a lot like a deep fried burrito with a side of black beans.

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*thelongbrake said...

Come home. Now.

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