The awareness that travel brings

I saw a bug crawl across the window just now. A tiny bug. His feet went so fast to get across the expanse of double pained glass. Country life has slowed me down over these past 10 days. Enough to notice a tiny bug on a huge aircraft.

I had a knowing glance between a lady and me when the flight attendant just announced we were held up due to a strike in France. “Always France!” She proclaimed. I nodded my head and laughed in agreement. After all, this is my third time living in Europe. I understand how the English feel about the French and even if I don’t agreement with all the sentiments, it’s known the French love a good strike.

I can’t believe I’ve been in London a year now. It started going so slowly and then sped up as life takes over and routines allow you to forget about the passing of time and small nuances in your daily life. In my daily life. Amazing how a small 10 day trip to my home town has slowed down my breath, allowed me to see the moments again.

In front of me are two American guys discussing Europe and how it is going to impact their lives. Both of their first time getting free wine on a plane; first time in Europe. The one Guy in the blue jacket claims we will be here for another hour waiting for the bus. He says it matter of factly as if he knows the airport life. He says he’s moving here for work. It comes out it’s in the aviation sector. American Airlines. He speaks more loudly than he needs to – the type who wants everyone to know about how many places he’s lived; how much he knows and how friendly he is. I know these Americans well.

As I wrote that, the flight attendant comes on the loudspeaker to correct him. 5 more minutes she says.

In typical American fashion, he remains positive and is happy he was proven wrong.

The other in the green shirt is here to travel across Europe with his girlfriend – the veterinarian.

They will notice all the intricacies of European life in the meantime. For the next six months until it becomes home and the day to day isn’t as exciting but more comforting. They will notice such small things as bugs crawling on airplane windows because these are European bugs – these bugs got swagger.

Another 5 minutes for the bus, the flight attendant says. The guy in the blue jacket asks for a beer cart to come around. I notice his polo shirt is tucked into his khaki trousers and he’s wearing his class ring. He also is sporting a pair of white tennis shoes.

Took the bus. 45 minute wait for immigration. The television in the immigration line shows the royal family. A reminder of who to obey?

I’m asked the same questions in immigration as I always am – although this time she asks me where I’m born. I get confused and wonder if I’ve left that off my paper. She says no, she was just confirming it.

I leave the in-between space that is immigration and enter the land that is my home now…London, England. I wait for it, and sure enough the flood of European accents overtake my ears, and I smile.

I miss my family, my nephews growing up, the friends that have known me since I wore awkward bandanas around my head and deer running in front of my mom’s car. However, this is home now, and I have to think that fate has brought me here. I hop on the tube back to work with luggage in tow, a slightly weary smile and confidence that the next year will be even better than the last…and I hope I can keep this memory of travel and the awareness it brings with it…

don't look back, you're not going that way

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