Flying can really make you feel like a small child again. Scheduled meal times, every need handed to you, and frequent nap times.
But what I realized just a few days ago, sitting on a KLM flight to Amsterdam, was that flying can also give you an opportunity to do what children are not supposed to do–talk to strangers. Sitting next to me in the cramped, blue carpeted space of row 32 of our airplane was a military pilot, about 45 years of age. And, inevitably, when you’re sitting next to someone for 7 hours straight, you start talking. He regaled me with stories about flying all around the world and spending one year living in a tent in Afghanistan. He reminisced about flying school with a faraway gleam in his eye and a smile brightening his face.
In short, I spoke to a stranger that day, and he opened an entire world to me. I don’t think I would have ever approached him or had the opportunity to speak to someone of his experience in a normal, day to day environment–say, if were standing next to each other on the subway, or in an office building. But airplanes, for all their confined spaces, are strangely liberating.
After 8+ hours of sitting on airplanes, I arrived safely in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and, though I miss everyone at home terribly, I am excited to be here and to experience this wonderful country and the people who make it so :)
So, in signing off, I am sending you a hearty “Jambo!” through this amazing ol’ internet that connects us even when we are miles apart. Wherever in the world you are, I hope that you will join me in my adventures in Tanzania over the next 2 months–I cannot wait to share them with you!