I guess when you really think about it we are all just living a life in transit, even if we don’t really venture further than our own backyards and as I get older I do find myself contemplating more often what it all means.
As I walk slowly through the airport I am fascinated by watching people as they pass this way and that. I ponder… Where are they going? Where have they been? What are the personal stories that make them unique. I begin to feel doubt, lonely, small, almost insignificant in the vastness of lives moving around me to all corners of the globe. I am here waiting to meet a group of Ladies for a week long trip to Ningaloo Reef. We are all strangers coming together with the same love of the outdoors, a wish for fun, adventure and to make new friends.
As I wait I look around at the weird world I’m sitting in…. The collection of shops that exist here, the flight lounges, the perfumes, and the amount of coffee choices!. Our group finally unites over a beer and we exchange meet and greet pleasantries feeling each other out as newly formed traveling companions.
I watch as people around us also prepare themselves for travel too.. Get that bottle of water, snacks, a magazine they probably won’t read, a book, a neck pillow, that last minute fridge magnet or toothbrush! …… …. Our group hears an announcement that our flight is delayed and we are a bit bummed but continue our chats getting to know each other’s “why we are here” stories…. I begin to relax as everyone seems so warm, open and inclusive.
We move to the departure gate now and I watch the planes move and other people engage with their traveling companions, the teary farewells, the laughter and happy greetings, the business conversations
and I watch so many people engaged, or should I say engrossed with their devices. It is so refreshing with my new adventure companions that we are invested already in each other and are only using our phones to show pictures of home, family or to illustrate other travel stories.
Another announcement is made for a further delay to our flight due to no crew being available to fly the plane…. Instead of getting upset our group starts to make jokes about Qantas, the delay excuses and which one of us will fly the plane and I can feel us coming together. I heard a story recently of a man stuck in an airport transit area because of a visa issue and not wanting to return home for fear of violence in his own country…
I can’t imagine what that would be like to be stuck, separated, in a ground hog day style existence in this unreal airport world unable to leave.
Our flight delays continue several more times until finally we are told we will not be leaving today. Never before have I felt such a strong connection with people after such a short time but the circumstances we found ourselves in really made people’s personalities shine. There was a wonderful support for one another to keep group spirits up and genuine interest in each other’s lives all compressed into an afternoon of waiting together.
As I went to sleep that night not having arrived to start our trip, instead of feeling disappointed I began to feel a tingling in my stomach rise. Spending time in transit with this amazing group of ladies had turned my feelings of insecurity into feelings of excitement at my opportunities for change, future, adventure, exploration and the wonderful chances we have to meet new people and see new places and make our world bigger, to embrace the changing transient nature of our lives and make it a journey of passion and purpose. That week our adventure in Ningaloo was made all the more richer as a result.