Spain 2014

At the risk of sounding like a real jerk…

Can travel stop giving you butterflies?

The plane goes through its ritualistic grumbling while flight attendants on a screen remind me to put my own oxygen mask on before helping others around me. I’ve just departed San Diego for Madrid by way of Chicago – my ninth flight this year. It all feels very easy and routine. Even my ears know the drill and I’ve stopped needing to chew gum during take off. 

I’m hyper-aware that I’m extraordinarily fortunate to be able to see so much of the world and go on so many adventures. But is some of the magic gone?

I don’t get nervous about hurling through the sky in a bulky flying machine; I have a routine mostly perfected to speed through security with a smile; I remember to bring a sweater because I’ll always be cold; I know exactly which utility purse to bring and which pocket houses my headphones.

Rest assure that I still screw up. Regularly. But having turned into a relatively experienced traveler has made the whole processes easier and leaves me wondering if the jitters and road blocks that used to thrill and terrorize were part of the fun.

I’m hoping that I’m just entering an in between stage of travel transcendence where I become skilled at the basics and get to enjoy a new level of the experience.

Have any of you seasoned travelers out there gone through the same thing? I’d love to hear about how you’ve evolved as an explorer and how you dealt with the growing pains along the way.

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