Thursday, January 5, 2017

pre-flight jitters.

I remember as a kid how much I loved going to the airport. I absolutely adore the very long drive there. Extra brownie points if it was a night drive (waking up at 4-5AM to head to the airport gave me the thrills). It was the only time I had exposure to a diverse range of skin tones, facial features, stature. Back then as a 7 year old kid from a pre-dominantly Chinese neighborhood, you don't see a lot of blonde hair beauties with striking blue eyes around.

So airports became this magical in-between place where you can take naps on steel chairs and buy duty-free chocolate and look at planes taking off until it was your turn to get on one. Travelers always look forward to their final destination, but to me all the real fun started right here, in the airport.

Then I grew up. And now I associate airports with goodbyes, and the very real, imminent heartache that follows. I hug friends extra tight when I'm sending them off, I cry when I was the one leaving my home and family behind. The ride to the airport became the most dreaded 45 minutes of my life.

And it kills me that I have to relive it again and again, for the rest of my academic life so long as I choose to come home in between semesters. I don't think leaving home ever gets easier with time, I can't ever 'get used' to it. It will always hurt. And I will always have to deal with it alone, feeling alienated in a foreign country and away from the people I want to be with the most.

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