I miss flying! I never tire of traveling or flying, I got tired while traveling, but never tired of traveling.
My first real travel began in 1987. Prior to that any trips away from the Portland, Oregon area were few. The first time I was ever on an airplane was in 1969, a Spring Break trip to Chicago to visit my High School Youth pastor, then again that summer back to Chicago to work at a camp. Over the next 18 years I went on one business trip to Los Angeles, and one to Colorado.
In 1987 I went to work as a Regional Sales Manger for an import food company, eleven western states; that is when my travel kicked in. Hawaii, Idaho, Utah a couple of times a year, Portland quite often, and California infrequently. I left the company a few years later and my travel took a break. In January of 1988 Tricia and I went to Mexico, my first international trip, I was so nervous.
In 1994 I became a seminar speaker and my world changed. For the next 25 years I traveled all internationally, to five continents, for seminars, along with multiple trips with Tricia to Europe thanks to frequent flier miles.
I miss those wonderful times flying. My rule is, “Never complain about travel, no matter what.” Once you begin being negative it is a slide into the Dark Side which sucks the fun out of travel. Yes, I have had my share of delays and cancelations, but frankly I don’t have the horror stories that others talk about, I honestly believe that our attitude influences the events. Enjoying the trip is contagious and airline staff, as well as hospitality staff, would go out of their way more often than not to make my trip a pleasure.
Often I would do small paintings for fellow travelers, flight attendants, and servers. It was a pleasure for me and earned me a smile in return. Here is one such time:
I was flying from Anchorage to Seattle. The lady sitting next to me was on her way home to New York after visiting her boyfriend in Anchorage. Over time I have learned that they are quite amazing people, they have nurtured a vibrant relationship for a number of years, I see her posts on Instagram along with her three kids. Quite something. So I figured she needed a sketch. She took the photos.
How great to be in a place where you don’t get interrupted by email or texts, they bring me a glass of wine, then, with music in my headphones, I pass the time painting and chatting with nice people – not bad.
Over the years I flew on Alaska Air more than any other, that could account for why so many of my experiences with flying were positive, they are the best – I have a Million Miler Card to prove it. There were a few years when I was flying mostly to Montana and Oregon, short flights on those wonderful Dash-8 airplanes, honestly one of my favorite planes. But those short flights don’t rack up the miles like Los Angeles or Anchorage. So as I was retiring from seminar speaking I could see that there was a chance I would not hit a Million Miles so I did what many do, I took round trip flights just for the miles.
One such trip was a morning flight to San Antonio, Texas, where I got off the plane, then re-boarded a few minutes later for the trip back to Seattle.
Air travel has changed thanks to COVID, I wonder what it will be like when things get back to some semblance of normal? What I do know is that as soon as restrictions are lifted I want to be on a plane, off to someplace, most anyplace would be fine these days. For those who are frequent readers of my blog you know my first choice would be France, I hope it comes true soon.
Happy sketching and traveling, even if your only trip these days is a walk around the neighborhood.