“We are flying into the morning,” said the flight attendant, “so it will only be dark for a couple hours.”
I felt like Peter Pan, flying towards the second star to the right and straight on until morning. The twinkling of the Eiffel Tower was the second star, Paris was my Neverland.
Through the window I could see the sky change from warm yellows and oranges to cool blues and purple. Like the sky, my attitude transitioned from warm and excited to a cold and irritable demeanor.
The screens on the back of the seats were like Netflix on steroids. Newly released movies and television shows could keep me preoccupied for the entire flight. I chose my favorite movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”
– Secret Life of Walter Mitty
This movie has been an inspiration to me for several reasons. It’s completely ridiculous at times (I mean, it has Kristen Wiig and Ben Stiller), but it still captures the essence of travel and adventure. Until this point, I found it difficult to get truly excited. Packing and finalizing schoolwork was renting that space in my head. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty reawakened my eagerness to travel and I could finally get excited.
After coming down from my whirlwind of inspiration, I realized I was exhausted. Before I knew it, I was landing in Frankfurt, Germany for the dreaded 4-hour layover. Scared of missing my connecting flight, I continued to fight sleep. By the time we landed in Paris, I had been awake for more than 24 hours. Trams, big plane, little plane, escalators, moving sidewalks, elevator. I experienced so many modes of transportation and all I wanted to experience was my new bed in my dorm room. I didn’t even care about the Eiffel Tower.
We arrived in Paris around 4 in the afternoon, meaning we needed to fight the jetlag and stay awake. After filling every corner of our brains with important information, the program director addressed the bus of secretly sleeping college students.
“What time are we meeting?”
“Will I sit on my bed?”
“No,” we groaned.
Did I sit on my bed? Yes. Did I fall asleep? Yes. Did I almost miss the meeting? Yes.