We walked down the aisle, side by side. I spent weeks anticipating this moment and I could feel the rush of euphoria rising inside me.
With rows of seats filled with people on either side, the aisle narrowed.
It got so narrow that Charla walked in front of me. “Wait a minute,” I said.
“Oh look where I am!” said Charla. “I’m in the window seat!”
She laughed and enjoyed her victory while I lamely claimed the window seat on the way back. As the plane took off I leaned over her to look out the window. Travel has brought us close, literally.
Even as a child I loved travel. On a flight to my grandparents for Thanksgiving, my five-year-old self squealed with delight so loud that it shocked the other passengers. “Is anybody flying this plane?” I asked loudly. Laughs all around.
After my burst of college-age travel, the years of career, debt, and routine erased my chances to go somewhere, anywhere. I would look at the big photos of travel guides in bookstores, then sigh and go back to reality.
A new job meant business travel, which soon became its own routine to the same place with the same meetings talking to the same people. By instinct I still found the travel section every time I entered a bookstore.
Meeting Charla woke up my forgotten dream of traveling again. Travel is an underlying theme of our life:
our first trip to Europe,
my trip to see her in Seattle,
our road trips to Sacramento and Laughlin.
When I nearly made her miss her pre-dawn flight to Seattle.
When she came on my work trips to Washington DC and San Francisco.
In Costa Rica, before the monkeys stole her sandwich on the beach, she told me that her dream was to bask in its blue-green tropical waters with her true love. She and I got that wish.
More trips are in store and even when we’re not together, we are. She’s traveling by herself and I’m traveling by myself. Somewhere in the middle of that we are getting married and then we are traveling together, again. I may even get the window seat this time.top