I am one of those strange people that actually enjoys traveling – not just Traveling as a whole, but the actual inconvenient process of getting from point A to point B. Unless I encounter massive problems with the process – see Winter Break 2012, Spring Break 2013, and Ben Gurion Airport Parts 1 & 2 – I like being in airports. I like being on planes. I like the feeling of being in transit, of existing in this suspended state between worlds. I am literally away from things. I am removed from my life. It’s a nice space to inhabit.
Even I, however, feel that seventeen hours of traveling is excessive.
Mom and I surprisingly managed to be on time for the car that picked us up at 5am. I had forgotten that the world actually existed at that time, though I was groggy enough that it might not and my memories of it today are a lie.
I managed to sleep a few hours on the plane to Miami, and woke up just as we were heading out over the Gulf of Mexico. I don’t remember the last time I flew over a huge body of water – at least during the day when I could see it – and it’s entirely possible I never have. My international flights tend to be at night. There is a way the water has of seeming sometimes flat, sometimes endlessly deep, and sometimes like it is actually a shiny, floating surface in the gaps of distant clouds.
During our layover in Miami we grabbed some food, and my body more or less stopped trying to figure out what on earth was going on or what it time it was or what it ought to be doing and just gave up on normalcy for the day.
After Mom and I split up to catch our respective flights, I walked up and down the D Concourse for an hour and a half, because as I mentioned, I like walking around in airports. The Miami airport likes to use lots of fish and sea-creature images in all of their decorations. It also seems that the D Concourse has been expanded at least six or seven times by architects who felt no need to follow the example set by their predecessors. It is is also insanely long. In an hour and a half, I walked the full length of it twice.
On the flight to Lima, I sat in the middle section with a Peruvian woman at the opposite end and an empty seat between us which we both promptly used as a place to store all of our bags and the pillows they leave on your seat. I tried speaking with her a little bit, but had a hard time hearing her and a harder time understanding her. It occurred to me that this is what Peru will most likely be like – me not quite able to understand all of the words in any given sentence and therefore unable to understand really anything at all. I did catch the bit about it raining a lot in August.
Off the plane, I met up with Sarah in the immigration line, and we celebrated our reunion by signing at each other so as not to disturb everyone by shouting from different parts of the line. Mom was waiting for us at baggage claim, and the tour group’s driver was waiting outside customs. We all three caught up on the drive to our gorgeous hotel in Miraflores. As it was my first time in Latin America, I also spent a good deal of time gawking out the windows. My impressions so far? It rocks. And that I should never again spend seventeen solid hours in transit.