March 11, 2010

A Promise Made and Not Forgotten

    There is something different about my friends tonight.  I can see it in their eyes, afire with life.  There is a glimmer of apprehension and exhilaration.  I notice the change in the way they speak rapidly -  excitement pushing forth words faster than their thoughts.  I can see it in the way Joe's fingers rhythmically tap the steering wheel. A nervous twitch made noticeable only today? And then there is the sudden prolonged silence of my ADHD, fast talking, easily excited, surf buddy Ben - a rather unusual change.  This was odd indeed!

     It is not often that one sees such changes to those so close.  I have been witness to such a change before, when first time travelers return from epic adventures.  They have the same giddiness as they recount tales of voyages to far away lands, as they describe mythical creatures they encountered, and cultures strange but wondrous.  This must be the difference I have noticed.  This is the reason they walk so swiftly onward to the airport check-in lines.

    You see, the farthest from home Ben has ever traveled is Florida, a trip from my freshman year.  And Joe is still fairly new to this international traveling.  He has South Korea and Costa Rica under his belt.  But what makes this trip so interesting is how it all came to be; a promise from long ago...

    Ever since I've known Ben, he has expressed incredible desire to experience the world.  He is smart, very friendly, and open to new things.  But, he lacked something, he didn't have the desire, the motivation to change his world.  So, I made him a promise.  I said, "Ben, I'll make you a deal.  If you ever get the courage to acquire a passport, I'll stop what I'm doing and join you."  That was three years ago.  I got a phone call in late January, Ben got his passport and fate came a calling.

    In less than a month we decided a destination and added another friend.  In my typical international travel preparations, I waited until the last moment to pack.  I throw enough clothes for 3 full days (a 10 day journey), the list of items my girlfriend requested, my wallet, and food.  On the way out the door, I realize a missing necessity, and run into the house for my passport.  Yes, my typical travel preparation...

   What was even greater is we arrived at the airport at 2 AM.  A message from earlier that day indicated we were leaving at 4.  I assumed this meant the flight.  However upon arrival at the empty kiosks I soon realize my error.  Our excitement peters-out when we learn that our flight is actually at 6:10 - a whole 4 hours later.  Well, at least we are on time...

    What a start, what a journey this will be.


  1. Jon! Jon! Jon! Jon! (**poking you**) Guess what! The building management people are letting us move into a 2-bedroom early. Like, more or less whenever! Woohoooooo! So you can move up here whenever you want!! Woohooo!

    Hope you're having a great time!!!!

  2. >>>> Great. I am inspired. For you to just throw off your socks and get on the plane to that place - amazing!
    I hope you steer away from the blood pact happening in Bangkok. Just stay on the beach and add up the coconuts.