I wrote this (below) in December 2011 when I was visiting Greece. I never posted it because suddenly the difficult and all-encompassing holidays were upon me, and then, before I knew it, my book “Worth Fighting For” was released, and I was swallowed up. But I opened this up just yesterday and I liked it, and thought it was worth a visit back to Thursday, December 15th…
Here I am, sitting in the Athens airport in Greece, waiting to board my flight to the island of Santorini (voted best island in the world this year, I’ve been told). We are delayed because the winds in Santorini kicked up, and are beyond the landing capability of the aircraft. Actually, we were already on the plane when the weather had turned, and were taken off, and put back in the terminal – where we now wait for updates on the weather every twenty minutes, or so.
And oddly, I feel . . . comforted, like, “I know how to do this.” I know how to adapt when I’m traveling, and I love this curve ball I’ve been thrown. It feels like adventure. Why? Because it’s not going according to plan.
It reminds me of so many experiences flying in our Cessna 414. My husband, Patrick, and I would take that plane cross-country, which is pretty ambitious for a 414. I flew it on my own, coast to coast, a few times. And I always said – if you’re going to be flying a small plane, you’d better be ready for adventure – because you never know what might happen, and where.
We once sat on the ground in Memphis, Tennessee, while we waited out a squall line of thunderstorm for three hours in the middle of the night before we could resume our trip into Washington National airport (we were the only plane that got in that night).
And in a podunk town in Oklahoma, I thought I was grounded for good when I landed for fuel, and found all of the oil from my left engine spewed across the wing. It turned out to be a small hole near the top of the dipstick, and under pressure, this tiny pinpoint was big enough to empty the entire contents of my engine. Luckily, it was expertly soldered by the local mechanic, and I was on my way the following morning.
So, this delay makes me feel…happy. I actually get more stressed out when I have a long, detailed list of to-do’s to make a trip a happy one. It makes me feel like I’m under pressure. A little like how I feel about New Year’s Eve parties, and why I avoid them – you show up with a “result” in mind – the It’s-New-Year’s-Eve-and-I-need-to-party-whether-I-like-it-or-not syndrome.
Ah, so now, the pressure is off. I sit in an airport, waiting. And Santorini can wait while I enjoy this detour. Now I don’t have to worry about scheduling myself, squeezing every moment out of my short trip there, and being in one of the most romantic places in the world by myself.