Chat with the chief: Flying low

I had never truly realized how difficult travel could be.

That was until three flight cancellations, two extra long delays and one 24-hour trip to Washington D.C. changed my entire outlook on traveling.

Of course I knew that flights got delayed, and I knew this is a common occurrence in everyday air travel. I just never realized it could be this bad.

If my family had to go somewhere for some unfortunate event, the trip would always be made by car, even if that meant an eight-hour drive to Nashville, Tennessee.

Therefore, I never stepped foot on a plane until this past August when I attended a journalism conference down in Athens, Georgia. It was the definition of a smooth trip to and fro. I relished in the fact it was quick and didn’t require numerous stops for my younger siblings to grab snacks or go to the bathroom.

This trip, however, was not what I would describe as smooth, and what came with it were multiple realizations that I never thought I would discover. For example, when bad weather is on the horizon, maybe it’s best to drive where you need to go. It won’t make the trip any safer, but you can control at least if you actually start to head to your destination.

Also, heading to your desired location via car, it gives you a way to avoid this kind of chaos on days where the wind doesn’t blow your way.

In fact, if anything, this trip made me look at all the positives when thinking about all the mini road trips I’ve taken in the past.

Whether it be something small like playing “I Spy” while heading down the highway, or something bigger like watching “Are You There Yet?” while my siblings and I constantly ask my mother if we are there yet.

What this trip made me realize above all else is that road trips are second to none in terms of bonding with the people around you. This isn’t to say people can’t bond on a plane, but it’s much harder with people chewing gum and blasting music through their earbuds to avoid not being able to tell whether or not the lady at the cafe in the airport is saying “tea” or cheese.” I love flying, and come to think of it, I might love road trips too. There is no doubt in my mind that I will spend countless hours of my future life both riding on a plane and riding in a car.

If this travel situation this past week taught me anything, though, it’s that I’m going to start cherishing those long car rides that ultimately end up being as easy as one, two, three.