Coming in for a Landing

Travel! When the opportunity arises, it’s such a joy. And one of the pleasures is that first glimpse of Destination from the plane as it’s approaching the airport. On the recent trip, that was Hungary. Well, Frankfurt first, for the layover and change of planes, because Budapest is, inconveniently, not a direct flight from Dallas-Fort Worth International by means of any airlines that wanted to haul 100 wonderful yet mildly wacky choristers and choir groupies like us over there.Photo: Wing Watching

But then there was the arrival in Hungarian airspace, the gradual coasting down below the thirty thousand foot level, the passing through a thick padding of cloud, and the gradual appearance, between shreds of the last clouds, of lovely farmland and countryside, soon followed by equally tantalizing sightings of increasingly suburban and urban zones. As the craft eases toward the runway, there’s that little tickle at the back of the brain that says, This is Finally Real! After weeks and months of planning and imagining and arranging the possibilities, thinking the adventure infinitely far away, suddenly one is looking out a plane window at trees and roads and buildings of a place-that-is-not-home, and it feels quite lovely, even if one is groggy from a long day or night (or more) of travel to get there.Photo: Aerial Patchwork

Returning home after travel can have something of the same effect, of course, since even when it’s awful to have the holiday or away-time end and worse, there are chores and jobs and catch-up of all sorts to attend as soon as the wheels touch the tarmac, there’s still that bit of gladness welling up at the sight of familiar yet unfamiliar land below, stuff not normally seen from such an elevated angle. And it also says that the known comforts of home are not far off after a long day or night (or more) of travel to return.Photo: Signs of the City

So I’ve now had both versions of the experience anew, more than once each as it happens, in a recent journey and, rather than dulling the pleasure, it reminds me afresh of what appeals and beckons about flying off to distant places. And about winging back to home turf, too. Flying from Dallas to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Budapest, riding in massive coaches with the choir from Budapest to Vienna to Prague; flying again from Prague to Stockholm, then Stockholm to Frankfurt to Dallasโ€”and all the while, looking out windows for signs between the buildings, the trees, and the clouds to say that some new sort of excellence lies just aheadโ€”this is a journey worth all of the weeks and months of labor and dreaming, plotting and packing, and one that only makes me hungry for more.Photo: Over Budapest

11 thoughts on “Coming in for a Landing

  1. Agreed. Each trip does leave me wanting for more, Kathryn. It’s been a while since I’ve traveled and I’d quite forgotten about that “effect”. I’d, also, forgotten how forlorn one can feel on the trip home. Luckily that’s short-lived — and a few cocktails will help to ensure its short lifespan. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you, Maggie. We had a very busy couple of weeks home, then hit the tarmac to take off for another high-speed trip. Back home, we hit the ground running! Wondering when this will slow down a little (according to the calendar, no time soon!), but relishing both expeditions and still trying to regroup enough to post on various other aspects of them. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Thanks, dearest. I don’t mind flying if I’m in good health and therefore able to sleep most of the way to and fro!!! But I do hate being cooped up for hours in a sardine tin with bellowing cases of catarrh around me, so I much prefer a train when possible. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I love this post Kathryn! You got me to feel what it’s like to be excited going to a new place! Oh the adventure! Love those images btw…especially of the patches of land beneath. Wonderful!

  3. Hi Kathryn, sounds like a wonderful adventure you had with a choir? Maybe we’ll hear more about that? I enjoy your reminders about travel and coming home. It’s been too long since I had a travel adventure. I love the expanded feelings and awareness from being somewhere fresh. And coming home has its rewards too. ๐Ÿ™‚ blessings, Brad

    • Yes, this trip was a choir tour. I’ll undoubtedly post about many aspects of it as time passes; right now, we’re just back from the last jaunt of the summer and trying to get our heads to stop spinning while jumping right back into Real Life, so I’ll probably be a little slow regaling you with my adventures. But it’s coming. And yes, that sense of expansion: you found the perfect word for it.
      Blessings to you, too,

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