At sixteen years old, I can’t say I’m an expert traveler. But I can say that I’ve gone a trip that left an excellent story to tell. It was a week before Thanksgiving, and I was sitting in the Boise Idaho airport with my stepmom waiting for my flight to arrive. I was going to spend the holiday in Palm Springs California, but before I arrived there, I had a stop in Denver Colorado. I was sitting at my gate doing some homework on my laptop when I overheard a heated conversation between a male traveler and the man behind the desk. From what I could overhear, the plane leaving Boise was running late, which meant the man would miss his connecting flight from Denver. It took me a moment but I soon realized that I was in the same boat, figuratively speaking. My stepmom realized this too and shot out of her chair to talk to the man behind the desk.
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After several phone calls to many different people, my stepmom finally approached me. She told me that I had a decision to make. I could either leave from Boise in the morning, or I could board the current plane and hope that I arrived in time to board my departing flight to Palm Springs. If I didn’t make it in time, however, I would be forced to stay the night at the Denver, Colorado airport by myself. My stepmom and my dad had both agreed that I was old enough to make this decision. I, however, wasn’t so sure I could handle the pressure. All my life I did everything safe. I was boring, plain and simple. I never took any risks or had any real adventures. Before I knew what I was doing, I was boarding the plane. With my fear of flying prominent in my mind, I strapped myself into my seat, closed my eyes, and started praying. I prayed that I would not only make it to the airport alive, but that I would also make it on time.
When the wheels of the airplane touched down on the ice and snow-covered runway in Colorado, I finally let out the breath I had been holding. I grabbed my bags as fast as I could and began my sprint across the airport. I felt like a member of the McCallister family straight out of Home Alone as they ran to catch their already boarding flight to Paris. Finally, after stumbling many times and dropping my luggage twice, I made it to my floor, only to find out that I had missed my plane.
I was terrified and hysteric, but after calling home for comfort, I realized I would be okay. I made my way to the airport lounge and found a chair to sit in. I read a book and did some homework until I grew tired, and then I turned my chair into my own humble abode. I slept beneath it so that the cushion shielded my eyes from the lights overhead and fell asleep.
I woke up early in the morning and tried to wipe the remnants of the night’s previous emotions from my face and then set out to find my gate for my flight to Palm Springs.
Although my traveling didn’t include comfort, hotels, or other luxuries, it was a reminder to me that I’m strong enough to take risks. While I’m no Macaulay Culkin and didn’t turn my risk into a full-fledged adventure across New York City, I had toughed it out. I had taken a chance.
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