Air travel is always an interesting experience for me. In the past year I've flown to Virginia, Orlando, and DC on various carriers and connecting in random cities. Pre-September 11, flying was a lot more enjoyable. Security allowed friends to actually meet you at the gate...you didn't have to disrobe prior to boarding...the amount of liquids in your carry-on luggage wasn't measured. But, even with all the hassles of traveling, I've enjoyed passing the time by watching people. I like to imagine their stories....where are they going?...is it for personal or business? Everyone has a story to tell and my imagination runs wild.
Unfortunately, I'm not the normal social butterfly on flights as I am on the ground. Normally by the time I buckle in, I'm just about out...asleep. I should use this opportunity to meet my seat mates, and there have been some interesting folks I have met along my life of travels in between my snoozing. I flew to Rochester, NY, transferring in Chicago the day after the University of Kentucky won the NCAA basketball championship. As I proudly donned my blue UK shirt, I felt like enlisted military as everyone almost saluted...well, not really, but they smiled and nodded like they just encountered royalty. I flew from Atlanta to San Francisco sitting next to Carlos Santana's cousin. He was a real hoot...and very intrigued I was from Kentucky. He said, "It's so green and lush there." Last November during the east coast Nor'easter that flooded a majority of the coastal area, I flew into Newport News, Virginia. Without a delay at all, I flew right in without a problem. I had more trouble staying dry getting in my ride to leave than our plane had getting there. The trek there initiated a lot of great conversations with people that had no idea what we would face once we landed.
I recently read this blog post "The Sky Stories of Seat 10D." A sales VP, who clearly travels a lot, has decided to conduct an experiment. He bought a nice leather-like journal and wrote his story on why he was traveling in the front of the book, along with his Twitter handle, e-mail and other contact info. He's asked the future occupants of seat 10D to leave the journal in the seat back pocket and enter in their story...where are they going?...why?..who are they? And, has asked them to contact him so he can write about the adventures of this little journal. This is about the coolest idea I've heard in a long time. If those airplane seats could talk. This reminds me of that Where's George? site where people log the serial numbers of their dollar bills to track the travels of their currency. The oddity and quirky-ness of me just finds this airport seat notebook experiment fascinating.
Now I'm contemplating what I can do similar to track future travelers on my trips. Maybe I'll leave a journal in my hotel room at my next destnation and see if others will journal and contact me via Twitter about their trips. Or, maybe I'll just follow in this brilliant sales VP's footsteps and do the same...leave a notebook in the seat pocket of my next airplane ride and see what happens. The fantasizing romancer in me can visualize the coolest of stories that could be turned into the greatest of novels. This from a girl who wrote a soldier deployed during Desert Storm hoping for a romance to start similar to the love story of my parents. Sadly, I never heard from him. I'm convinced he died in combat and that was my husband to be. Ahh, but I digress. I've got a few months before my next flight...plenty of time to devise an intriguing experiment to meet the world...all from my airplane seat.