Sloan M Coll
Travel Happy refers to my infatuation with and thorough enjoyment of travel to different places, national and international. Beginning in my college days when I spent many enjoyable hours at Washington National Airport in between flights, I have rarely met an airport I didn't like. This section is intended to contain information, impressions and descriptions of the places I have been, the adventure of getting there, and the surprises that occurred along the way. Who could have imagined I would end up resurrecting my high school German to converse with a Thai tuk-tuk driver in Chiang Mai's Old City on a hot August afternoon?
Late Spring, 2004
In retrospect, cramming a 26" suitcase full of every 'just in case' item imaginable for a mere 7 days in London may not have been the smartest thing I ever did. Particularly so as I did not check my bag through to Heathrow, but upon arrival at Logan picked it up at baggage claim and then needed to get it and myself from terminal B all the way to E, where international departures take place. Fortunately, I had loads of time between flights. Unfortunately, at that time, walking the distance was not encouraged, most likely due to some ongoing construction in and/or between terminals. So, there was no choice but to muscle my heavy bag, boarding bag and purse onto the shuttle bus - after checking umpteen bazillion times as to exactly which bus I should be on to accomplish this feat. Disembarking at Terminal E was slightly easier, better yet was the escalator to the upper level where the check in counters were located.
In due course, and after spending a couple of hours sitting under a cold air ceiling vent, as those were (of course) the only empty spots, the rest of my party arrived. To my embarrassment, I simply picked the shortest line (while wondering why all those people were snaked in queue for one other counter) only to discover that I had trespassed into the highest business class territory. My redfaced apologies were answered with a very sweet reply from the check in personnel, who not only brushed it off as a minor thing, but proceeded to check us all in - rather than make us go to the long snakey line where we actually belonged. I instantly liked British Airways, which opinion remained strong for both my outward and inward bound flights.
When I discovered palm trees growing in Dublin in July, 2014, I experienced, for the first time in a very long time, the absolute joy of the unexpected..It was as if I was finding something long lost. And it made me wonder how much else I have been missing as I tried to be every so perfectly prepared for my continued exploration of the planet. . It also made me wonder how very much I have been missing by the very act of ;trying to be 'prepared' for my currently upcoming travels. After much thought, I decided I needed to simply take a chance and trust my sense of adventure. I will go to Spain with a couple of street maps, a sense of how the airports are laid out, and - best of all - a feeling of expectant joy at the prospect of encountering people, places and experiences I can add to the repertoire of who I am. I can't wait!.