January 17, 2016 (Again)
Another overnight flight from Tokyo to Denver meant hardly any sleep. Not to mention some unruly Chinese women and their children in the row in front of me were constantly being yelled at and reprimanded by the flight attendants. They did everything from let ice cream melt all over the floor to place their food tray in the middle of the aisle when they were done eating. By the end of the twelve-hour flight the flight attendants had had it and said that they were going to call the police because as the plane began descending into the Denver International Airport the women unbuckled their seatbelts and began walking around.
I don’t think the police were really called in the end but it certainly made for an interesting grand finale flight. By the time I landed in Colorado I had had almost no sleep for three full days. I have developed a habit of walking through airports, particularly down moving walkways, with my eyes closed. My patience for naughty children, loud noises, bumping seatmates, small spaces, insects, and people from all over the world has increased exponentially. I can’t even put it into words how crazy this trip has been and how much it’s impacted me. Mostly because I’m too exhausted. My flight had traveled around the world going the opposite direction as the sun so I had watched the sun rise over Japan on January 17, 2016 and then watched in rise again over Denver on January 17, 2016. I had literally time traveled. The Denver passport control line took considerably longer than the one in Japan but eventually I made it through. My parents were waiting on the other side of the glass doors, camera in hand, to pick me up. They had my dog waiting in the car.
It had been:
2 overnight trains
Countless bus, taxi, subway, tuk tuk and car rides.
Not to mention about a dozen movies and one good book.
I spent the next few days doing mass amounts of laundry, trying to fight off jetlag and get in a regular sleeping pattern again, and eventually going back to work. I spent months watching the footage I had captured and editing through it. I had no computer while I was traveling so this was the first time I was seeing any of it. It felt awkward adapting back to the United States. I could suddenly understand the conversations going on around me and sunk hard into the “travel blues.” Most of my friends had started back at school again and I still had the same part time job I had while I was in college (and still do). This trip was the end of a chapter for me. The last big lesson in my college career and now I was being thrown headlong into adult life. Somehow that felt scarier than boarding a plane back to Egypt.