child-like excitement…

When I travel, I love to people watch. Whether it is a short or long layover I have to endure, I try to stop and check out my fellow travelers. I honestly don’t think you can find a better slice of our world today than by watching the movement through an airport concourse. Preppies, jocks, knuckleheads, weirdos, businessmen, foreigners, regulars and newbies….this airport has them all.

This week while I was traveling, I once again spent some time at the airport gallery and noticed that there is one kind of traveler that I love to see more than any other, kids. Amongst those that travel a lot, there seems to be an unspoken rule that everyone has to act like they are miserable and “pushing through.” Looking busy on your phone or laptop is encouraged, having an overstuffed briefcase is a big plus but showing “the misery of travel” is a must. But children do not have these ridiculous rules and they are so refreshingly honest.

When someone walks by that is acting or looking foreign to them, their eyes get huge and they can’t break their gaze. It is hilarious to watch a little one try to process through why someone would choose to be so different. Young kids also do not get caught up in the dress and look of traveling. They do not care if they match and they do not care if their bag is dragging behind them.

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But the best part of watching kids at the airport is simply the joy that so many show. They are on the adventure of their lives and they are thrilled with it all. I remember traveling as a kid and I absolutely LOVED the planes and how they worked. My father or mother would take me to the windows so I could watch the planes be loaded, unload, prepped, takeoff and land. In fact, to this day, I can sit and watch the outside aircraft activity and not grow tired of it. But, I can so easily lose that joy of traveling. I get caught up in the mindset of the hardcore traveler and embrace my “misery.”

Why?

Granted, when I travel I miss my family terribly. My wife and kids are constantly on my mind, and I long to be united with them, but is that reason to be so miserable? Is there a way to recapture that child-like joy in the adventure of my travels? If so, that would completely change the way I travel and even the way I interact with those around me. And what if that joy was contagious? Not that every businessman will break into song and skip down the concourse after meeting “the new me”, but maybe a simple smile or kind word would brighten their day and break the cycle of depression that encircle them?

A number of years ago, there was a series of commercials that showed one person doing a good act, being noticed by someone else, who then “passed it on” by doing good themselves. The whole ad showed a series of people touching the next person and so on. Maybe showing a little excitement and joy in travel could do the same thing?

If so, may it start with the ten year old boy in me.

(This post was originally posted on the Dad Matters blog page)

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~ by kuiperactive on November 11, 2014.

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