One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from Stand-By travel is how to be ready for anything at any moment. Spontaneity has become a part of who I am, which I am so thankful for. I never thought I would have the ability, let alone desire to be spontaneous.
But spontaneity and flexibility are requirements for any Stand-By passenger. If you are a stickler for a regimented schedule, then I’m sorry but Non-Revving is not for you.
I think God brought me into a family with traveling benefits for a reason. He knew my purpose on Earth is to act, a profession that requires spontaneity and flexibility. He also knew that my personality is a Type-A makeup, someone who is not really ok with being flexible or spontaneous. So to help guide me in becoming an easy-going person, God gave me the benefit of flying for free all the time. He knew that I would learn so much from travel that would morph my personality and give me experiences I can treasure forever.
My life has turned into one spontaneous adventure. I’m eager and ready for anything that is thrown my way, which is so freeing. I know that at the end of the day, every event and moment in time is orchestrated into a beautiful symphony, and God is the only one with the Play Bill; only he knows what’s coming up next and what this new song will be titled.
I wish everyone looked at life this way. And I wish everyone looked at travel this way. Because things go awry so frequently and the world would be a much better place if we could all just take a breath and be OK with the way things turn out.
But I understand- sometimes it’s hard to keep your cool when you have a plan set in motion but nothing is working out the way you intended.
Last week, I went to visit my brother in Tampa, Florida. It was my first time really ever spending any time in Tampa, and I was so excited to see him! Our plan was to attend a music festival all weekend long, and I was to arrive in Tampa on Saturday morning just in time for the first day of the festival.
But of course, nothing went as planned.
On Friday night, my mom (AKA my travel agent, best friend, and biggest aid in my travel experiences- seriously, get yourself a mom like mine) checked the flights for me and they looked horrendous. There were negative seats available on all of the flights to Atlanta (which I had intended on connecting through), and she told me my best bet would be to try the first flight in the morning from LAX to ATL, then connect from ATL to Tampa.
This was already a blow, because now I would miss the first half of the first day of the festival. I would now land in Tampa around 4 pm, which would mean I would have to meet my brother at the festival. Thankfully he knew I was flying Stand-By (and obviously he understood because he used to have benefits as well), but I was still upset that my plan had been ruined.
I spent the night at my sister’s house in Hermosa Beach, which is close to the airport. My new plan was to wake up at 4:30 am for a 6:30 am flight to ATL. My alarm went BRRRRINGG! And I woke up with texts from my mom saying, “Maybe you should try for the next flight. The first flight is getting crunched.”
Ok, another hour setback, but at that point there wasn’t anything I could do.
Another text from mom: “Oh, by the way, I actually checked the loads from last night and you would have gotten on the flight after all.”
UGHHHH. Ok so you’re telling me I would have been in Tampa on time, before the festival, like I had originally intended all along?
I wish my mom hadn’t texted me that.
I slept an extra hour, texted her frequently, and then realized I needed to get to the airport ASAP. I called an Uber and I was to arrive at the airport right on time for my now 7:30 am flight to ATL. All was right with the world.
Except nothing was right with the world. Because my Uber driver ran 2 stop signs and was pulled over by the cops, causing me to miss my flight.
That’s when I lost it. I called my sister at 6 am, crying, asking her to come pick me up. The remaining flights to ATL that day were all full and it didn’t make sense to even try. I would now go back to Lauren’s house and sleep, and then try for a 1:30 pm flight to Tampa that arrived at 8:40 pm.
I missed the whole first day of the festival.
I was belligerent and defeated, but I made it to Tampa eventually, as I knew deep down I would.
And that’s the funny thing about traveling, and about life in general: you WILL get to your destination at some point. It may not be when you intend it, but don’t fret because it will happen in its time.
We waste so much of our brain cells trying to plan our life out and rewire God’s plan for us. Think about it from a traveling perspective: delays happen. Flights are cancelled. The overhead bin space runs out. And our responses are always angry and controlling, as if we have the right to determine how things will go in our life.
Ha! How we know so little.
It’s probably a blessing that my Uber driver was pulled over by the cops, because who knows? He could have gotten us into a car accident with his unsafe driving.
And maybe I avoided an undesirable situation at the music festival on the first day. Maybe I was never intended to go for some reason I’ll never know.
But I got there eventually, didn’t I? And I still had the best weekend.
What I’m trying to say is, life is better when you have an easy-going, positive perspective. Yes, bad things will happen, and that really can get you down. But don’t let it! Everything truly happens for a reason. Even your Uber driver getting pulled over by the cops.
Isn’t life so much more exciting when you are excited about life? When you have no clue what’s going to happen tomorrow but you are excited to find out? When you have no idea how you’ll get there, but you know you will eventually?
That’s what life is like when you’re spontaneous, flexible, and positive.
That’s what life is like
On The Fly
-The Fly Girl