After almost two years of staying at home and doing schoolwork for months on end, I have finally gotten on a plane and traveled for the first time since the pandemic has started. The last flight I took was in March of 2020, just two weeks before the world shut down and travel was starting to look different. Looking back at that last flight I took; it feels like a different lifetime. Life has changed as we know it, and this may just become our new normal.
The excitement I had the morning I woke up for my flight was unmatched, it felt new and exciting to get on a plane again after months of sitting around waiting for this moment. For someone who has been on many flights, there were a few lingering nerves since our world is so different now. When we got to our first airport in Madison, it was a ghost town. I’ve seen this airport empty before, but never this empty. Everything has become touch-free to help stop the spread of germs, and you lose the interaction with the airport workers. No longer can we see the expressions of the little kids looking out the window watching planes take off and land, just waiting to get on one. The small talk between other passengers of, “Where are you from? Where are you going?” is not as common anymore. People are wanting to stay in their bubbles and keep to themselves, which is completely fine, but for someone who was used to all of this at the airport, it was weird to experience.
Although travel has changed, the excitement of traveling is still there. The morning rush of the airport will never go away. The sounds of people rushing through the airport with their suitcases hitting the cracks in the floor will always be present. I don’t know if it will ever be the same as it used to be, and I hope one day we can get back there, but for now, it’s time to adapt to this new way of traveling.