Today is a travel day in my world. It seems like I have been doing a lot of that lately and I have. This time it isn’t for Duran or to go to the White House (did that last week to attend a holiday reception–so cool!). It is to go to my sister’s house in North Carolina where my immediate family will gather. This is not a typical deal as it is frequently just my parents and I for Christmas as both my siblings live far away. My sister doesn’t want to travel and my brother has other responsibilities with his wife’s family. My parents and I haven’t been able to travel in the last few years as both my cat and my grandmother needed attention and assistance. Unfortunately, we lost both of them at this time last year. This means, though, that we are free to go to my sister’s.
Tonight, I will take two short flights: one to Chicago from my small city and then onto North Carolina. They will mark my 6th and 7th flights since the end of November. This is very unusual for me. Typically, I fly two to three times a year, which totals 4-6 actual flights. I have done that in a month! Let me also be clear about something here. I am not a fan of flying. I pretty much hate it. I don’t like airport food. I hate waiting but what is worse is the actual flight. I feel out of control and trapped. I have times when I do better with this than others. You might be wondering at this point why I’m sharing all of this and what the heck it has to do with Duran Duran.
Previously to 2004, I didn’t travel much AT ALL. My father worked briefly in Georgia and my sister was living in North Carolina. At that point, visiting them would be my only reasons to venture anywhere NEAR an airport. I went because I had to see my family. Then, something crazy happened. Duran Duran reunited and I was suddenly developed a strong but strange desire to see them as much as I possibly could. Thus, in the summer of 2004, I decided that I wanted to attend this crazy fan convention in New Orleans, which would require a flight. Okay. I went for it. It helped that I was traveling with someone else. There, I met lots of crazy people, including my partner-in-crime. That December, tour dates were announced. Remember that I wanted to see the band as much as I could, right? I did. I drove. I drove or rode to five shows. It seemed perfect, ideal, especially since many of my friends from the convention were going to be in attendance for some of these shows. I thought it was perfect. I could see a bunch of shows, hang with my friends and drive! After that tour, though, our group of friends planned a trip to Vegas. Duran happened to announced that they were playing some songs at a charity event there at the same time. This, again, forced me on a plane. I wanted to see my friends and Duran.
As time as progressed, I have found myself on more and more planes. Many of these flights have been for touring purposes (New Orleans in 2006, New York City in 2007, East Coast in 2008, Vegas in 2009, etc.). I have also taken flights to see my Duranie friends, including Rhonda. Then, this past year included two trips over to the UK. If someone would would have told me 10 years ago that I would have taken flights to all of these places and some of them more than once, I would have thought the person was crazy or on drugs or something. I didn’t envision myself as a traveler. I didn’t have the motivation to overcome my hatred of flying and, frankly, I didn’t know if I would like traveling all that much. As a kid, we did do vacations but most of them were small trips to places like Michigan or Missouri. They weren’t very exciting and we always drove. In fact, we drove to Williamsburg, Virginia, and Disneyworld, which were the two big vacations. I’m sure that most of that reason is because we couldn’t afford to fly as a family of 5. Nonetheless, I wasn’t used to flying and didn’t do it much at all.
Now, I still hate to fly but it has become a way more common occurrence in my life. I have discovered that I actually enjoy visiting other places (once I get there!). I also have many reasons to fly now, including my family, my friends and that band that we know and love. I’m lucky to have discovered this about myself and I’m lucky that I have had the opportunity to travel to so many great places. This fortune really has everything to do with the band. They pushed me out on a limb, out of my shell and I have become a better, happier person because of it.