By: Dante Scarano
What brings man the desire to travel? What is this primal instinct that pushes us as people to explore and seek adventure to the far corners of the planet? That dear readers is wanderlust in a nut shell.
After kissing my girlfriend goodbye, I set out to embark on an epic journey to Southeast Asia, an adventure for the ages. With a lump in my throat, butterflies in my stomach, and eyes welted up I began the journey of what would become a wonderful experience. I’ll be the first to admit it, traveling makes me a nervous wreck, a heap of anxiety that can’t be calmed down no matter the circumstance. Though time and time again I put myself through hell, but always coming back wanting more like some sick traveling sadist, who gets his sick kicks off his own misfortune.
Fast-forwarding 3 hectic hours later, and finally reaching JFK, the ANA terminal is all but deserted and with only 45 minutes left. I knew making it through the TSA was almost a lost hope, especially in New York, and not to mention the visa problems I had at the front desk with the airlines. (That’s a completely unrelated anxiety attack, don’t worry). To my amazement I got through it all in record time, continuing on I ran at the speed of light only to hear the final call for my destination. Boarding the plane takes for what feels like forever I take one last look down at phone, as any nervous millennial does in a time of need, grasping at one last comfort of home before I’m thrown into a different world.
Split seconds later I was on the plane, sitting next to a dude in tight leather pants, and hair as free flowing as anyother 21st century rocker. Reeking of some foreign hooch, to help him cope with enduring fourteen hours in the middle seat. To his left, there sat a babe! (Sorry Krista) What luck though, almost as rare as the sighting of a unicorn for many of us plane folk. As the aircraft took off, I knew it was going to be tough, arduous some may say, but I had Kipling by my side and a whole slew of crap B role movies to help suppress my eternity of impending boredom.
A quick shut of my eyes and fourteen was cut down to two in a daze, and a couple more hours seemed like a cakewalk compared to the fresh hell of what I went through, now all that was left was the landing… As the wheels began to lower and the brake flaps went up, I began a silly little ritual that always helps me through the landing. Balling my toes with just my socks on, not unlike one John McClain who did the exact same in the beginning of Die Hard. While my mind wandered aimlessly to the takeover of Nakatomi Plaza, the plane had landed and people began disembarking left and right. With friendly nudge from my seat compatriot I begrudgingly got up to leave the plane.
My only layover was in the land of the rising sun, a country that I am all too familiar with. It was a giant tease only to go back to just the airport, I could practically see Mt. Fuji in the background landscape (That’s a boldface lie). However, by now the nervousness that once had almost consumed me, washed over me like the morning tide and I was already attempting to plan out my next adventure in my head. Slurping down the last of what was considered ‘authentic’ airport ramen my plane had already started to board again, I quickly got my things together and hurried off to the gate.
The next plane journey was slightly easier than the last, clocking in at only 6 hours I was practically in Bangkok. Though tragically the flight consisted of five hours of the worst on and off sleep of my life, due to the seating rocking jackass in front of me and the re-purposed United Air Jet Liner shaking like a cruise ship on troubled waters. It was not a moment too soon when we landed in Bangkok and the nightmare came to a close. Walking into the visa line I nearly shat myself because of the warning the front desk attendant gave me in New York, but it went so smoothly and effortless, I could have been a Thai Native. Everything else went according to plan, (sort of) I gave the scribbled address to the taxi driver he shook his head in conformation. We were off racing seatbetless through the streets of Bangkok as motorbikes whizzed by left and right. The taxi slowly idled to my quiet, dingy back ally hotel, I wasn’t sure if the hotel booking website had steered me in the wrong direction. Though it maintained a rustic atmosphere, and the sound of jetliners screaming above and howling dogs below would be my lullaby for the night.
I had finally arrived in this majestic country of Thailand, which personally was incredibly anticipated. No more jitters, no more knots in my stomach, just a man who remembered why he loved traveling the world.