The Journey Planner.

This year for me seems to be all about the journey, and so it seems I had a lot to learn from a recent flight to Queensland…

1) I had a flight to catch.  I had booked a car space in long term parking and drove there using Google maps.  Before starting off I cross referenced the Google directions with the car park written directions to make sure they were one in the same, which they were.  Arriving at the long term car park, it then took some time to find an actual parking space,  but I prayed and found success.

2) Then it was a short walk to the bus pick up point that would take me to the airport.  The bus arrived, we boarded and started off.  People got on at various stops along the way,  one woman realising she forgot a bag had to get off so that she could return back to the point where she’d left her bag, and would then get back on the bus at a later point. While I was sorry for her dilemma, I was also grateful that I was drama free. 

3) Arriving at the airport I looked left right and up over head for signs to navigate me to my check-in point. I arrived and moved through the que. I continued to read all the various signs, to make sure I wasn’t missing any vital information.
4) Putting my suit case up on the rack, I removed the snap lock bag of liquids in my carry on, walked through the detector…. and BEEPED! I was asked to go back.  I’d forgotten about my phone in my back pocket.  I removed it, put it on the rack,  and walked through again…. no beeping!  I collected my case and things from the rack on the other side.
5) Then I was off to find my departure gate.  I went to Gate 3. But then realised my boarding pass says Terminal 3. It doesn’t show a gate.  And my flight is not listed on the flight screen at Gate 3. So I wandered back and forth (grateful I still had time) checking first of all that I was actually at Terminal 3. Once I confirmed that,  I then went to each Gate checking the flights scheduled on each flight screen.  Thankfully I found my flight listed on Gate 2. I still had time so I sat in the lounge area for 20 mins or so until boarding was announced.
6) Distracted posting on social media on my phone, I missed the announcement about seating, but I figured it was not that important so long as I get on the right plane.
7) Allocated to seat 9A, I moved along in the que. As I showed my boarding pass the air hostess said something like “Walk along the yellow bridge.”  I didn’t know there was any other option once you went through those boarding doors.  But as I walked along the boarding bridge I saw an exit to the right.  Some people were taking that exit, while others continued along the bridge.
8) Initially I took the bridge, but then questioned my choice, asking a fellow passenger as to why some were taking that exit on the right. She explained that those with row numbers 15 and above had to go that way, and advised me that as I was row number 9 I should be going that way. I noticed she was wearing a hearing aid… but in this instance I figured I was the hearing impaired, as she seemed to know more than me about the seating advice. I questioned that 9 was not above 15 but below.  And she clarified 1-15 should take that exit. So I looked ahead at the bridge I was on and saw nothing yellow to indicate this was the ‘yellow bridge’. I did consider that 9 should be towards the front of the plane, and in my experience this bridge usually connects with the front of the plane. Maybe this time is different? So I took her advice and went down the exit.
9) Down the stairs, outside on to the tarmac,  where I was exposed to the bitter cold morning air and the wind cutting on my face.  There were yellow barriers marking out the path and I figured this must be the ‘yellow bridge’.  But this path was now taking me up the stairs to the rear of the plane. Anyway I’m here now…. so I continued up the stairs, and onto the plane.
10) Obviously I wasn’t the only one to not hear that original seating announcement.  While many diverted off into their allocated seats at the rear end of the plane,  there was a few of us moving through the whole length of the plane, side stepping and passing as we communicated with oncoming passengers to get to our allocated seats closer to the front of the plane.  As I stood in empty seats with my case in my arms, to let people past, many had the perception that I was waiting to put my case up in the over head luggage compartment, and so offered me assistance.  I had to repeatedly communicate,  that this was not my seat,  but that I was merely stepping aside to let them through.  Eventually the aisle was clear and I found my way to seat no 9A.

It’s ironic how this mundane process of getting to the airport and on the plane can be so much like life….

1) We cross reference our directions with the information we have to ensure we are on the right path. Certain parts of the journey take longer than you anticipate,  as you search, but you eventually find your niche.
2) People get on and off and on again at various stages of the journey for their own reasons. And while it’s good to empathise with their situation, it can also help us to appreciate our own journey.
3) Read the signs. Don’t forget to look up (in prayer) for signs. To double check everything.  To ask questions when you’re unsure.
4) Sometimes we feel like we are just going through the mundane of everyday life and then suddenly there’s a BEEP that stops us in our tracks.  Recognise the BEEP.  Fix what caused the BEEP.  Then try again.
5) We don’t always have all the information we need for every stage of the journey,  but if we know our destination then the missing information can be worked out along the way.
6) Listen to ‘announcements’ even if they don’t seem critically important at the time… the importance might become relevant later on.
7) Even if you think there are no other options, know your destination, so that if other options do come up, you can stay on course and keep heading in the right direction…it’s simpler and less complicated that way.
8) It’s important to listen to advice along the way. Check your source of advice … we can all be hearing impaired in different situations at different times of life.
9) Taking the wrong advice can land you where you don’t want to be.  On an unnecessary detour exposed to the bitter elements of life.  Now taking a different path on the journey to reach your destination.
10) Know where you’re headed because other people’s perceptions about your situation are not always correct. It’s important to communicate … repeatedly if necessary.
Always remember everyone’s on their own journey, with a destination in mind.  Empathise with those who’ve made wrong turns, ‘lost luggage’ along the way, and are now on a detour route. But  always prioritise yourself, making sure to keep your own journey planner in check so that you don’t get detoured, but stay on track, in order to reach your desired destination in life via the simplest most direct route.

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