They call me a Jet-Setter…

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The grass is always greener on the other side… Or so it may seem.

I travel A LOT. While most of the time it’s my choice, and lately it’s been more for pleasure than work, and it seems glamorous… It’s still exhausting. This post is coming to you from high over the skies on a flight from Phoenix to Kansas City. And this was a work trip, my last work trip. No, not last for now, my contact is up and it’s the last with this job anyway.

I appreciate the fun comments and people following my adventures because I make the most out of it all, work or not – I’m going to squeeze it out and maximize the time. I have been home about 10 days total since the end of October. I am tired.

  • October. Tampa to see family, friends, and my new hubby enjoyed some golf (more on that new development later).
  • November. We eloped on the beach in Key West and took about a week to adventure in the Keys and in Miami.
  • Then we came home for 1.5 days and headed off to Texas for Thanksgiving.
  • Then we came home and another 1.5 days later I left for El Paso to finish out my contract and say a proper goodbye to the Wild West.

Again, not a  complaint, but I am ready to crash and live in my house, with my husband, and our pets for the foreseeable future… Until the Chritmas travels begin. Super excited to unpack my toiletries, wash my clothes and camp out in sweats for a few days. I do have a on easy trip next week,but hey – a gal has to keep her A-List on Southwest. I’ve tasted the sweet life and can’t go back. One flight and $55 was all that stood between me and my status for 2018:)

Now, let’s back up a tick. I LOVE to travel and experience new cities and see what makes them unique. I want to eat their food, see their sites, and meet their people. This particular trip has been to shut down my project and walk away with a good relationship, dignity, and respect for the people I have serve on the past five years. I will always have love for UTEP, and for those I have worked with, but El Paso will always have a special place in my heart. So much of my life changed there – I met lifelong friends, earned a master’s degree, grew as a leader in my career, and while it would have been revealed to  me until many years after I moved out of the region, I met my future husband there. (Again, totally another story).

Over the past five years I have worked for UTEP, but in my unique role I worked in five states and traveled a lot. So a few years into my job I moved back to Florida to be closer to family. I traveled at a minimum of once a month, but visited as many of m sites as I cold during that time. And, after six months of long-distance dating my (now) husband, I moved to Kansas to be with him as I had this flexible job that didn’t need me in one particular physical location.

So that all brings me to today. Heading home after my last work trip – my contract ends in a few days and it’s time for the curtain call on our work over the past five years. It’s the nature of grant work, and I knew this would happen someday. no while I knew it would happen, and I knew I wanted to go out on a high note, I’m a sensitive soul and have never been good at drawing a line between work and personal life. I’m passionate about this project and never felt the need to get it out of my head. Anyway, I can’t help but be a little crestfallen – it’s the end of an era.

So on this last trip, my last travels to my beloved Wild West, I tried to take it all in. I hit some of my favorite restaurants.

Exercised at some of my favorite spots . And hugged a lot of really wonderful people that I know I’ll see again.

I am tired. I am thankful. And I am full of love for those I have been so fortunate to call co-workers and friends. Goodbye for now. Adios, El Paso.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

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An innocent nicety gone wrong. Two young gals, maybe high school aged, were traveling together today and seemed a little unsure of the airport, flights, etc. I happened to be sitting near them while we were waiting for our flight from St. Louis to Newark. I don’t make the flight patterns, don’t ask me why Missouri was the stop from Tampa to New Jersey.   Anywho. The very polite young chick-a-dees asked me to watch their belongings as they used the restrooms. I agreed, which I know isn’t kosher with the TSA rules, but they were harmless and had to go. Anyway, the girls were gone for 5-10 minutes, no big deal, and people were very nice when I explained that two kids were sitting in those seats (denoted by their belongings) as other people came to claim the chairs.

Along comes an evil, rhinoceros of a woman (ya, generally not down for picking on strangers publicly, privately maybe, publicly no, but this bia deserves it). I nicely let her know that, again, two kids were sitting there. The woman starts moving their belongings and rudely exclaims “Oh ya, I see kids sitting here,” as she’s rifling near the backpacks, charging phones, and purses. I’m a nice gal, the girls must have sensed I cared not to burgle them as they should not have left that stuff sitting out. As the man next to the kids’ stuff shoots me a concerned look, I tried again to say the children (yep, used that word to hopefully discourage her bullying) would be right back … cutting me off with her man-hand with badly done acrylic nails she points at me and barks (yes, in this story rhinos bark…and did I mention we’re heading to Newark??) “you need to shut your mouth.” Guess if I had lunch stuck in my adult braces maybe I’d have my undies in a twist too… Mama said alligators are ornery because…

Umm OK. I’ll just turn around in my seat. Feeling slapped, offended, and wondering what had provoked this madwoman, I thought to myself “This is not worth it, Anna, no need for more of a scene.” Other passengers also seemed confused, but clearly no one was coming to my rescue. I kept an eye on the girls’ belongings, which the woman was now hovering over like a vulture and loudly muttering to herself.

When the girls got back the woman continued to glare at the three of us, clearly thinking we were a band of mischievous youths. I whispered to the girl nearest me, in a very quiet voice, what had occurred and to check her belongings to make sure everything was accounted for. Then, in the weirdest middle-school way, the middle-aged woman loudly, and aggressively mock whispered at us, making those in earshot very uncomfortable. Then she starts to bully the girls about maturity… Umm, ya.

In an attempt to provide clarification for the very confused girls, and for my very uncomfortable fellow passengers, I firmly said in a projected voice to the girls “I understand you’re young and traveling alone. If you need any help, or need me to get assistance, just say the word.”

And then I silently prayed for that to be the end of the childishness, and that if anyone were to be ejected from the flight, let there be witness to speak up about this scene.

So as I write this, feeling witchy eyes boring holes through my ponytail from the seats behind me(too short for her to glare at the back of my head) 30K feet in the air. I hope there is nothing to update later. Fo’ realz? I was just trying to help…