With graduation behind us for another year, the thoughts of many graduates turn to the traditional graduation trip. It is supposed to be the first step into real freedom the young adult takes.  The trips can be as varied as the graduate taking them, and of course, the cost they can afford. My thoughts go back to my own graduation trip. I felt very blessed to be one of the few that got to take such a trip. When I graduated, the graduation trip was not the common thing to do, and in fact, I don’t know of any of my friends that took one. Nevertheless, my parents wanted to give me something special, while not just sending me off alone into the unknown. So, they arranged for me to fly out to my older sister, Cheryl’s house in Plattsburgh, New York, for the Christmas and New Years holidays.

I had never flown, much less flown alone, so this was a big deal for me! My flight was to take me to Chicago, Illinois, where I would change planes and fly on into New York City. My sister and her husband, at the time, would pick me up in New York City. I was very excited about this trip…and I felt very grown up, but at the same time a lot like a Kindergarten child on the first day of school. It was a really tough place to be. The flight was not really the thing that I was concerned about, but rather the change of flights. I believe I had 45 minutes or so between the flights, and I was worried that I would not get there in time.

When my flight arrived in Chicago, and after my initial surprise at the fact that the runway crossed over the highway, which I found very cool by the way, I began my journey over to the connecting flight’s gate…running!!! I’m quite sure I looked very much like the scared Kindergarten child I felt like, but that was something I didn’t really care about at the time. The thought of missing my flight and trying to figure out what to do about that all by myself, in Chicago, was not a prospect I relished,…so I ran. When I arrived at my gate, I found myself 30 minutes early…with nothing to do.

I thought about all the airport that I had run through and not bothered to look at…with a little bit of regret. Still, with only the 30 minutes left, I decided that I probably should stay right where I was. The rest of the trip went very smoothly and I had a wonderful time with my sister and her family. I think I really did some growing up at that time, and I can honestly say that I don’t run to the connecting flights anymore, although there have been a couple that we cut a little close. My graduation trip was a trip I will always remember, and forever be grateful to my parents for sending me on.

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