I was practically grinning - trotting from the passport check towards a slew of pop up eateries and expensive accessories stores in the Geneva Airport - the long Atlantic haul was over. I scanned the departures, trying to discern its unfamiliar system. Florence. Ah, there it is. 'Gate to be announced at 8:20.' Alright, fine.
An hour later I checked back and was directed towards A7 - where I sat, alone, for about 45 minutes. The flight was scheduled to board at 9:20, so the lack of company started to concern me. I figured that I was just an anxious American, raised on the basis of absolute travel promptness. 9:35, there were plenty of people near me now, and I had fully convinced myself that all was good.
"......McClain..........immediately." Shit. "Passengers ___ and McClain please report to gate D25 to board Swiss Air to Florence immediately," the system reiterated in English. The next 8 minutes were an absolute blur as I foolishly made my way to the correct gate. Sprinting (I know, sounds unrealistic doesn't it?) down the the entrance to terminal D, two of Geneva Airport's finest employees emerged as my absolute saviors, they scooped me under toe, one grabbing my carry on, the other tossing me a new ticket and the three of us galloped to my gate, bless.
Finally able to exhale, and relieved that I didn't completely screw myself by waiting patiently and oh so obliviously at the wrong terminal for an hour, I took my phone out to continue reading Lean In - which I highly recommend to absolutely everyone btw - a few pages later and suddenly it was as if someone literally tapped me on the shoulder. I instinctively dropped my phone and looked out the soft oval window to my left.
These mountains greeted me as if chuckling among themselves, "oh we've stunned another one!" I can't remember the last time I felt so humbled and naive. I hope to never be jaded from this sense of awe. Blissfully ignorant - a phrase that gets tossed around often, but I'm far from the type to be blissful while ignorant. Awareness is a comforting and encouraging feeling. Eagerness replaced a lot of the angst I've been carrying with me in terms of these next few months. I've been associating my inexperience with fear, but I'm now realizing how limiting that can be.
oh, btw swiss air is so dope, they gave me a drink, a buttered biscuit and chocolate for a 55 minute flight! crazy