We've adopted you.

A five-year old said to me “Shameless, will you write about your travels so I can read it?” I smiled a small smirk and said yes. Of course.

I already new that I would write about my journey, but to know that he’s expecting to hear fantastic stories is a completely different thing. The story I tell could very well have an effect on how he views Europe, and indeed travel, for the rest of his life. With that said, I owe him a good one.

So when I saw the massive line at airport check-in I could only imagine what I could say. “Good boy, before you get to Paris, before your first baget, you will physically and emotionally violated by TSA and aiport security.”

The ungodly line was indeed the one for my voyage to France, and immediately I begin to check my luggage. I noticed a man and a woman near the bag weigh in station, and they enlighted me that checked bagged over 50 lbs. would cost 100 dollars.

……

I weighed my bag. It was 61.2 lbs.
……

When the man found out he began to lecture me how to travel, while simultaneously taking things out of my my bag. “You’ve got to move things around, ya know?”, as he stuffed my guitar case with shoes.

“You don’t know what you’re doing. Zip it up.” he said. “We’ve adopted you.”

After the crash lesson in packing good, I proceeded to feel awkward in front of hundreds of people. I along with slew of other travelers were herded through machines; the soon to be slaughtered livestock of a free country. After removing my belt, shoes and dignity I was feeling quite worthy of in-flight pretzels, and even more wanting for a fresh crème brioche and dark coffee.

What could I tell the young boy? ”Be watchful for helpful Cameroonians when you check-in. Don’t say anything about Jihads. Use the bathroom at home.”

….

There’s gotta be something about aiports that won’t scared the travel out of him.

The engines fired up, and with it a bit of fire inside of me. Airport buildings became a blur, and the stress of the past two hours lifted with the plane’s rising. Ears popped with anticipation of a cloud filled horizon; the clearest blue sky brought a clear answer.

“Airports can take a lot of work my boy. But when you take off, and you feel the weightless reality, you’ll know it’s all worth it.”