Project Pura Vida – LAX Airport

ImageThis morning I woke at 4:45am with little to do other than eat my cereal, brush my teeth and pack the few things I had left out the night before. I was down stairs in the lobby by 5:20am just in time to meet Trini, the shuttle bus driver I had yesterday when I arrived in LA. He is a very sweet man and I really enjoyed our conversations.

Once I arrived at the airport I met another lovely man at the American Airlines counter. The majority of workers in the Airports are either Latino or African American. His name was N.Duke as is common for their name tags. After several minutes of conversation and going through my paperwork, N.Duke kindly handed me my boarding pass and advised all was complete.

Hang on, I had a whole 23Kgs extra in a second bag and yet there was no extra charge? All I can say is thanks Travel Angels :)

I managed to make my way through to security where I spotted my first TV star through the glass windows in the other room… you know the guy in Grey’s Anatomy who is married to the blonde Heart Doctor and is dying from tumours? Yeah, that guy… he is actually a lot better looking in real life, I had hoped I’d bump into him again but I guess he was up in the fancy lounge keeping a low profile.

Once through security and safely inside the terminal I made my way towards my gate (I still had nearly three hours to go…) Once I knew where I needed to be I walked back down the long hall lined with little eateries, news agents etc. I couldn’t help notice the LONG line snaking out the door of the Burger King. When was Burger King so popular? Ah… the Starbucks store was tucked neatly in the corner and this was the reason behind the line.

Now at first I thought, how stupid who would line up like that for a coffee? Ok, so maybe I was curious and I did have three hours to kill so why not line up and find out if it was worth the wait. It did get me thinking though as I shuffled forward every couple of minutes towards my prize. Was the coffee really that good or was it a case of sheep mentality?

How many others had simply lined up because everyone else was; believing it must be great coffee if all these other people are lining up for it too. I also wonder if the coffee simply tasted better because I had to wait so long for it or if it really was pretty good coffee?

I remember years ago watching an interview with Hugh Jackman and his wife Debbie. They told the story of how years earlier before kids they had waited in line for some tickets to a performance they had been desperate to see. They waited in line all night, along with numerous other eager fans. To pass away the time everyone in the line started up conversations left right and centre, making new friends and turning what could be a boring night in the cold into fun and laughter.

By the time they got to the ticket booth the following morning and bought their tickets to the show Hugh and Debbie had made lifelong friends in the que. Once they got into the show after only a few minutes Debbie fell asleep and Hugh struggled to stay awake also. At least this is pretty close to the way I recall them telling the story a few years back. According to them the moral of their story was “It isn’t always about the destination. It’s about the journey on your way to the destination that can be the most amount of fun.” This was the main thing I took away from their story and remind myself often of this when I am traveling.

I always meet the nicest people when I travel and more times than not it is during a line-up that I meet these people. My line up at Starbucks was no different. Today I met a lovely lady from Ohio. It turned out that her daughter had been learning Spanish for eight years and still didn’t speak it well. She had booked herself a month’s holiday in Costa Rica in a few months’ time to try and master the language. This lady was a little concerned about her daughter’s choice and I was the perfect person, in the perfect place at the perfect time to put her mind at ease about this trip and give some useful tips. We had a lovely chat about all kinds of things and once we collected our coffees, we both felt more enriched than we did before meeting. No names were exchanged only knowledge.

Now I am waiting for my flight as I type, eager with anticipation about what awaits me upon my arrival. It is actually my thirty-first Birthday in Australia today; however I am going to squeeze one more day out of my thirtieth and celebrate it in Costa Rica tomorrow instead. Actually I wouldn’t mind another caramel latte but I really don’t think I want to line up a second time… :)

Love and Joy,

Janie xo

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