When I first started this project, I had all these different trips in mind that I wanted to talk about. But what kind of project is Retracing My Stamps if I don’t start with my FIRST international trip ever? The first time my passport was stamped! The first time I crossed the ocean to travel to foreign country!
Well guys, I hate to break this to you, but I do not remember ANY OF IT.
Date of Stamp/Travel: June 16, 1985 Departure City: Hong Kong Arrival City: San Francisco, USA Trip Purpose: Moving to USA with my parents
The first time I
hopped on was carried onto a plane was when I was 13 months old. My parents had decided to move to the United States from Hong Kong. Since I barely knew how to speak, I would be lying if I told you I had any memory of it. So I decided to ask my mother.
Apparently I took my first flight like a pro!
I pretty much slept through most of the trip. Didn’t fuss. Didn’t cry. I made my mother the target of envy from all mothers on the plane. My mother said she was definitely worried but I guess I’m born with long-haul flight survival skills.
Through the conversation, I learned a little bit more about this trip and my parents. My mother told me that she was nervous and extremely emotional during that flight. She had just said goodbye to her family, her friends, and the city she grew up in. The ONLY city that she ever knew. She was on her way to a country that she knows nothing about, with no friends, and no job. She didn’t even speak English all that well. She said it’s like I knew she was struggling and decided to be on my best behavior for her.
By the end of the conversation, I was crying. I thanked my mother for being my rock throughout the past 3 decades and that I’m glad I was able to rock that international flight for her.
There you go, I was a bad ass 13 month old that took a long international flight on a one way ticket from Hong Kong to San Francisco.
Do you remember your first flight? Where were you going? How did you feel?