Grounded Girl, Taking Off.

A family’s job is to ground you. Growing up, this was all too frequent for me after getting in trouble for speaking out of turn. But that more specific definition of “being grounded” is all part of establishing roots, knowing what is right and wrong, encouraged or punished. Our values are formed in this experience of growing up. This is why often when people can’t get along, it’s an innate difference of strong opinions, held firmly, due to upbringing and how one is grounded.

 

In my family, they also keep me grounded in the sense that I kept pushing back my BSW travel date for one more day with this crew. When I first came back, every time my little niece heard an airplane she’d point to the sky and yell “YaYa!!” (My name was supposed to be Auntie CC, which turned into YeeYee, which turned into YaYa, which we thought was perfect and stuck with.)  After a couple months waking up to play dates with my niece, I already miss her knocking on my door at earlier hours than I’d like to say “YAYA!!!!!” followed by the subsequent biggest, most amazing hugs I’ve ever had.  You try leaving that to fly to the other side of the world, it’s tough!

 

After a summer full of Minnesota family love, it was time to say goodbye and get back out into the world to keep asking my questions, learning about what other people’s beliefs are grounded by.  My family, not being ones for a quick goodbye, gathered around the steps of our cabin waving to me. I couldn’t help but take a video of the adorable moment.

 

“We love Big Shared World!!” -The Waterston Family 🙂

 

While I’d been feeling lazy postponing my start date, I kept trying to tell myself it all must be for a reason, everything is as it should be. Certain moments and conversations even this weekend at home had me believe just that – I was supposed to stay grounded, I needed to tie up a few more loose ends before I flew off again.  And then when I did finally board my international flight from New York to Prague, this sentiment was confirmed when I sat next to Daniela, a flight attendant who has used her standby benefits for countless adventures with her husband and two kids.  A woman who lights up with each story of a new place. Daniela takes so much deserved pride in moments that those trips find their way into her kids’ lives back home, proving that travel and cultural exploration make for more well-rounded, thoughtful individuals.  As firm believers in karma, Daniela and I both felt the seat assignments were perfect to share in the flight conversation together.

 

IMG_4728

Daniela and Me, on our overnight flight from NYC to Prague, Czech Republic.  

Thanks to good conversation, my sleep pillow hardly got used!

 

And when we woke up, we were in Prague.  No immigration form required, just walked off the plane, handed my passport to customs officer, and welcome to this beautiful city!  I met my Airbnb host to get into the apartment, took a long afternoon nap, and found myself a sweet neighborhood cafe where I settled in for the evening.  While sitting over a travel book, a refreshing lemonade-type drink, and salad, I took in the beautiful moment when you realize – now this is exactly where I should be.

 

IMG_4736

The view from my perfect Prague moment

 

And from this spot, I called my mother and let her know, I’m safe, I’m happy, and BSW continues!  My whole heart smiled when I could hear in the background, “YAYA!!!”

 

 

WHAT'S YOUR CQ? A relentlessly curious researcher's exploits on the pursuit to understand this Big Shared World we live in a little better one day, interaction, and question at a time

3 Responses to “Grounded Girl, Taking Off.”

  1. Ahmad Fawad

    I’m looking forward for a great experience and feeling honored to be traveling with BSW to 5 countries!!!!

    Reply
  2. Elizabeth

    Such a sweet post! We will all miss you Yaya! I hope you have an amazing time-and the journey continues!

    Reply
  3. Lani Perry

    I wish you well, my friend. I love to hear your stories about your travels. Looking forward to the book.

    Reply

Leave a Reply