It doesn’t happen very often. In fact, it’s only the second time I remember getting this feeling. This morning my alarm went off and, after I hit snooze, I laid back down in bed, took a look around my dark hotel room… and had no idea where I was. Strangely, I could remember what time I had to catch the van downstairs (7:45am) but my exact location in the United States eluded my sleepy brain. My first thought was Oklahoma City but I knew that wasn’t right. I rolled over and looked at the night stand. Ah! Wyndham, downtown Phoenix, there we go. Time to shower.
The entire time I couldn’t remember what city I was in was no more than several seconds, but it got me thinking. When I first started flying, going from one end of the country to the next was novel. I was in Boston one night and LA the next. I couldn’t believe how strange and amazing that was. Growing up I feel like I traveled a good amount but it was always a treat, especially when air travel was involved. Now, less than a year and a half later, I jump on airplanes like they’re buses. I travel from Chicago to DC for the day the way Northwest Indiana Hoosiers go downtown Chicago. The world is at my fingertips and it’s strangely normal to me. I feel like I’ve barely taken advantage of it. I’ve left my travels up to fate and the needs of the “lovely” crew desk. Maybe my memory lapse is my brain’s way of telling me to wake up and really appreciate the gift my job is, despite the fact that it can be less than ideal. Or maybe it’s simply the first sign of dementia… *shrug*
In barbie boot camp (ie. flight attendant training) they said that it would happen but I thought it was silly. I mean, aside from a night of drunken irresponsibility how could you wake up not knowing where you were? I went a fairly long time before it first happened to me. One by one, classmates of mine would say it happened to them and I would secretly think myself somehow mentally superior or better organized or something. Then one day it was me. Funnily enough I don’t remember what city I was in the first time I woke up and had no idea where I was. I guess that’s pretty much perfect.