Travel can be exhausting

May. 14, 2013 @ 05:03 AM

I love to travel.

Whether it is a day trip to one of the many scenic areas of North Carolina or a trip similar to what I undertook this weekend.

Graduation is in the air and it was certainly no different for me. After arduous labor and time, I was set to graduate this last weekend from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

There was really no way I was not going to go but the issue became just how I was going to get there.

Driving was an option but the sheer thought of driving for 12+ hours was really not that appealing to me. So, flying it is.

Fortunately, there was a direct flight from Charlotte to Hartford, Conn. — which is about an hour from Amherst.

Everything looked good for the flight on Thursday until the First Officer decided to throw a wrench into the plans.

"Folks, from the flight deck, the tower has instructed us that there is serious weather along the East Coast so we are going to have to go back to the gate and pick up more fuel for the route that will add 'significant' time to our travel."

Well, that's great. Apparently, we only had enough gas to get us to point B so we had to go back and top off for the extra distance. I know, in the realm of aeronautics, planes carry enough fuel to get from one point to the next.

So, a hour after we were supposed to depart, we finally get in the air.

I'm not sure about the route, but I could swear I saw the Mississippi River out of the window at one point. Not the best route to Connecticut from North Carolina but I could live with it.

Friday was graduation. I didn't really have any expectations with regards to the pomp and circumstance surrounding the ceremony. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I marched into McGuirk Stadium with 5,500 of my fellow graduates to take part in the festivities.

All of that behind me, it was time for dinner.

Needless to say, I really didn't know my way around western Massachusetts or Connecticut so it almost became a game to see if we could find any place that served any food of substance.

One more trip to Amherst on Saturday to take part in individual school commencement. Somehow it was lost in the shuffle that every school on campus was having their commencement ceremonies at the same time. It made trying to get to something as significant at the student union next to impossible.

But, we got there and made it through.

Amanda and my grandparents were absolute troopers through the entire weekend. Never once did anyone question my driving or directional ability as we took what seemed like a tour from Hartford to Brattleboro, Vt.

It was a great overall experience and one that I look to repeat in about two years.

On a humorous note: If you have carry-on luggage on a flight, make sure it is actual luggage you can't store under the seat in front of you. The reason being, on the flight back home, someone thought it was a good idea to put his 5-foot x 5-foot gift bag in the carry-on compartment in a way that no other luggage could be stored. He seemed a bit put off when Amanda asked if he could move it — of which he did eventually with a huff.

The funny part of it all was that was the only piece of "luggage" the man had on his trip. No carry-on no baggage to claim later … just a purple gift bag that was apparently too much to keep in his lap or under the seat.

Regardless, it was an experience I won't soon forget and it was also great to have loved ones with me to celebrate in the occasion.

However, when we touched down in Charlotte, my attention immediately went to work and the paper.

That doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to the next excursion — where ever or whenever it may be.


Matthew Clark is the Editor of The Daily Courier. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @UMass_MClark or @TDCMatt