The latest trip I was able to take—thanks to my amazing internship with Southwest Airlines—landed me in the self-proclaimed “happiest place on earth,” Disneyland. As almost any child of my generation can tell you, the Disney experience is something everyone dreams of. For this wanderer, being cooped up in an amusement park with thousands of seemingly materialistic people does not exactly top my list of vacation experiences. However, sometimes I surprise myself. I was excited to go, and I had a fabulous time.
(My travel companions from left to right: Dani, Sydni, Me, Kelly, and Lexie.)
Disneyland taught me a few things this time around. (It was my second time there.) For one, having a positive attitude is easily the most important thing about travel. Maybe I did want to see Hollywood a bit more, but the girls I went with were adamant about Disney and the child in me couldn’t resist. Positivity is also vital when traveling as a standby passenger. Not to belittle our opportunity in any way, but it’s stressful. You have to accept that your flight might be full, and you will be left scrambling for a way back to Dallas for work. Keep a smile sister, you’re representing Southwest the entire time.
Another lesson, Disneyland is not the place to “get your thrills.” Do you crave adrenaline? Check out a different amusement park. Disney is what I like to call a production. You are not here for the roller-coaster; you are here for the countless hours of work imagineers put in to each scene of Pirates of the Caribbean. An easy favorite of our group would be the Haunted House, with countless amazing visual effects. (Can I just sit on the floor and repeatedly watch the ceiling get bigger?) Overall, that’s what makes Disney so special, it gives you a unique way to experience an amusement park, and life in general. Finally, if you still aren’t sold on the Disney experience, take a minute to watch a little girl run to a princess screaming with excitement. That’s priceless.*
*Correction: will cost you about $100.
The final lesson I learned in Disney is one that I first experienced in Costa Rica… traveling with people is the fastest way to get to know them. This is not always a good thing. Someone once told me that you shouldn’t live with your best friend because you truly learn their annoying habits, and travel is similar. We all woke up at 5 a.m. to catch our flight. There were multiple times on this trip where tension mounted, simply from hunger and fatigue. We were forced to change our flight plans at the last minute, which, as I mentioned before, is stressful and scary. Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoyed the company of each girl on this trip and would be more than happy to travel with them again. It just comes back around to positivity. In my future travels I will try to remind myself that each member of my group has their own agenda and we are all tired.
I love learning about people and culture, and in the end, this weekend was just taught me things in a different way. My only regret is that I didn’t get to meet Belle (Beauty and the Beast). 😉