My answer was always: I have dreamed about this trip for so long. I don't know why Asia, just I knew I wanted to go and wander. Take my time. It was my dream.
The last leg were the long flights back to San Francisco. Singapore to Tokyo to San Francisco. After some long bus rides, these flights lined up to be a piece of cake.
The final leg was an adventure. I flew ANA on a code sharing flight with United. Compared to the United flights (all the other 3 legs over and back) -- this flight made flying fun again!
Each passenger was greeted with a smile during the boarding process where passports & boarding documents reviewed. As you entered the plane, again a genuine smile of greeting. I am in economy class (of course) and after take off -- here come the trays of warm, moist towels. A bit later the first round of food: juices and rice crackers. Then dinner: a rice box with rice (um, really), fish, noodles, yogurt, pickled vegetables of all sorts, noodles, fruit. The best part a tiny little bottle of soy sauce to mix in with a wasabi. Free beer and wine. Hagen Das ice cream. Sweet. Then I sleep until the breakfast is served. I pick the omelet with potato gnocchi & cream sauce, eggplant ratatouille, yogurt, and fruit. Yummy. And each interaction included eye contact and a smile.
The entertainment system has an endless menu for movies, documentaries, games, audio. I have been trying all sorts of options but settled on a music playlist entitled: DREAMS. Oldies song that all feature the Dream in the title.
The jumbo 747 jet flies ever closer to San Francisco. I peek under the window cover and suddenly there is the California coast basking in sunshine: the gorgeous hills and rugged coast visible in exquisite detail. I have a front row seat as the entire Bay Area slowly comes into view: Point Reyes, Marin County, Highway 101, San Pablo Bay...spots so full of memories!
And...I am not making this up....the Golden Gate Bridge pops into view under the wing of the plane just as California Dreaming starts playing. I sat there stunned. I looked at the City Scape; found my old house on Lake Street, Golden Gate Park....and suddenly burst into tears. California had been a dream once. And I did leave a bit of my heart in San Francisco but I know too, that DREAMS, even big and long delayed can become a sweet and wonderful reality. But you "gotta cross the stream" as the song I Have A Dream says.
Little tears kept falling as the plane went down to San Jose and then banked and flew back up to land at SFO. Time for my next Dream...
So sing along to I Have a Dream and dream big: