Where're You Going?

Having recently returned from a cross-country trip I was reminded of one of the ways I entertain myself on airplanes. I try to figure out which of my fellow travelers are going to the same destination for the same reason I am. Sometimes it’s easy. Flights to Las Vegas in late July or early August carry gamblers and hackers headed to Black Hat/DefCon. The latter tend to stand out – lots of black clothing, tattoos, and laptops with privacy screens. It’s not unusual to see business cards and vendor schwag exchanged among seat mates. The game is more challenging on other trips. The New England Crime Bake, for example. I ended up being the only person on my flight headed to Boston from the West Coast for that purpose although I did spot a couple of other writers. At least, I think they were. One person pulled out a notebook and wrote in long hand, curled up in her seat. The other had a laptop. They both had that faraway contented expression I get when I write, as opposed to the make-every-minute-count scowl of day job business travelers. I sometimes wonder if anyone else plays this game. I know at least one of my seat mates over the last year noticed something I do on long flights. I set aside my Kindle or pause movies periodically, pull out my laptop, make notes, then put my laptop away again. At the end of the flight he finally asked me if I was a writer. On this, one of the busiest travel days of the year, air travel will be stressful for a lot of folks. Making a game of it can help take some of the sting out. So, where’re you going?

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