Alright, so my dear friend of many years Jeff died three years ago this month, quite unexpectedly, all of 37 years old. Jeff had a passionate interest in All Things Airline, and even now I feel his energy and his spirit closest to me when I’m around airports. I went with him on his first trip to Europe, it was to visit him that I took my first trip to Australia, and we never tired of discussing the minutiae of where, when, and how best to get places. “Did you know Aeromexico flies from Tijuana to Tokyo?” I would ask. “I think I’ll take Turkish to Egypt so I can stop over in Istanbul.” he would say. Whereas before I would have frantically called him to report a sighting of the Air France A380 in Washington, or e-mailed him Can You Believe?! when Icelandair inaugurated their non-stop service from Denver to Reykjavik, now I feel him beside me sharing the thrill, and I marvel at how easily we’re able to communicate here, three years into his Next Big Adventure. In his memory, I write to share one of my favorite stories of a trip we took together, full, as always, of the hope that our paths will cross somewhere out there again.
After we graduated from college, I ran off to San Francisco and fell into an airline job, and Jeff joined the Peace Corps and was posted to Cameroon, where he spent nearly two and a half years. I had always wanted to visit Africa and could fly on most of the world’s airlines for next to nothing, and so a trip was planned. Continue reading