The story behind Jetting Around

//The story behind Jetting Around

The story behind Jetting Around

“You’re going to D.C. ?” a coworker of mine cheerfully asked after she overheard me sharing the news with our boss.

It was an otherwise quiet day at the office and the entire team was finishing up projects, looking forward to the start of the weekend. As the afternoon sun filled the narrow hallway separating two rows of workstations, as if on cue, we left our seats and gathered by the window to take in the warm rays. “You’re always jetting around! Didn’t you just travel somewhere?” she added with a laugh. The others nodded in agreement, then went on chatting about their own weekend plans. I stood there, looking at the street outside and squinting in the sunlight, my coworker’s words echoing in my head. “Jetting around… ” She was referring to a few recent trips I had taken, but to me the phrase meant more than that. It brought back childhood memories of traveling with my family, including that of sitting on a plane minutes before takeoff, patiently waiting for my first flight to begin. I was less than 3 years old.

We were on our way from Poland, my home country, to Iraq, set to spend winter holidays with a family member who worked there on a long-term engineering assignment. I was about to experience a country much different from my own in terms of customs, language and food, and yet, I can’t recall feeling any anxiety caused by the trip. I was able to remain so calm because, most likely, at such an early age, I couldn’t have known exactly how unfamiliar my surroundings were going to be, and therefore had nothing to fear. Adding to that, I sensed that everyone at home was in good spirits leading up to the departure, and it was natural for me to feel the same. Consequently, each element of the trip engaged me.

At the Warsaw airport, I watched without complaint as our luggage was being searched at customs, eagerly waited to go through a metal detector, wondering if it would make a sound as it did for some, and curiously observed other travelers as they were boarding the plane, muscling with large carry-ons. Then, on board, I was hypnotized by the sight of buildings, people and trees quickly shrinking below, and delighted in flying through clouds that separated the drab weather below from the blue sky above. One of my favorite parts of the air journey was watching flight attendants bring out meals and then eating out of fun containers, followed by playing with airline logo-ed napkins and sugar packets. Back on the ground, I marveled at carousels carrying suitcases, and once we claimed ours, I was ready to leave the airport and see what Baghdad looked like. I had been told that it was much warmer than back home and that I would get to see palm trees. I could hardly wait to find out.

The excitement remained with me throughout the trip and, as it became apparent years later, had evolved into a perpetual drive to explore places, cultures, and cuisines. It also turned me into an air travel enthusiast and has allowed me to stay positive when faced with travel-related hassle, including crowds, schedule changes and extensive security checks. And each time I arrive at a destination, I still look forward to the moment when I get to step outside the terminal (or a train or bus station if I do not travel by air), my senses sharp in anticipation of new stimuli. Little by little, I blend in with my new surroundings, first by becoming aware of the temperature, scents and sounds, then by gradually taking notice of architecture, landscapes, cityscapes, and the way locals dress, speak and go around their day. By walking the streets or taking public transportation, visiting bookstores, boutiques, cafes and restaurants, I become linked to the place I have come to see, a tiny part of its mechanism. And while the journey may be time-limited, the connections and countless ways in which travel experiences can stimulate and enrich, are long-lasting. For these reasons, traveling has long been my hobby, a way of life, and sometimes an escape. It has also resulted in this site.

Some time after the Washington, D.C. weekend, I began to consider name options for the website and happened to recall my coworker’s playful comments. And while I enjoy traveling by various means of transportation, and stories from those trips will likely be featured here, my particular fondness for flying was a decisive factor in selecting the site’s title.

Welcome to Jetting Around.

By | 2012-04-29T19:55:08+00:00 July 13th, 2010|STORIES|22 Comments

About the Author:

Pola Henderson is a travel writer, city explorer, expat, and event host. Traveling has been a part of her life since she was three. Pola grew up in Krakow, lived in Chicago for many years and is currently based in Paris, where she teaches Business English.


  1. avatar
    Raul (ilivetotravel in Twitter) July 14, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Neat start to Jetting Around! I also remember those early trips – in my case from/to Puerto Rico/Miami, also marveling at the food being served by the flight attendants, the wings and playing cards I was given, etc.
    Raul (ilivetotravel in Twitter) recently posted..When the Winery Comes to You – Frog’s Leap Wine TastingMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 16, 2012 at 1:45 am

      Our parents deserve a big thank you for taking us places, don’t they? :)

  2. avatar
    D.J. - The World of Deej July 15, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Great story…good to learn the background to the name:) Mine has a little background story too that I’ll probably share one day…
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..The Soundtrack of My TravelsMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 16, 2012 at 1:39 am

      I’d love to read your story too, Deej!

  3. avatar
    lola July 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    i think Jetting Around is such an awesome name. love knowing how it all came about & especially glad you started a blog! it’s what led us to becoming friends :)
    lola recently posted..‘The Mikimoto’ at Beverly WilshireMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 16, 2012 at 1:39 am

      Thanks, Lola! I’m glad you like the name and that we got to meet thanks to blogging. :)

  4. avatar
    Leah Travels July 16, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I love this story, but I love your description of seeing a new place even more. Not many people can say they’ve been to Iraq. What an awesome experience that must have been, even at such a young age. Thanks for sharing the background of your site. I would have never found this from 2010. :-)
    Leah Travels recently posted..Capture the ColorMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 16, 2012 at 9:17 am

      I am so grateful to my parents for taking me everywhere with them when I was a child, including a few faraway places. Those early experiences have certainly had a lasting impact on me. I’m glad you enjoyed the story, Leah! :)

  5. avatar
    Francesca July 16, 2012 at 9:35 am

    This is beautiful, Pola! I need to subscribe to your methods of experiencing a new place, one element at a time. I think it’s a great way to initially get a feel for a new destination. Congrats on your 2nd birthday!
    Francesca recently posted..Melodies and travel memoriesMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 16, 2012 at 9:42 am

      Thank you so much, Francesca! :))

  6. avatar
    the lazy travelers July 16, 2012 at 10:30 am

    always love reading other people’s stories of how their love for travel came to be. incredible that you were able to travel from such an early age!
    the lazy travelers recently posted..laws to travel by – #19My Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 16, 2012 at 10:35 am

      I definitely owe it to mom and dad. :)

  7. avatar
    Tawny- Captain and Clark July 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    We love hearing the stories about how blogs were formed and named. Too cool! I traveled all over the U.S. when I was younger, but it wasn’t until I was in college that I made my first big trip abroad, sans parents no less. I definitely plan on taking my future kids all over the world when they’re young.
    Tawny- Captain and Clark recently posted..Living the high life in San Juan, Puerto Rico. [Video]My Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks, guys! :) I love the idea of travelers raising travelers. :)

  8. avatar
    Traveling Ted July 16, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I have been meaning to ask you where you got the cool name. Sometimes the story disappoints, but this one was humorous. I think we all should remember what a new experience flying is when faced with the hassles. It is a fun experience, but like everything, can become a bore due to routine.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..5 Top Hiking Destinations in EuropeMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story, Ted! Flying used to be more about the excitement of being in the air and going somewhere, now too often it’s about security lines. But it is what it is and I always try to make the best of every trip, starting with the airport experience. :)

  9. avatar
    Aaron July 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    It’s great learning how your name and blog came about. :) Definitely gotta thank my parents and all those trips we went on growing up. Look forward to the next two years and beyond of Jetting Around!
    Aaron recently posted..Photo of the Week: Florida Bridges, Palms & Storms.My Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Thank you, Aaron!! I look forward to more traveling and blogging too. :) And yes, a big thank you to parents!

  10. avatar
    The World Wanderer July 17, 2012 at 12:34 am

    This sounds like what my co-workers say to me, lucky for you, that one said jetting around and gave you a great name to your blog! Love everything about this story. Thanks for sharing it!

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      Thank you, Erin! I’ve always loved planes and airports, so the name was very fitting. :)

  11. avatar

    […] the name of this blog and my fondness for flying (see The story behind Jetting Around), touring the plane was a treat. I was able to walk around both cabins, test the overhead bins, and […]

  12. avatar

    […] a part of my life since I was very little and I credit my parents with giving me the travel bug. My first flight was when I was 3 years old – from Warsaw to Baghdad – and I’ve been hooked on “jetting […]

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