The Amazingness of Flight
As I prepare to head home for the holidays, flying alone with my one-year-old (my husband will come a week later), I am admittedly a bit nervous. We have already crossed the Atlantic and Pacific with him, but since he was still a baby, it was quite easy. Now that he is moving into toddler stage he is basically a constant tornado, hard to contain even in a half hour lunch out, much less an airplane seat for 14 hours. But on top of this, flying in general always makes me a bit tense. Since I am married to a Spaniard and we live in Japan, we travel a lot. But this doesn’t mean I actually like the travel part—the getting there.
I have probably done my most fervent praying ever while on airplanes. Maybe there is actually something healthy in this periodic consideration of death every time I fly. It helps me keep things in perspective. No matter how much I try to remind myself of statistics—that I am much safer in a plane than a car—it still doesn’t help very much when we hit pockets of turbulence and all I can think about is that I’m in a metal tube flying through the air, totally unsuspended, with zero control.
And therein is really the amazingness of it, right? You are in a huge vehicle, with hundreds of people, soaring thousands of feet above the earth. Comedian Louis CK already cracked on this. This journey I am about to make in 14 hours used to take months by boat. Boats that often harbored diseases, shipwrecked along the way, and meant being stuck with the same few people for months with no escape. I am literally going to cross half of the globe in half a day. That is incredible! The “far east” that used to be such a mystery to the west is now a hop-skip-and-a-jump. And if I have a less-than-pleasant neighbor, I only have to put up with them several hours, not months. And let’s be real, I’m going to be the unpleasant neighbor in this case—no matter how good the baby is, he’s still an active little guy!