After two disastrous flight experiences to and from Zanzibar this year, I found myself (in the throes of Novemberitis) placating myself with promises of only local travel for 2017. Nothing wrong with that, of course. In fact I have had occasion to feel quite content with the idea of exploring only my immediate surrounds for a little while.
The plan: Play around here for the year while saving up for a nice international trip to be taken after my plane weariness has had time to subside.
I expected it to take a year. It took a month.
So now, as I find myself back in the habit of perusing my Cheapflights app during almost any given lull, I cannot help but think back the first time I flew. Flying with children is quite a tiresome endeavour these days, especially for a mixed family. On the odd occasion I consider it (a flight to Vic Falls sometime, perhaps) but then I come to my senses and remind myself of the home affairs nightmare this would entail.
When I was a wee little thing though, my brave and probably naive mother, set out on a trip to the States with three children under the age of five in tow. I remember it being a bit of a challenge that culminated in me dropping the cold medicine and having it shatter on the floor of what I assume was the Minneapolis airport. Apart from that I remember countless packets of peanuts, not being able to sleep on uncomfortable chairs, movies projected in the front of the plane that I could not see, kind hostesses, and a very travel-weary mother who probably regretted her decision to attempt to travel alone with three children almost immediately.
As tiresome as the entire trip was, though, it did give me my very first taste of somewhere new, a taste which I am beginning to fear will never be satiated. It seems too that this is a feeling can only be reached by plane, as mad as that may sound.
When I arrived, as a five year old in the States, I thought we were in the sky. I still feel a little like that after flying. Planes take us away to strange places where people speak in strange tongues and with strange accents. Even television does not prepare us for the differences between us. And nothing prepares you for that feeling of being somewhere entirely new. Nothing prepares you for how much there is to learn out there.
I don’t love planes, I admit. Even the 5 year old me found little to be enchanted by inside these large tubes of discomfort that hurtle us through the sky while our bodies react with dehydration and a greater susceptibility to illness. And yet I cannot deny that planes do two of my absolute favourite things in the world:
They whisk me away to faraway places.
And, most importantly, they bring me home.