I always fly with headphones on. Even when my iPod is off, my headphones are on. All the noise from outside and inside the aircraft annoy me. So I leave on my headphones. In the past year alone, I’ve flown something over 50,000 miles. Aside from a trip in a Cessna a few months ago, I’ve had my iPod headphones on. Flight attendants can’t stand it. They always think my iPod is on. Half the time it is. Maybe I shouldn’t go broadcasting that. :O I was going somewhere with this… Flying is my time to relax. To disconnect with the rest of the world and just chill.
When I was younger, I was always so excited to fly somewhere. Usually it was to Disney at the end of August. I literally wouldn’t be able to fall asleep the night before we were supposed to leave (we usually had some flight at an ungodly hour before the sun). My brother would be passed out and I would always wake him up. Little me attempting to shake my brother awake, which was a feat in itself, so you can tell how excited I was: “Andrew! Are you awake? I can’t fall asleep! I’m too excited!” For whatever reason, he was never mad at me for waking him up on these occasions. First he’d simply tell me to go to sleep. But when it became evident that I was still bouncing off the walls, we’d just talk. Well, he talked and I listened. It usually resulted in me falling asleep. He’d start off with why I had to fall asleep really soon: we had to get up EXTRA early to get on the plane. Then he’d go into the entire flight. I swear, that was half the reason I was so excited: we were going to be on an airplane! Most of the time, I’d be asleep before he even got to us landing in Florida.
The times I wasn’t, we’d sneak into the living room to watch Cleared for Takeoff. It’s probably a 20 minute video, if that. I haven’t seen it in well over a decade, but Andrew and I knew the entire thing forwards and backwards. I wonder if we still even have the VHS. I feel old now. VHS. Wow. Anyway. I never really loved planes. I mean, they were cool and I loved being on them, but planes aren’t exactly my thing – I’m more of a rocket and spacecraft kind of girl. But ever since I worked at Continental, I have a new and different appreciation for planes. I’m still more into the spacecraft: I’m studying rocket science! But flying offers an escape that I don’t think being on a spacecraft would offer. Part of why I have very little desire to fly myself – I don’t want to ruin it. Maybe it would make it better, but who knows?
Anyway, since I can remember, I’ve always been excited for takeoff. I was afraid that working for an airline would change that. I would be jaded and take it for granted – hence the whole jaded bit. Yeah, OK, I’m a bit redundant sometimes. But what do you know, I get on my connecting flight today and I’m exhausted. I actually do pass out as soon as I sit down and even after the flight attendant woke me up to make sure the headphones in my ears were connected to a device that was off, I fall back asleep. But as soon as we turn onto the runway, I’m wide awake and checking everything out. Flying. What an awesome experience. I have friends who are afraid to fly. Some have never even been on a plane. I feel like they are missing out.
At school, it’s a lot different. I don’t think anyone on campus can say they’ve never been on a plane – heck, half of them can’t even say they don’t know how to fly them! In that respect, I am quite jaded. I don’t think anything fancy of people being pilots. Maybe that’s unfair to pilots. I don’t mean that as an insult or as if it is something anyone can just pick up and do without any training, so please don’t take it that way if you are a pilot (I don’t think anything fancy of engineers either if it makes you feel any better!). My brother could fly a plane by himself before he could drive a car. The people I talk to on a daily basis at school all fly. In the groups of people I hang out with from Riddle, I am one of the few who does not fly. I’m trying to think of my friends from school who I do associate with outside of work and class who don’t fly. I can think of one other person. And I don’t even see her that much! So it’s not that enamoring to me I guess. When I tell people outside of school about the fact that my brother can fly or that a few of us flew over here for a few hours, they’re amazed. Shortly after the aforementioned flight to Lakeland, I was texting a friend (who doesn’t go to my school) about my weekend. It went something along these lines:
“It was good. We flew to Lakeland for a concert and on the way back, we went right over Disney and saw the fireworks at MK.”
“YOU FLEW TO LAKELAND?!?!!!”
I didn’t think anything of it until I saw that response. I guess that’s not a normal thing. But it seems normal to me – I have friends that talk about flying down to the Keys for a weekend or up to St. Augustine or Tampa for dinner and it’s not a big deal. But to people who aren’t exposed to it, I guess it is.
So my flight is almost over. I spent half of it typing this, but the other half I spent being enamored by the clouds. It was pretty dismal at the airport in Atlanta, but as soon as we got over the clouds… What a sight to behold. Pictures don’t do it justice. Descriptions don’t quite cut it. It’s one of those things you just have to experience. A lot of the stuff I blog about it seems to be in this category, I’ve noticed. I noticed them flying into Atlanta too. I usually do see it, but today there’s something else. Something I can’t put my finger on, but the clouds just seem so perfect today. Right now my iPod is playing Drift Away and I think I’m going to “get lost and drift away” in the clouds once again.
“Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” — Pico Iyer