I've been thrilled flying since I was a child. Not so much a fan of taking off, crying babies, and turbulence, but more so fascinated by the multiple languages in the air, airplane lavatories, and even the notorious mushy, microwaved airplane food.
Coming from Asia, flying is no more a stranger to me after coming to college on literally the other side of the planet. A 24-hour flight with the time transferring at airports has already become pretty common for me. Bizarrely I also adapted to the 12-hour time difference, when flying to Tufts felt like just a few hours, and going back home loses me a day (I swear jetlag has become easier to handle as well). Isn’t this such a blessing for someone who is fanatic about flying? First time on such a long flight was fun. First time traveling alone was fun. (Ten points for Jenn for being a fully capable adult while losing her passport!) Everything about flying seemed to be magical, if not more intriguing than the destination itself, even if it was Disneyland or Universal.
But gradually, after the constant back and forth, flying became less fun than exhausting. Aisle seats are now way more precious than window seats. I almost forgot how often my brother and I fought over window seats to watch the wings expand while taking off when we were younger (approximately all the time). Right now the only things that mattered were convenience and comfort. I started loathing how the dry, recycled airplane air has been damaging my hair and skin, while in the past the static electricity from the blankets was so interesting to test on. We never got satisfied over our little experiments. Legally as an adult I get impatient over landing nowadays, always itching to jump off the damned plane (you can’t blame me after a 14-hour flight), when my brother and I used to wait, enthralled, and rank the pilots over their landing skills like we were experts. Where were those fun times on the plane?
But exactly nothing has changed about flying. The flight attendants’ ear-to-ear smiles are still warm when they serve a tiny container of Häagen-Dazs or cup of tea, the awkwardly intimate distance between my elbow and the passenger next to me still remains uncomfortably close, the pilot announcements are still sudden and annoying when they force pause a movie. Everything is still familiar while I type out this blog on the plane (yes I am indeed on a flight to Logan). What is missing is my heart of a child that made every mundane thing sparkle, more powerful than any sorts of magic.
Yes my brother and I were probably the loud and annoying kids that you had rolled your eyes at. I’ve smirked countless times while I forgot the great times traveling in the air as I grew older. In fact now (live on air), I’ve started to embrace the thrill that was once buried deep in my heart, screaming to burst out again.