Ask most people what their interests are and ‘traveling’ is bound to be listed. Usually this means seeing new places, immersing in different cultures, and experiencing new flavors in both food and art. When I profess my love for travel, all of those apply to me too, but it doesn’t end there. I love the act of traveling, especially via the friendly skies.
So many people dread flying, bringing their anxiety with them from Point A to Point B. But for me, being in-flight is a sort of time-suspending nirvana. Somehow, I am never more tranquil than on an engine-propelled metal bird. I sit back and relax as much as anyone can with just 11 inches of legroom.
Though I’m surrounded by hundreds of grumpy travelers, this is my moment of zen. Walking down the aisle to my seat (ALWAYS A WINDOW!), I subconsciously shed my mental baggage, just about the only thing the airline hasn’t figure out how to charge me for.
I’m on a plane now and that means it’s me time.
Goodbye stress. Farewell work headaches. Au revoir obligations, and that means even you friends and family. That’s right! I don’t sit next to my wife. I don’t sit next to my brother. I don’t sit next to my parents or friends or anyone else. I prefer the Kanye West model, “Thirty thousand feet up and you are not invited.”
I do not fly private, but I do fly privately. And that’s why I like my window seat, my headphones, possibly a book, and definitely a pen. These Sudokus aren’t going to solve themselves. I’ve gone and turned my life onto Airplane mode. Do. Not. Disturb.
Now don’t get the wrong idea… I am not promising a productive flight, or that my time will be spent on important matters. In fact, odds suggest a partial nap and a complete skimming of Skymall (lifetime zero buys). If the flight is long enough for movies, you can bet I’ll run through as many as I can. I’m the guy you sit next to, incredulous at my taste. But here’s the secret: airplane time is found time, so why not sink your teeth into a terrible movie like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter?
Good news for my seatmates. I don’t smell. I don’t overflow my area. I won’t make you get up so I can go the bathroom. I’m not an airplane drinker. If traveling with food, I assure you, it will not offend. I am well-versed in manners, but I am not here to make friends. I’m completely self-sustainable. If all goes right, you won’t even know I’m here, fitting since I am pretending you aren’t here either.
See, there’s already so much angst involved in air travel, and I’ve had it with this motherbleepin’ angst on these motherbleepin’ planes. From your unwelcoming TSA body-mapping/groping to the illogical boarding procedure, I understand the anxiety. Add in turbulence, overhead compartment shortages, the spotty WiFi, and the snack-limiting impact of cost-cutting and peanut allergies, we’re all one crying baby away from becoming a local news story.
So please don’t mind me turning off my senses to it all; I am opting out. From my throne I’ve got a view of the world without all of the hassle we filled it with. Perhaps my seat is slight and cramped, but once my butt touches down and we lift off, I am the captain now.
From this snug corner of row 13, I’ve got all I need. My air vent, my legroom, my entertainment, my window view, my headspace. As this plane floats above the world untethered, I want to be afforded the same freedom. Is that too much to ask?