Monday Morning, on the first of May, at 7:50am GMT, I will be taking off on a plane for the first time in 5 years. Every week of those five years I have dreamt of all the countries I would love to visit, all the cultures to see, sometimes it has almost felt like it hurt because I have longed to explore new lands so badly but could never afford it. However, in just two days my next adventure begins with my best friend, who is my Mum, as we visit a country I’ve always held high on my list, France! Bordeaux to be exact, and I COULDN’T BE MORE EXCITED!!! 😀
With my first foreign adventure in years within touching distance, I thought I would reflect with you all on my first experience of flying on an aeroplane, and how I feel now, about to board a plane after such a big gap. It also appropriate to consider my own experiences as my Mum will be stepping on to a plane for the first time since 1979, and it will no doubt feel like a new experience for her. So here is an insight into my first flight:
July 2012, 17 year old me gets on a coach with the rest of the Religious Studies and History Students from my Sixth Form to visit Berlin, Germany, and Krakow, Poland. The first time I will have ever been on an aeroplane, and the excitement and nerves build more and more as I wave goodbye to my Mum through the coach window. When we pulled up at John Lennon Airport, I remember thinking, ‘This is it. A big first in my life. What if I’m scared of heights? What if I get travel sickness? What if I have a panic attack?’. I didn’t know the answer to any of these questions, nothing in my life was comparable, it was all new! When we boarded the plane, my friends let me sit by the window because I’d never seen out of a plane before. When we first took off things didn’t go that smoothly. I was scared and my hand was gripped tightly to the arm rest; I suppose because my mind couldn’t comprehend what was happening. I didn’t know what flying felt like and to this day I still don’t understand how aeroplanes get in the air. My best friend who was sat next to me, and she’s still my best friend now, is the one who held my hand and reassured me that the sounds were all normal. Once we were in the air and I looked out the window, WOW! I’d never seen anything like it, my world had just become a thousand times bigger. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, it was beautiful and it opened my eyes to magnitude of our world. Then as we climbed higher I WAS IN THE CLOUDS! I kept looking at everyone else’s faces and none of them seemed bothered, but me this was a new level of amazing. I spent the entire flight with my face stuck to the window and my, then, compact camera in my hand, like a kid in a candy shop, in awe and overwhelmed. I think it was nice that this wasn’t something I got to experience until I was 17, because as a child I would have taken for granted the greatness of what I was doing, but by this age I could appreciate how truly amazing it is that we can fly in the clouds to anywhere in the world. I don’t know if the more I travel, and I’ll be taking off and landing 4 times when we go to France, the more matter of fact it will become to fly, but I do hope I get that feeling of magic every time I look out of a plane window in my life.
So here I sit now, a little apprehensive, somewhat unsure of what to expect, memories only serve us how we want them too, and excited to the point of exhaustion. I’m sure we’ll navigate our way through the airports to arrive safely in Bordeaux for a trip filled with wonderful memories.
Amy Williams-Weeks (AWW)