Two years ago, I had the privilege to spend a weekend in Singapore with my husband. It was my first international flight, as well as my first time to travel alone by air. The whole experience of flying alone was exciting, scary, at the same time, boring. I think I stressed myself so much by willing for the flight to end soon, to get to my destination immediately. The bad weather did not help much as all of us passengers had to wait for nearly half an hour to leave the ground and be on our way to Singapore.
I’ve always enjoyed a window seat, so I reserved one as I booked my flight online. However, it was a rather unpleasant experience for me to sit by the window this time. Since it was raining, I felt so close to the lightning that would etch the sky from time to time. It’s a good thing I couldn’t hear them clapping, unlike when I would be on the ground when it’s raining.
In case you don’t know yet, by the way, I both have astrophobia and electrophobia, i.e., fear of lightning and fear of being electrocuted. They are related, and I’d say it’s terrible to have both, especially if you’re flying (solo) on a bad weather. It’s a good thing, I guess, that my husband’s an aeronautical engineer and it’s their company that manufactured the plane that carried me to Singapore and back to Manila. He assured me that it’s safe to fly and all (modern) aircraft have been designed to withstand lightning and bad weather as a whole. I suppose everybody knows that, but I just had to be reassured.
While onboard, I couldn’t help reminiscing my first plane ride. That was when I went to Boracay with my work colleagues, more than a decade ago. We were traveling for free, since it’s a company outing, and we stayed at our boss’s first beach resort in Boracay, somewhere at Station 2. We were to be its guests on its grand opening day! How cool is that?
My flight going back to Manila from Singapore was no better though. The wait before take off was much longer because the plane was not ready yet, and the bad weather was apparently to blame again for the delay. Worse, we were in a smaller plane, and the size had contributed, I guess, to the bumpy ride. The only consolation I had was being on the same plane with someone I know–a high school classmate–and being surrounded with jolly passengers, mostly foreigners, as well as having friendly flight attendants.
This year, I’m not sure if I’ll be going out of the country again as much as I would like it to be an annual experience. (I suppose this is the reason I’m recalling these things now.) If yes, it looks like I’ll be on my own again, though I couldn’t complain. Last year, I traveled with my daughters and my parents-in-law and flying had been a much more pleasant experience, save for the kids seated behind us on our way back home, who kept on bumping against the back of our seats and made a lot of irritating noise while their mom’s face was glued to her mobile gadget with earphones stuck to her ears. (Really? I’m a mom with two kids, too, yet…!)
Anyway, next time I travel again by plane, I’ll remember to check the weather forecast first before booking a flight. I wouldn’t want to travel on a rainy day–no, not again! And, in case I get seated once more near a parent with annoying kids, whom he/she refuses to pacify, I’ll be sure to speak up and try to help. Looking back, how I managed to stay quiet at that time is a miracle to me now.