One would think that as a seasoned traveller, i would be used to flying by now. Well actually I am. I don’t deny that. After having flown all around the world and all around the Philippines, the primal thrill of the flying experience is all but gone.
Truth be told, flights themselves no longer hold that glamour of yesteryear. Do you remember that first time you rode an airplane? For me, I was around 8 years old I think on a flight from Manila to Baguio. I was so thrilled by the experience that I remember it clearly even today.
Several years later, the thrill is gone. In fact, It has evolved to the point where I no longer enjoy the whole experience of traveling by air… which of course includes the annoying experiences of having to go through the airport, checking in, going through modern-day security-related hassles, then there is the waiting in airports for. your actual flight.
Now that you have heard my gibber-jabber of how air travel for me has become so ho-hum and common place, let say though that despite all that, the one aspect of air travel i do enjoy, and to this day still holds an element of awe and wonderment is the actual flight itself.
Despite a decent understanding of aero dynamics, it still amazes me how a combination of thrust and appropriately shaped wings can create enough lift to make a several-ton hunk of metal soar through the air. At the back of my mind, with every take-off I sit through, i always wonder… "will we take off?" And of course each and every time i still amazed that we actually do. The biggest thrill of course is that actual point when the nose of the plane points upward and actually climbs.
Another element which always excites me takes place during moments when I am seated by the window (yes, these days, if I had a choice, I would rather NOT sit by the window… but that is a topic for another blog post).
As one who enjoys traveling, I have become very accustomed to reading maps. Paper maps are always great, but with the advent of Bing Maps and Google Maps, looking at destinations and routes through maps has become even more fun. But I digress. When i get the chance, I try to look up the geography of a location before hand. Then, while on the plane, as I look out of the window, I always get that thrill (sure, call me shallow) of recognizing landmarks… buildings, terrain (mountains, rivers, roads), etc. Call me shallow (again) but during take off and landings around Manila, or any one of my favorite destinations like San Francisco, I love recognizing my personal landmarks.
And so. While i profess that while I am beginning to loathe the experience of air travel as a whole. There are still "moments" for me during the flight.