I’ve always loved flying and being at the airport and for a really long time there I was going to be a pilot ‘when I grew up’. Then I realised I hate maths. Now that I’m starting to get really good at these Brisbane to Melbourne and vice versa plane trips, I’m worried it’s starting to become too much of a routine and somewhere that was once a magical place, a gateway to anywhere in the world… is just another building. A checkpoint before a boring 2 hour flight. Sure, what waits for me on either side of said flight is either CB or friends/family and that thought alone makes my stomach flip excitedly, but once upon a time just the idea of being at an airport gave me these butterflies. Now it just gives me a headache.These days, the process involves:
- Check in online 24 hours before departure and cross fingers I get a window seat.
- Find a way to get to the airport.
- Drop off baggage once I get there.
- Grab a McChicken burger from Maccas. Don’t know why but it’s now a ‘thing’ I need to do or I get really grumpy.
- Purchase 2x trash magazines.
- Wait at gate.
- Wait to hear how long the plane will be delayed (always is).
- Wait at gate some more.
- Board plane.
- Stare down everyone who looks like they’re going to sit next to me.
- Take off.
- Read one trash mag.
- Eat some gross plane food and drink some nasty coffee.
- Read second trash mag.
- Nap. And by nap, I mean close eyes for 10 minutes in the hopes I’ll fall asleep. Never actually fall asleep.
- Open eyes and wonder, how much longer it’ll be til we get there?
- Wish I owned a watch so I could calculate how much longer it’ll be til we get there.
- Wonder if anything bad will actually happen if I turn my phone on to check the time.
- Remember CB telling me to select in-flight mode before take off.
- Remember I didn’t listen to CB (I know he’s reading this thinking, what’s new?) so cannot turn phone on to check time.
- Make mental note to buy myself a watch.
- Wonder how my dad has remained sane after travelling interstate constantly for the past 26 years on business trips.
- Blow that pop stand the second the seatbelt sign is turned off.
- Collect baggage.
Riveting stuff huh? I guarantee you that exact process takes place each time now. I’m on airport auto-pilot and I don’t like it.
Not that I want my flights to be more eventful, I’m happy for them to run as smoothly as they do, I just want to get the magic back. I mean, in the future, will my great, great-grandchildren feel the same way about trips to the moon and back? This has then caused me to consider the other random things I’ve lost the love for in my lifetime. I used to love chucking on the runners and playing a good game of netball but I haven’t played for years now. I also feel pretty indifferent towards jumping on a trampoline, writing stories by hand and baking. Things that used to give me great joy and a sense of accomplishment, even if I was rubbish at them.
While I live in Melbourne I have plenty of time to find ways to start enjoying my flights again and maybe, just maybe, instead of buying a trash mag, I’ll buy a notebook and a pen and do some writing. When I eventually have a backyard, I’m going to buy a giant trampoline to just bounce around on and lie on while cloud/star-gazing. Joining a netball team could be in my future and maybe if I take a course so I’m actually good at it, I’ll start to find new pleasure in baking. I believe the magic is never truly gone. I just have to bring out my inner-child and remind myself how it got there in the first place, Peter Pan in Hook styles.