Escapism at cloud base

I’m currently sitting in 24 A on a flight to George, desperate for the loo but with a soundly sleeping passenger barring the way to the outhouse. On my way out this morning I grabbed a book, only to now discover it came from the ‘read’ pile, and not the ‘to read’ pile… So, in a bid to pass away some uncomfortable time, let’s see how creative I can be ‘on’ a full bladder…

Being thirty-thousand-foot above the ground is actually such an amazing place to be. I’ve always liked being up here, for a number of reasons. The most obvious one is probably that I just love to travel – plane, car, train, ship, donkey cart – any which way it is served up, I’ll have some of that, thank you.

Sometimes one gets to meet interesting people (if they’re not sleeping….), and though I certainly can’t claim to have made any new life-long friends on board, I’ve had some engaging chats, learned new things and heard some interesting perspectives. And if my fellow passenger has the ‘just don’t talk to me’ vibe, I totally respect that – I exude it often enough to recognise the signs. 

On transatlantic flights I get to movie-binge which offers a double serving of escapism – the chance of being interrupted is slim AND I’m immersed in a good story…  I honestly can’t remember the last time I arrived on the other side well-rested, but post travel I can definitely hold my own in discussions on the latest releases…

If you look far enough down my resume, you’ll spot that I sported a season as a flight attendant for Lufthansa, based in Munich. Maybe the travel bug really bit there? Destinations included European cities as well as just a few intercontinental flights to Chicago, New York and Bangkok – fun times! The experience opened up a whole new interpretation of the world, new cultures and endless places to see, however it wasn’t long before I decided that being the on-board refreshment and sometimes safety officer was not quite my cup of tea. Plus I missed home and my family, so came back to South Africa for a short while to tank up on the familiar. 

A big part of what draws me to flying is the idea of not being available, even for just a short while, and having the luxury of some time to simply just be.

Right now we’re flying high above the Karoo, with high puffy clouds between us and the midday-heat-braving mammals down there. The view from up here is just incredible, and I can feel a strong pull to get back to cloud base under a paraglider again…but I’ll save exploring that for another time, because right now he’s awake, and I’ve gotta dash…

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