As spring break quickly approaches, we are all prepping for our road trips, cruises, air travel, and staycations. While I like traveling to far-off places, flying isn’t my fondest form of travel. This year, we have family flying to us, but for those jet-setting to see family, friends or discover someplace new, I want to share something I do that always gives me comfort during all the different parts of flying – the take-off, the part of the ascent where it sounds and feels like the engines have turned off (my least favorite part), trailing through the skies, turbulence, and the slow descent.
I’m not “I need to be medicated” level of anxious on airplanes, but I’m also not a seasoned flier. My heart always beats a little faster once the airplane’s horsepower kicks in as we race down the runway. And I always think the worst when even a little bit of turbulence bumps me around.
When buying my plane ticket, I always attempt to get a window seat on a wing.
I’ve heard this is the safest spot on an airplane. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t care. I’m sticking with it because of my other reason for sitting there. As the pilot begins pushing that throttle forward, forcing our heads backwards into the headrest, I look out onto the wing and picture all those special people in my life who have already left this Earth sitting there watching over me. Sometimes I picture them as they were in life, sitting or standing on the wing in regular clothes. Sometimes I picture them with white gowns and angel wings. And sometimes I look both directions from my seat and picture half of them on each side, helping to hold the plane up by flying under the wings. It brings me comfort and always calms me down. After each little bump, once my stomach goes back to where it belongs and I loosen my grip on the armrests, I look back out and see them all again looking at me, reassuring me that they’ve got me, they’re protecting me, and they will land the plane safely. And if the worst ever does happen, at least they are right outside my little oval window, reassuring me they’ll be there when we “land.” No matter your religious beliefs, we all have people we’ve loved and lost, and their ghostly presence or happy memories can guide us through our most anxious air travels. Just look out that window, see their faces looking back at you, take a deep breath, think about your destination, and smile.