Hi, I’m one of those weird people who actually likes flying. I see it as the perfect opportunity to unplug from social media, news and other distractions. When I’m in the sky, I can focus. Down on earth, there’s too much scurrying and posturing. Up in the sky, it’s pure zen. Sometimes I see a plane fly overhead and feel envy. Yes, I’m weird. I probably belong to the same much maligned minority categories of train spotters and hoarders.
For many people, flying is never enjoyable. It can even be downright scary. I mean, you are contained high above the earth in what basically amounts to a tin can filling with other people’s odours. When you look at it from that perspective, flying isn’t exactly a hoot but I’m trying to persuade you guys to see that it can be strangely enjoyable so let’s drop the doom and gloom approach whilst I share with you the ways in which I make flying fun and fruitful.
If you think that the pinnacle of any flight is a drab tray of questionable sustenance and an obscured view of some unidentifiable mountains via your neighbours window, you are very much mistaken.
Write that book
I’m a budding author. I’ve been writing my novel since I was 19 years old. Although I adore writing, I find it difficult to finish my book. I’m convinced that the story is a juicy one and that I’m writing it well but I easily self-sabotage and procrastinate hence, I’ve still got a way to go until I complete the first draft!
When I’m flying alone, I get out my laptop and write or I pop out my notepad and jot down ideas. A long-haul flight is a sizable chunk of uninterrupted time during which I can get some valuable work done. If I’m suffering from writers’ block, I try to just write down aimless musings and usually something will come to me that advances the story.
Plan your holiday
Sometimes I get on a plane and have no idea what I’m going to do the other side and often I like it that way. Other times, it’s a slightly more petrifying prospect. I usually bring a guidebook with me and have a browse in-flight. It helps me decide what to do and what to prioritise. It’s also an interesting place to plan future trips. I always have my eye on the next holiday so taking a guidebook with me and looking up prospective paradise for my next jaunt abroad feels satisfying.
Write your diary
Can you tell that a lot of my suggestions involve writing? I used to be an avid diary writer but the busier I got the sooner it fell by the wayside. I think keeping a diary is an important way of logging (and later on, understanding) your thoughts, emotions, goals, frustrations and dreams. Over time, you learn to see patterns in your own behaviour and it can be easier to figure out where to go in future. Diaries are also a wonderful way of capturing our memories and experiences authentically. You never know when you may need to call upon the material!
Catch up on much loved movies
I worship film and cinema. It’s another of my passions. I used to write a blog based on film reviews. I don’t watch as many movies as I used to although I still try to make time for them when I can. If you aren’t an avid TV watcher or cinema goer, then flights are the ideal environment to binge guilt-free on all that screen time you missed out on whilst you were busy being a productive, successful member of society. There’s little else you could be doing, so why not? You can be a plane potato, instead of the couch variety.
Update your Adventure List
Sometimes the strangest ideas come to me mid-flight. They might be concepts for blogs, stories or things that I want to experience. I always have a notebook handy so that I can scribble down anything that comes to me intuitively. It forms part of my Adventure List and keeps my mind focused on self-improvement and moving forward.
Strike up conversation with a stranger
You know that meme that says, ‘I wish girls could always be as friendly as they are in club toilets?’ I’d like to modify that. I wish people could always be as friendly as they are on airplanes. I’ve met some fascinating people on some of my flights.
Yvette – You had such an interesting job and introduced me to a morbid book that was right up my alley! You are a sunbeam of smiles and bright energy and enjoying a long-haul flight to Indonesia with you was a pleasure.
Eduardo – I was painfully conscious of flying solo to Las Vegas so I was very pleased when I ended up sitting with such a delightful personal trainer and even happier that we got to catch up in Vegas!
Maddie – I met my twin on a flight to Singapore. Maddie, I am so grateful for the friendship that we have developed and for the opportunity to travel with you again in the South of France.
Striking up conversation with the person next to you can result in amazing friendships. You may even snare yourself a travel buddy, as I did with Maddie.
Be smart with your carry on
If you pack properly, you’ll find that your bag can represent a treasure trove of wonders. What do you need on a plane to feel relaxed and engaged? Options include your kindle, iPod, magazines, colouring books and portable games. Take the time to pack a travel bag that will get you through the flight! Pack more than a packet of tissues and a tube of smarties and enjoyment can be yours.
Escaping into a good story is a wonderful way to evade the boredom of a long flight. I got cracking with Stephen King’s Desperation on a flight home from Tenerife. The book was so engrossing that the flight zipped by in no time at all. Pick a book that you’ve always wanted to read or re-acquaint yourself with one of your all-time favourites. Suggestions? The Harry Potter series, Feel the Fear and do it Anyway and the Girl on the Train. I love reading a good autobiography as I find them inspiring easy reads.
Get lost in a game
Pick a game that you can immerse yourself in for hours. Good options are Pokemon or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Adventure games are fantastically addictive and on a flight, you have so many hours to kill that taking the time to evolve your Pikachu or foiling the plans of Team Rocket for the umpteenth time don’t feel like such a colossal waste of time.
Do a little duty-free shopping
Treat yourself to a little gift after taking a peruse through the duty-free shopping options. What will it be? A fancy perfume? A new lipstick? Or twenty packets of chocolate fingers? Whether its food or fashion, getting yourself a gift always improves the experience and eating is a great way to break up big clumps of time. On the way home from Vegas, I ordered three big packets of chocolate and consumed them whilst watching Trolls. Not my finest hour but by God it was beautiful.
A lot of people are sleep deprived. Do you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night? If not, you should love flying even more than I do. On route home from Vegas, I encountered a heavenly and rare scenario, as I was left with three seats to myself. As my companion, who had been a stranger to me 10 minutes before, apologised and fled to sit with her friend, all I could think was ‘Praise be Jebus.’ I reclined, watched some movies, gorged on chocolate and fell asleep.
So, you see flights are the perfect place to catch some z’s, get creative, unwind and even work on your goals. It’s hard to hate a method of transport that gives you so much freedom. I’m looking forward to my next flight already 😉
All my love,