25 (thousand): Halfway between the Ground and Cruising Altitude

People often ask what it’s like to fly constantly and for my halfway point I figured a sort of “special edition” was in order. (Great, I’ve officially become one of “those” writers.) Adding to the list of one of my ultimate favorite places besides my bed, a mountain, Santa Monica Beach and a movie theatre; I’m going to tell you what it’s like to fly. Flying away cconsistentlyand effortlessly at the hands of someone else’s abilities is an experience that I will do my best to explain.

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The first thing you learn to get used to is the popping of your ears. Yawning helps but doesn’t always do the trick, and though popped ears can lead to other damages, I’ve grown to learn that I appreciate the sounds it can silence. The sounds of crying babies and loud snorers, or turning irate comments into inaudible murmurs. It mutes instances in life that become a part of the daily struggle. Instances I also, wouldn’t trade for anything. I often sit on my jump seat with a book in hand, watching through my five inch thick, foot wide window as though in a fish bowl, such as I’m doing now. Farms turn to cities, cities turn to mountains, and mountains turn to beaches, all while chasing the inevitable sunset that brings with it another adventure.

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The rumbling engine becomes as normal as breathing, and turbulence as standard as coughing. You immediately learn not to touch anything without a glove and sometimes traveling over the endless ocean can give you a sense of timelessness floating. Not often enough, while watching out the window, I notice other planes stretching no bigger than my thumb. It’s only then that I realize just how small the 145,000 pounds worth of metal I’m sitting in looks from 38,000 feet.

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The only clock I follow is the one of my body as time zones change daily. My feet constantly ache and I’ve since convinced myself that it’ll either pass or become a part of me. Lifting bags are second nature but I’m only touching my own considering I appreciate my back and all it does for me. And despite my best efforts, I convince others, and myself for that matter, that I’m in fact a people person 100% of the time.

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Flying as a passenger is by far my favorite because you don’t have to answer questions and you can allow yourself to get fully excited about the next journey you’ll venture on. I could stare out my window at the wing, flying over green terrain, as my ears pound with hours of endless music for longer than the average person.

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The clouds change shapes based on the patterns of the wind, ranging from blankets of fluff to pieces of cotton like those that get stuck your eyelashes from an itchy sweater.

Yet still, even though all of what I’ve listed chalks up to a combination of what I love about flying, my favorite has to be climbing and descending; when my stomach uncontrollably turns as we drastically change altitudes. It marks the beginning of an adventure or the end of a workday. It allows me to reflect on my most recent journey while having the butterflies that signify accomplishment.

Hopelessly wandering and sunset chasing are among my favorite hobbies and I wish for everyone to have similar experiences of consistent elation in their lifetime.

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