Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

My Travel hr662

on January 20, 2023

A trip can require an enormous effort. In my case, it starts by making time to plan in a hectic daily life which consumes me with work. Once I manage to find time for planning a trip, a long way to finish it awaits. I search all over the Internet for the best possible deal for a hotel and transportation that suits what I want to do during the trip. I narrow selections, choose the most saving plans, combine them into an itinerary, book everything, adjust my work schedule, and pack. The latest trip I took after that lengthy process was by plane. I could have taken the bullet train since the time that would be taken to the destination was almost the same because the airport was much further than the train station from my home. But that particular airline carried a limited-time sale so that the fare was lower. My choice was decided on a plane for that reason.

No matter how many times I have flown, I feel nervous each time. Although I know that the chances of a car accident are much higher than a plane crash, that kind of logic doesn’t help me. I see many people drink alcohol before the flight and that shows I am not the only person who is nervous of flying. A long time ago, I took a flight to Dallas. Before landing, the plane was sucked into nasty turbulence. It repeated steep dives several times that gave some passengers screams and vomits. I was in a window seat and seeing the wing in the midst of a thick cloud that told me the plane tilted sharply. I heard something fall and break everywhere. Above all, I was most terrified when I saw the flight attendants panic, who were supposed to get used to and be trained for this situation. The plane finally got out of the thick cloud and I thought I would see out of the window broad highways or the edge of the runway that were common views after the plane descended that much. Instead, what came into my sight were tips of green trees. Because I had never seen trees so closely from the airplane, I was convinced that we were going to crash. I vaguely thought it was least expected that my end was Dallas. Then, the plane stopped descending and flew ahead horizontally. It made turns above trees with a move that was more like a bus’s rather than a plane’s. It seemed to spot the runway by doing so, and we landed safely.

For the latest trip I took, I checked in at the airport and was informed that my flight was delayed for two hours due to machine maintenance. I wasn’t sure if the airplane I was going on board would need further maintenance or a backup plane would fly in from somewhere, but either way, it made me uneasy since it came on top of the existing nervous factor that it was a low cost carrier. After I went through the security check and waited at the gate, the further delay was announced. I finally got on board a few hours behind schedule and the door of the plane was closed. Yet, it remained stationary, and wouldn’t move. The captain announced it was waiting for takeoff permission from the control tower. It sounded absurd because it was a small local airport where the runway was empty and only few flights a day came in and out. Forty minutes passed while many things crossed my mind. Why can’t a takeoff be permitted? Is there any problem? Is that the true reason? Does this plane still have some sort of machine troubles? The cabin was dead silent and tense as other passengers sat quiet and strained for the whole forty minutes. I thought this was the very time when we needed alcohol most. By the time the plane took off and safely finished its 90-minute flight, it was already night and I was exhausted. My elaborate travel itinerary got messed up on the first day though I had made it with full of leeway. The massive delay ate up the time for a meal at the restaurant. The express train I had booked from the airport to the city had long gone.

Flights are always accompanied with troubles. Other than delays, I have had my fair share of troubles regarding baggage, other passengers or attendants. Even so, I don’t hate flying. I don’t know why exactly, but I feel like I become a different person each time I take off and land on the destination. It is as if I jumped into a different dimension where a better version of my life exists. I like that feeling so much that I feel stuck circling at the same spot over and over without any changes when I haven’t flown for a long time. That’s why I need to take a plane to a different place once in a while in order to become a better self even if it’s nervous, risky and troublesome. I might as well stay home just to relax as to travel. It would be peaceful, calm and tranquil for me. But I know I couldn’t enjoy that because staying at the same place without traveling feels like being dead. Travel lets me keep changing so that I stay alive.


8 responses to “My Travel hr662

  1. Yetismith says:

    It’s funny, I worked for a large international airline for 38 years and mostly I liked flying for the same reasons you give but I also hated it for those same reasons as well. I always thought of crashes too. I even know people who have survived crashes and twice I was in aeroplanes that were involved in near-miss incidents (one was very close!) But once I was on board and strapped in I was able to forget those things. Airports back then were busy and chaotic but I think not nearly as bad as now. I have given up travelling now, settling for reading of other people’s travels. I’m glad you travel. There is so much to see and experience. Best wishes.

    • Hidemi Woods says:

      I’m glad to know so many aspects to share with you. I can imagine how scary that close near-miss was. The other plane must have been visible. You have traveled many times more than people usually do during their lifetimes and you deserve to be settling for anything now. Thanks for your comment, and best wishes to you too.

  2. arlingwoman says:

    I drive a lot more since the pandemic, but I did fly twice in the past year. Never have I experienced seeing treetops the way you described–or turbulence quite like that. I do remember taking off from one airport and noticing that the plane began to descend quite quickly. It landed at an airport 30 miles away because of a mechanical problem. The thing was, until the announcement, I seemed to be the only person who noticed. I kept looking around at people reading, sleeping, talking and wondering whether they noticed. I guess having a little anxiety about flying makes me more observant.

    • Hidemi Woods says:

      Thank you for sharing my experience. Yours is scary enough for me. I agree with you. I often envy people who are easygoing and careless because being observant makes me anxious about so many small things. But it can be a merit, can’t it? Thanks again for your comment!

  3. judyrutrider says:

    I’ve always believed that the secret to happy travel was to remain flexible and embrace the adventure created by the bumps along the way. That said, I’ve been extraordinarily lucky in that I’ve never experienced anything catastrophic.

    • Hidemi Woods says:

      Thank you for the comment. As you said, the adventure is the essence of travel but I think it’s funny that we all don’t want to encounter one if possible. Thanks again for sharing!

  4. Juliette says:

    Flights with turbulences can be so nerve-wrecking! Even if we try our best to stay positive and think rationally, having turbulences and “bumps” so high in the air is definitely scary! I’ve had my fair share of annoying moments regarding flights as well, though they usually ended up being ok!

    • Hidemi Woods says:

      You’re right. We all know that the odds are in our favor, but we can’t help thinking of the worst in midair. Flying has its strange power. Thanks for your comment!

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