In June of 1983, at the tender age of 10, I flew on an airplane all by myself from Kansas City to Los Angeles to visit my dad for the summer. I didn’t want to be treated like a child, so I carried “an adult purse” and carried “The Girls of Canby Hall” and “Sweet Valley High” books with me on the plane to look mature. The flight attendant literally put a tag on my shirt… and I’m not kidding you–it looked like a luggage tag! It was HUGE! They needed to make sure that I was delivered to the right owner, my dad! So little did I know at the time that this would be the first of many, many solo flights to come in my lifetime.
Between ages 10 and 18, I flew to and from Kansas and California every summer. Once I went off to college, I flew (or drove 8 hrs) to and from Los Angeles and Berkeley multiple times a year. When I started seminary in Los Angeles, I served at a church in San Francisco… and yes, this is crazy… but I flew on a weekly basis from LA to SF/Oakland for three years. I’m really good at 1 hr naps now… and thankfully, I have the gift of sleep, so I’m also good at falling asleep before the plane take off and waking up right when it lands! After seminary, I started exploring the country and the world… so I had the privilege to travel… and I even flew by myself from Los Angeles to South Africa with 18 hr layover in Frankfurt, Germany (that wasn’t by choice… it was because my friend’s flight was delayed and re-routed to London instead of Germany).
People often say “you must hate flying…” Well, the truth is… I love airports. I love flying alone. I love people-watching. I don’t even mind sleeping on the plane. The only thing I don’t enjoy about traveling is the security line… otherwise, I’m an excellent traveler (if I do say so myself). I landed in LAX just about 4 weeks ago after KidMin Conference in Ohio… and when I landed, I sighed a sigh of sadness because I knew I was done traveling for the year. I was going to miss the hustle and bustle of this place that everyone hates so much! (okay, I’ll be back on January 1, 2014… but still… I’m done for 2013!)
Why do I share this story? For 2 reasons…
- People often talk about how much they hate traveling/flying, thus they would assume that I also hated the whole traveling process… and because it seemed like people expected me to say “yeah, I hate flying…” I would say “yeah, i hate flying” although it really wasn’t true. Well, I’m finally coming out and saying “I love flying–and I even love flying by myself!” It’s okay to say what I really want and feel even if people think I’m crazy for it. This is probably a bigger/longer blog for later… but finding confidence in speaking up for what I really feel and believe even if it’s not the popularly held belief is very liberating! I understand the some people stress over traveling/flying… but I that’s not me! I really enjoy the process… even the packing sometimes!
- It occurred to me recently that God had been preparing me since childhood to fly/travel alone. For me to enjoy something that most people dread is a blessing. To have the gift of sleep is a blessing (yes, I can just about sleep anywhere in any position). God knew all along that I would spend a good deal of my lifetime at airports and planes… and I think I was in training since age 10. God is so cool that way…
so right now, I sit here just browsing through flight specials because I’m itching to get back on a plane (I know, I’m crazy and weird that way)… but that’s okay… because that’s how God made me, and I’m totally comfortable flying solo…
2 thoughts on “Flying Solo…”
Such a wonderful post. THANK YOU!
Love it, especially the part about expressing what you really feel, not what people expect you to feel. I’m learning that, too.