A love letter to flying

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Dear Flying,

From the beginning, our relationship just took off. It was fast and furious at first – heart racing, arm in armrest – but things got comfortable really quickly, and it didn’t take long for being with you to feel utterly effortless.

I could be myself around you. I could eat in front of you. I could sleep in front of you (I’m sure you’ve caught me snoring on more than one occasion). I could hide a “US Weekly” inside my “New Yorker,” and I knew you’d never tell. You never made me feel as though I needed to dress up for you, or be anything but the loungewear connoisseur we both know I am. I could be, in the immortal words of Drake, sweatpants, hair tied, chilling with no makeup on, and you’d treat me exactly the same as the suit in A3.

plane of jet looking out over city
Who couldn’t love this view? Benson Kua, Take Off via Flickr CC by-SA 2.0

Ever since I asked for your number that fateful day (I still remember it, by the way—AA7363), you’ve propelled me to be my best self. To not let the boundaries of mediocrity, self-doubt or the Atlantic set me back. To achieve my Charles de Gaulles and to always, always know my Fort Worth. Even when we’re in the Heathrows of passion, I always know your intentions are good and your heart is Kuala Lumpur. And although sometimes it takes hard Newark, I know after two or three months without seeing you, I’ll always come running back for more.

We’ve had a turbulent history. I know we’ve had our ups and downs. You’ve kept me waiting more times than I can count, and I’ve pushed your buttons on far too many occasions (hey, sometimes everyone needs immediate assistance). One time I even stood you up – I blamed the traffic, you blamed my rampant procrastination and borderline-expired passport – but I was still able to catch up with you on the way home.

And not that this is the time or place, but I just want you to know there was never anything going on with Ryanair. Just like I know there was nothing between you and EVA. But there are always going to be newer models and bigger engines and we take it in stride.

passengers waiting inside terminal
Airport people-watching is a joy of flying. Nelson L., the quiet excitement of travelling ( #Portugal #Lisbon #airport) via Flickr CC by 2.0

Then there was that time I was late. I won’t even go there. Suffice it to say, we’ve had our challenges and soared through them all unscathed. Even when things between us were up in the air, I always knew you’d bring me back down to Earth.

You’ve opened my eyes to so many things I’d have never seen without you. Because of you, I know what it looks like to stare down at the Swiss Alps from above. To watch the sunrise from above the clouds, tie-dying the sky pink and orange while everyone around us sleeps. To stare down into the depths of a tiny tin toilet and wonder how on Earth that scene from “Catch Me If You Can” ever happened in real life.

You take me to places I could have never seen without you. You show me the earth from a different perspective. Because of you, my words are worldly and my Instagram account is always on-point.

I never needed any grand gestures, the little ones were always enough – an early landing here, a bump up to a seat with more leg room there. And when I’m getting cabin fever, you know just what to say (“Would you like a tiny bottle of complimentary chardonnay?”).

I know you’ll never hesitate to go out on a wing for me. You put my safety first and demonstrate it constantly. You give me first-class attention with economy benevolence. And you know just the right time to bring me snacks (answer: always).

drink, peanuts, and cocktail napkin on seat tray
Booze before, during, and/or after a flight. Anita Hart, Southwest snackies via Flickr CC by-SA 2.0

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love you, Flying. Plane and simple. Flaws and all.

No matter how many times we see each other, my heart still beats a little faster before we meet.

And if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for you. Literally.

Sincerely yours,

Frequent flyer

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Main image: istockphoto.com/Leonardo Patrizi

A love letter to flying was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Chelsey Burnside
Author: Chelsey Burnside (22 posts)

Chelsey is a travel, fashion and lifestyle writer based in Toronto. Her work also appears in The Coveteur, The Ottawa Citizen, The Toronto Star and various notebooks left in airports.