Flying: My selfish time

I grew up on airplanes. With a father that is a pilot, I hopped on and off planes like most kids hopped in and out of their parents' minivans. And while our frequent flying fueled my brother's enchantment with becoming a pilot, I fell in love with air travel in a different way: I fell in love with being a passenger. It is the only place where I feel safe locking out the rest of the world and truly indulging in "me time."

Things I love about flying:

Snapped en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico in January 2014.

Snapped en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico in January 2014.

  • Being completely disconnected (although this is a more conscious decision nowadays given the proliferation of in-flight wi-fi). 
  • Not being in charge. The only person I am responsible for is myself. All I have to do is show up and sit down. As a Type A person, even an hour of not being in charge is liberating in a way most people probably won't understand.
  • The humming of jet engines. I'm probably the only person on Earth who is lulled to sleep by the whirl of engines moving an 80-ton aircraft at over 400 mph.
  • Getting lost in music. Eyes closed, headphones in. Don't bother me, thank you.
  • Uninterrupted reading.  I have nearly 2000 articles in my Pocket and hundreds of unread books on my Kindle. It's nice to have some time to read something longer than a 300-word blog post on TechCrunch or Gawker.
  • Thinking time. I know a lot of people who consider their daily commute their thinking time. That never worked for me for me. But flying? That works.
  • Anticipation. I love travel. I love adventure. I love seeing new places. And old places full of friends and family, too. For at least one leg of my trip I'm heading toward a new experience and that feeling is always awesome. 
  • And finally, the travel trump card. Does somebody need something from me? Sorry, can't, I'm traveling. Works every time.

So many people find air travel a hassle—tickets, parking, security, bags, gates, seats. Not me. Sure I don't love standing in line for security, but it's 15 minutes, and I know that once my ass hits the seat at my gate that the remainder of my day will be my selfish time.

Tell me, when do you steal your best "me time"?

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Posted on February 26, 2014 and filed under Travel, Perspectives.