Reads, puzzles, earplugs, candy, moisturizer, anti-nausea essential oils. Carry-on packing complete.
For someone who doesn’t have much patience, I really love the process of flying.
I will happily hang around airports for hours, it's never dull. I spritz things in the duty-free, I people watch, I look at the departures board and think that, if money were no issue, look at the places I could go! Right now! Call me weird, but I love the whole thing. This summer, I’ll be flying on my birthday, and I don’t mind one bit.
The lines, the security checks, the $9.00 slices of pizza. It doesn’t fuss me much. For me, flying is a time to be nice to oneself. When you board the plane, your sole responsibility is to amuse yourself until the landing.
Sure, some people crack open the laptops and work. Me, I feel no need. Isn’t travel in itself productive enough? What did I do today? I’ll ask myself in bed the night of a trip. I crossed five time zones. No small feat. My body’s fighting jetlag. Good work. Flying, especially for more than three hours, should be enough productivity for the day.
In the air, I reason, nothing counts. I'll drink Coca-cola; the evil chemicals don't harm you in a plane. I'll eat a pack of Mentos in four minutes. Sugar's good for you up here! I'll watch the fluffiest movies I can find. I'll use disposable cutlery and not feel an ounce of eco-guilt. I'll wear my granny undies and keep my hair messy. I'll stink up the cabin with my coconut hand cream that's marketed to 10-year-olds. You can't touch me, manners, I'm in the air! Yeah, it's lawless up here. Free of consequence.
But it’s not all fun and games.
During the flight, my overactive imagination will inevitably kick in. There’s my hypochondriac’s fear of deep-vein thrombosis, which has me doing yoga in the toilet every 30 minutes. There’s my tendency to cry every time we hit turbulence. There’s my judgemental brain studying the other passengers, thinking "In a Lost-type situation, could I stand being marooned with these people?"
That’s the downside of having no tasks at hand. Even in the excitement of air travel, an imagination can run hog-wild.