I’m leaving on a jet plane

So tomorrow I’m flying to Cape Town for a lunchtime launch for a well known store’s Christmas food products. I’m excited but, I have to admit, a little nervous too. And there are a couple of reasons for this…

1. I’ve never flown anywhere alone before. I know… I’m 33 and I’ve always flown with someone – my Mister or, when I was younger, my parents. So this first trip alone is a little scary. And very grown up. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I still think of myself as being 17, so doing grown-up things is daunting.

Train

2. I’ve never been more than a few kilometres away from my baby, Holly. And now I’m going to be on the other side of the country. With no car! Not that having a car would help me but still, I’d feel somehow more in control if I had transport I was maneuvering by myself. But I’m being dropped at the Gautrain station by Mister, zoomed to the airport by the train driver, flown to Cape Town by a pilot and driven by a driver to the launch. I’m going to be completely out of control. The. Whole. Day. (You’ve probably gathered that I’m the type of person who feels more comfortable when she’s in control of her environment and situation. If not – I am.)

Sarmie

3. I’m going on a plane without luggage. And, for some reason, that makes me feel really uncomfortable. Like I won’t have what I need when I need it. But that’s ridiculous. I’ll have my giant mommy bag with everything I usually carry around and never use. For some people it may be freeing travelling unencumbered, with just the wind in their hair and their boarding pass in their hand – but not me! I need to be weighted down by bags and jackets and books and scalding coffee and a sarmie.

4. I may sit next to a strange person on the plane. One who wants to chat or who has broccoli in his teeth and who’s wearing an anorak. Whenever I’ve flown with my Mister I’ve always used him as the security buffer between me and weirdly-dressed (an smelling) strangers. I have a thing about my personal space and aeroplanes definitely test me by insisting I invite other people to sit virtually on my lap or grunt in my ear.

Big girl panties

So tomorrow I’ll take my well-packed mommy bag, stocked with everything I may need in the far reaches of the country. I’ll pull on my big girl panties and navigate South Africa’s first high-speed underground rail system alone. I’ll sit next to the perfect stranger, whom the airline teams me up with. And I’ll listen silently as they cough, sneeze and grunt right next to me.

And, finally I’ll relinquish transportational control to the professionals. I’ll look at it as a type of ‘flooding’ therapy session or Fear Factor where I’m forced to confront my deepest fears. Let’s just hope there aren’t millions of beetles going clickity clack that I have to cover myself in. That’s where I draw the line.

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