I’ll let you in on a secret. I don't love flying. It's not so much the act of flying that gets me, or even the taking off or landing, but just the lack of personal control in what is largely a Boolean experience. Once an aircraft is flying, it is either flying or it is falling, (arguably it could be both) and just being along for the ride is disconcerting to me.
Now, I realize that this is a completely irrational fear, (probably too strong of a word) in the face of probability and statistical analysis, but it is something and it is enough that it can’t generally be ignored. To be clear, though, I wouldn’t say that this discomfort is anything remotely crippling or even something more than perhaps a “concern,” but it is something from which I like to distract myself. There are the standby distractions like listening to music, watching movies, etc. which all help, but at the end of the day one of the things that I find most effective is is to embrace the fact that I am flying. While I might have a lingering fear of flying, I simultaneously am thrilled by the fact that I am flying — and one of the best ways to make an uncomfortable experience better is to simply embrace it. Window seats help me with that.
One of the things that I love about flying with a window seat is that the world takes on a completely new perspective. At night, cities become constellations of light. When visible, towering mountainous ranges become smooth contours on an otherwise flat surface. This perspective doesn’t always help me feel less irrationally concerned — for the obvious fact that if the plane stopped flying, the fall would be huge — but it does help me get a sense for how grand and wonderful the world is. I like the idea that the simple act of flying opens me up to larger perspectives that are greater than my community, my family, and even my own personal feelings.
Honestly, I may never fly without some level of concern, but in an age where the flow of information is constant, opinions are passed off as fact, and perspectives shrink to the walls around us, I find comfort in what flying does provide me along the way…feeling that the world is still huge and I am just a mere piece of it.
WASTHINGTON D.C. & EAST COAST - X-T1 & 35mm