The Joy of Flying

Hello everyone, from the lovely city that is Vancouver, British Columbia.  I’ve officially moved, gotten settled in, and unpacked. I flew in on Tuesday morning at 9am PST and then went to work the next day at 8am! Today was the first day I saw the mountains and the sun, as it has been too rainy and cloudy to see them prior. It actually reminded me a lot of walking through Niagara falls – a constant mist. However, it is gorgeous, and I’m currently seriously enjoying myself!

Being on a plane is nothing new to me. I’ve had good flights and bad flights and probably been on a total of over 50 flights in my lifetime.  At least. And I’m twenty four. I started when I was two.  So I think I can forget how impressive and awe-inspiring flying can be sometimes.  Just the science of it all is impressive. Assuming that there are one hundred people on the plane at approximately 150 lbs apiece plus all their luggage plus the gazillion ton plane (okay its not that big, but it is big, you wouldn’t want one to run over your foot or anything) its ridiculous to think thatit can fly.

And it flies over scenes like this. The Rocky Mountains of Alberta.  Awe-inspiring views that can leave you speechless if you care enough to pay attention. And I will admit usually I don’t. I have taken seven flights in the last ten months all to or from British Columbia, and this was the first one I had bothered to look out the window (also the first one I had had a window seat).  I wasn’t supposed to have a window seat, and if it wasn’t for my new friend James I wouldn’t have had a window seat or bothered to look out the window.

James was our seat mate. Matt and I got on the plane and sat down beside this gentleman who immediately started talking to Matt. Introducing himself. I was busy putting my carry on away and when I sat down and stowed my purse (and Sudoku) under the chair in front of me James said “Oh! I didn’t know you could do that!” So I offer to get his bag for him and Matt asks if he has flown before. James hasn’t been on a plane since he was under ten years old, and Matt and I guessed later that he must be in his fifties now.

James was excited. His expression was one of pure joy. He actually read the safety manual.  The only disappointment was that his window seat was not actually beside a window! Row 8 of our plane had no window access.  And this is where I love West Jet for their incredible customer service.

Our flight attendant, Tammy, found out James had never flown before and was answering all his questions including how old the plane was and seatbelt signs… and she moved him to the front of the plane. James got a window seat, and at the end of it all, he got to meet the captain and sit in the cockpit.

This man, in his fifties, was in awe over the majesty and beauty of flying — and experiencing it all like a child for the first time – the true definition of living in the moment. And thanks to him, I really enjoyed our flight to Vancouver, and not just because Matt and I got a whole row to ourselves. The best part was when he gave us a thumbs up from the front, and later described his experience of the take off to me in a monologue of conversation as I waited for the bathroom.

So next time you’re doing something you’ve done a thousand times before — enjoy the little things about it. Notice flowers on your drive to work or think about how it would feel to ride a train for the first time.  These are the little things James taught me, and I wish him the best of luck wherever he is and thank him for the important lesson we forget all too often.




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