My first flight in the air was one scary experience of my life. I was travelling from Lagos back to Imo state, Nigeria in 2009. Basically, school brought me to Lagos. I came to sit for an examination after which I was to return to my base where Mom and the rest of my siblings stay. My dad was working in Lagos then.
Being my first time travelling that long distance, Dad didn’t want to expose me to road hazards, so he booked a flight for me. Did I mention that my elder sister brought me to Lagos? Yea she did. I have never gone anywhere far from home alone, so she had to bring me.
When dad told me I would be travelling back by air, my first expression was “whaaaat. (In my mind though, it has to be my in my mind because fear will not let me say it out to my African father) “Oh no, not an airplane. That thing scares the shit out of me. Not with all the plane crash reports littered all over the news. Can this cup pass over me?
Then another thought hit me “Isn’t that rather too expensive? Can you just give me the money? I’ll take a bus instead and keep the balance”. Seriously, if I had my way, I would have gotten a bus ticket instead and kept the change. But alas, my fate regarding this issue was sealed; ticket has being bought, and a flight I must take.
So off to the airport we went. We got to the airport a bit late. Most of the passengers had already gone on board. So I checked in my luggage and went on board too.
The first drama in the airplane started when I sat in someone else’s seat. You needed to see my face flushed with embarrassment when I was asked to stand up. I thought one could sit anywhere.
The thing is, I haven’t being on a journey that would require me sit according to ticket number. The longest distant journey I have ever embarked on was from Delta to my hometown and that was always in dad’s car. Eventually, the flight attendant saw my predicament and directed me to my seat.
Drama #2: I couldn’t use my seat belt.
I got to my seat and heard the flight crew reeling out the flight safety information. The first i heard was for all passengers to tighten their seat belt. Guess what? I didn’t know how or where to put what. I gazed up, looked sideways, fidgeted a bit with it but didn’t make any progress. My seat mate saw my struggle, and then helped me with it.
As the plane started to move down the run way, oh boy, my heart started palpitating. I was literally dead with fear. It was like my spirit was leaving my body bit by bit. Although dad had already told me to calm down when the plane moves, but that assurance wasn’t working. Externally, I faked a calm posture; on the inside, my heart almost wanted to force its way out, owing to fear.
Earlier, I told my friend I will be taking flight back home. She worsened my fears about airplanes by recounting all previous air crash in the country. Throughout the journey, that was all what was playing on my mind. Air crash, air crash, and nothing but air crash; coupled with prayers of “Oh God save me. Help me get out of this plane in one piece” I said, stiffened in my seat. I couldn’t even take in the beauty of the outside view.
Each time the plane increased in height, my heart skips. Each bump or jolt sends shivers down my spine. If the plane swings to one side, I shiver.
I looked around me and saw other passengers relaxed, doing their things; it got me wondering why they were so calm and here I was, freezing of palpitation. I wish I could sleep but I couldn’t. Fear won’t just let me shine.
I was so scared that I didn’t want to hear any in-flight announcement; that will scare me the more. Even while the flight attendant was reading the flight safety information, I didn’t pay much attention (the fear was real).
Finally, our plane touched down at the airport and I just couldn’t wait to get off. Once I got off, I was calm. It was then the good feeling of being in an airplane for the first time flooded my soul. You know that feeling of doing something you have never done before. Yea, I had that feeling.
Okay let me confess that I prided a little, just a little though, of being in a plane. Don’t give me that eye. Who wouldn’t? Yea yea, I know I know I freaked out but I bet you would do same too if you were in my shoes wouldn’t you?
So tell me, what was your first flight experience like? Share with me in the comment section.
Hi there, My name is Faith Ijeoma Ezenwere. I am a Broadcast Journalist/OAP and a teen coach. I am passionate about building a community of impact driven Teens and young adults in all spheres of life. In simple terms, I help Teens/Young adults live their dreams. Welcome to my World!
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