The perennial first-timer

I've traveled by air a few times already, and in varying distances, but every time I do, I always get into a state of disbelief. I always find difficult to grasp the reality that I would soon be breaking routine and seeing places I have never seen before. As the date of departure comes closer, I prepare myself externally. I make a checklist days before my trip. Im good at making lists, mind you, and I like doing them. I Google my destination. I print my ticket. Eventually I pack my bags, hoping I bring everything I need and don't take anything I don't. My hands shake as I present my ticket printout to the check in personnel at the airport. Did I mix up the dates? Was I not supposed to leave yesterday – or tomorrow? Do I share a name with somebody on the Immigration watch list? IN front of the gate, I wait to board, sitting among other passengers who look as though they were in line for the next Ayala bound Tamaraw FX. Why can't I appear as damn cool as they do? In the aircraft, I fiddle with the seat belt, scared I would not know how to fasten it. Take-off, and for a minute as the aircraft gathers speed, I remember the movie Final Destination and those episodes of Air Crash Investigation and Seconds from Disaster I've seen and realize there is nothing I can do to stop the plane and disembark. I look out the window and see roofs of houses, getting smaller, smaller. Oh, dear, I'm really flying.

This time I am lucky. Dad's with me and our conversation easily takes my mind away from the fact that I am airborne. Before I know it, we are touching down, and everybody scrambles to turn his cell phone back on. I think flying could be great once I get used to it, but getting back to earth is always reassuring.