There isn't a better feeling than knowing that you will be flying to a new destination...for the first time!
You tell all your friends and family. Deep down, they all wish they were you. You are excited beyond words. At night, you dream about your journey. Ah, the elation!
You check your ticket constantly. You can't wait for the D-day. One week to...five days...two...one...the day is here.
You forgo sleep, in fact, you don't need an alarm to wake you that morning. You can't miss your flight.
You arrive at the airport 3 hours before departure. You log into the airport WiFi and upload a cheerful photo on Facebook... #Blessed!
Time to board. Everything is going as planned. Everybody at the airport acts like they belong, so you play it cool. No one should know that it's your first time.
Deep down, you are freaking out!
Ah...you can't believe this is happening to you. You board the plane. Take your seat, buckle your seat belt and...
Then you are pulled back into reality. You are about to be launched into the sky!
You feel your hands shake. Why can't they remain still? You clasp them together. Oh God, why are they wet?
Your brain can't comprehend that it's your sweat. Your heart skips a beat, you ignore it. This is supposed to be the best moment, you planned to enjoy it.
The engines roar to life. You look out of the window and watch the tires slowly begin to roll.
They are gently gliding across the runway. So you think, 'everything is going to be fine'.
Steadily, they gain speed. After a few seconds, the previously gentle roll becomes a rushing speed.
Without warning, one of the tires goes over a runway light. The whole plane shakes...just a little. In your mind, the plane shakes like an earthquake.
Before you come to grips with what just happened, the pilot turns on the microphone and says these four dreaded words...
"Prepare for take off".
You turn to your neighbor for consolation. He is casually reading a newspaper. What? Can't he see what is happening?
Two rows behind, the child who was peacefully sleeping a few moments ago is now crying.
At least you are not the only one traumatized by this.
Suddenly, the plane comes to a stop. The pilot awaits final clearance to take off.
You breath...and pray it's not your last breath.
Soon, the plane is cleared for take-off.
The tires come to life, again. But, it's not like before. The plane is now moving fast.
You hear the sound of tires rushing across the runway, the plane quickly accelerates. Is it moving at 250km per hour? You have never experienced this.
Why is it so loud in here? Oh my god, has the pilot lost control, already?
Just before you accept your fate, the plane plunges into air.
Instantly, you're off the ground... you are alive.
But it's not over.
The plane is ascending. You are pushed back into your seat. The pilot takes a very strong turn. You can see the ground below. Why is he doing that?
You look at the wings of the plane, they are trembling.
In that moment, you remember the plane crash you watched on YouTube last month, didn't it take place during take off?
You try to remember the life vest instructions given by the air hostesses. Nothing comes to mind!
Oh my God. Your family! How would they feel if they never saw you again?
Well, you had an argument with your sister before leaving for the airport so, maybe she won't miss you that much.
You close your eyes and count to 20!
20. Out of curiosity, you look outside. Then you see it!
The wings are calm and the plane is gliding over the clouds ever so gently.
The pilot turns on the mic and says, "Breakfast will be served soon. You are free to move around the cabin." It's the confident deep-pitched voice that assures you, everything is alright.
The nightmare has ended. You wonder, "how the hell did I survive this?"
In that moment, it dawns on you. You love flying! This is the best feeling in the world. You wish everyone would be as brave as you and get over their fear of flying.
So, you think of tips on how to survive your first plane ride and hope that one day, one person will benefit from them.
You pull out your note-book and start jotting them down...
(to be continued...)