Travel is a great way to go places, visit people, and enjoy our surroundings. However, many of us forget to appreciate the fact that we can travel. We are forgetful of the fact that there was once a time without automobiles, without trains, and without planes.
I’m sure a large number of us flew places this winter break and did not even stop to appreciate how incredible it is that we are able to simply get onto a plane and fly to our desired destination. Well, it’s not that simple.
Due to all of the endangered flights, plane travel has become more difficult. It requires planning, ticketing, getting thorough baggage check, long, thorough security lines, and a great deal of flying regulations. All of this is in great thanks (obviously sarcastic) to the selfish people that have put people’s lives in danger while flying.
As an infrequent flyer, I have never really had any fears about flying and I have tried to pay little attention to news stories at the risk of developing fears of flying. At the beginning of this month, I learned to stop and appreciate the ability to travel safely to the places I want to go.
As I boarded the 2:30 plane in the Orlando International Airport, an extensive number of thoughts of excitement and fear flooded my brain. Though I have flown before, it was my first time flying alone. For those of you that have never done this, it is a bit scary especially after the stories that consume the news.
I thought about if the plane I was on would end up on the six o’clock news or if there would be a problem during takeoff or landing. I wondered if I was sitting next to the next guy to light himself on fire or the next guy to hijack a plane regardless of any stereotypes.
After all of the tragic news stories, even those that ended well such as the pilot that safely landed on water, we are left thinking over and over about the risks we take when we step onto a plane. It is scary enough putting your life into the hands of the pilot, but to know that there have been so many other tragedies makes it much scarier. Don’t get me wrong, I was not sitting in my seat trembling, but I was observing and appreciating those hours spent in the air. It is a miracle to take off and land safely from your departure location to your arrival destination.
Flying, I’m sure, is taken for granted and the fact that technology has come so far that we are able to make a 24 hour drive in just 2 hours is inconceivable. Of course, we cannot stop living our lives and moving forward with technology, but we should read the manuals, listen to the safety tips given by the attendant, and know where the safety masks are located.
As I mentioned, technology is an incredible improvement as we begin this new decade, but safety still needs improvement. In fact, at security I witnessed a man get pulled aside for having a BB gun in his bag-an object that we often associate as fun, but could be extremely dangerous. Clearly, I had two successful flights (and a great vacation), but I am aware and sympathetic to those that have not. These things cannot become barriers in living a normal life, but can and should be thoughts that we take a minute to elaborate on and again, appreciate.
Jillian Barton is a sophmore at West Chester University, majoring in English. She can be reached at JB669457@wcupa.edu