Is This a Torture Chamber?

17 Apr


When I went to Israel and Jordan a few years ago, one of my traveling companions referred to being trapped on an overseas flight for x amount of hours as being inside a torture chamber. I remember chuckling at his metaphor but I could afford to laugh. I am 5’3″ tall and had the window seat. I was also the lucky one who when three empty seats became available was able to claim them. Most people were flying with their spouses and didn’t want to separate. So as one of the token singles on the excursion, I jumped at the chance to stretch out on my make-shift bed and sleep my way to the Middle East.

For those of us who fly on a routine basis, I’ll admit that the glamour wears off. Flights are noisy and crowded and it’s annoying to take off all of your clothes at security. I travel so much teaching that I have to be hyper-organized with hotel reservations and rental car agreements, not to mention all that has to be tended to before and after a trip. But I will never think of an aircraft as a torture chamber. For me, it’s a little sanctuary tube, half office, half meditation room. Free of an internet connection, phone and animals, I get some of my most solid work done on planes.

So yes, travel kind of sucks but I like being in my little pressurized cabin – at least most of the time. In a world where bombs and guns go off, it’s nice to be suspended in the clouds looking at beauty. And for a brief moment in time, I lean my head against the window, close my eyes and get away from it all.

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