Now it’s safe to say I’ve never had a fear of flying. Sure, the whole lack of space thing is a pain, the food’s not always great, and if you get stuck with a crying kid kicking the back of your chair then you’re probably not in for the best ride of your life.
But one of the best views in the world (and, indeed, of the world) is the view from out of a plane window. I love watching the runway fall from slight as you climb up through the clouds, I love seeing cities turn to green countryside turn into the sea, or deserts, or at night watching the sparkle of a hundred million lights. Or the never-ending expanse of cloud floating below you when you get to a certain height, the sunset winking off the edge of the wing.Not to mention just how good on flight entertainment has gotten in recent years - hundreds of TV shows, each with at least one season’s worth of episodes, films and games at your disposal - and on certain flights even the food isn’t that bad either (Air New Zealand and your butter chicken curry, I salute you!)
But when you suddenly realise that you’ve purposefully elected to travel around the other side of the world, by yourself, for a whole year? Yeah, the anxiety may decide to settle in around half way through the flight.
Also, there’s nothing better, whilst trying to low-key hold off a panic attack, to aggravate said anxiety quite like being trapped in your seat by two snoozing people who you don’t want to disturb when your mind starts to race about DVT and whether those sexy compression stocking will actually work if you can’t get out to stretch your legs. Especially when the pins and needles start kicking in.
Not even watching all of Supergirl season 1 can help in that scenario. Believe me, been there, done that.
Thank goodness for that view though, hey? And the adult colouring book my Aunt got me for the flight, that was a real mind-saver <3
Lesson 2 was learned today too - if you want the people next to you to move, simply store your water bottle in the overhead compartment above them. Eventually it will decide leak all over them… oops!
Despite major sleepiness I somehow make it off the plane, through customs and into the shuttle heading to the hostel, without to much drama (though trying to pay the shuttle driver in pounds instead of dollars was quite amusing. To me not to him anyway - hey the jet lag must have kicked in early!)
It’s been a long old day but LA is too noisy and beautiful not to sit up and take notice, even if the old brain noodle is all foggy and unfocused. Venice Beach in particular is all lit up at night, music blaring from all the shops and bars as swarms of people line the pavement. I manage to find my hostel, Samesun, and once I figure out the door is a pull not a push I’m up the stairs and checking in. I fell asleep in the communal lounge whilst waiting for my paperwork to be sorted but that’s ok - between the snoring, the excitement, and the anxiety that decides to kick back in in the middle of the night (I fell asleep on my arm and it went dead - my body is an idiot) I don’t get to sleep properly till about 4am.