On Board- Creating Your Sanctuary
OMG, I can’t believe I have to sit here for a 10 hour flight..what on earth will I do?
If someone said to you, “Ok, you have 10 hours, uninterrupted time, except for the couple of times someone will come and SERVE you dinner and wine” (yep, no cooking, preparing or doing dishes) You would be ecstatic right? And then they say, “and when the 10 hours are over you’ll be in Fiji” you would flip!! So perhaps it’s a simple as changing your attitude and creating your sanctuary or your den in which to turn to yourself.
The Sanctuary or Den
Since I have followed my packing lists I have all the things I need in my carry on that fits under the seat. I have books, magazines, ipod, noise canceling headphones (shut out the world, who cares?), some of my favorite snacks be it Pop Tarts or apples and a great view out the window because in my flight planning I went to Seat Guru and made sure I got my preferred window seat over the wing or in the exit row. (If there are two back to back exit rows, choose the furthest back because the first one won’t recline!). If you have the window seat YOU control if you wan the shade up or down. Often a flight attendant will ask me to lower my shade. Why? because they want the plane dark so people will sleep and not bother them. I will actually tell them no because I want the window open. If they persist, I tell them I get plane sick if I can’t see out. End of conversation!
If it’s an international flight often I have an unlimited number of movies to watch. It’s like a smorgasbord! What to do first? Well, probably buckle my seatbelt, turn off my phone (so the plane doesn’t blow up- right!) and if I’m sitting in the exit row, ask the flight attendant if we can practice removing the door (they always say no!).
For take-off I crank up the tunes (oops, all electronics off) anyways, I crank up the tunes and watch this amazing, monstrous machine sweep up into the sky. I always try to find my house or pick out buildings I know in town or see how long I can actually pick out individual people on the ground. I watch as long as I can until the clouds settle before me and then I watch the clouds, pick out shapes….ok, I sound like a 10 year old but when was the last time you did that????
Now I be sure that my watch is changed to the time at my destination and then immediately start acting like I am at that destination. If it’s night there I try to sleep, if it’s lunch I eat. This will help immensely with Jet Lag.
Then I usually can’t decide what to do first. I kick off my shoes, get comfy with a blanket and my neck pillow and settle in. Often we bring games like cribbage or cards. One time another passenger asked me to shuffle my cards quieter!! What a rip!
So, now all those things I never have time for I have plenty of time for. Oh how I love to settle in with a ginormous book of 1000 pages! I make a bet of how much I can read in 10 hours. I whipped through the Harry Potter books 5 & 6 on the way to Fiji once and actually had to have a friend lug down the hardcover of book 7 for me to read once I arrived! (that was before Kindle). I got into Sudoku for awhile and while I could never in a million years justify spending time fiddling with games like that at home, when I’m flying I can happily while away the hours figuring out where all the “2s” go.
Sometimes I just do a movie marathon. You can find out exactly what movies are playing on Delta for instance at: http://entertainment.delta.com/movies/ and then “save them” and watch on the flight. If you are on an international flight, you can do it for free! Tip: Be sure to bring your own comfortable headphones or you’ll definitely feel it in your ears after a couple of flicks!
Of course, now on many flights you can pick up WiFi and email your way across American or the world at 36,000 ft.
I enjoy spending flight time writing. When I create my own “sanctuary” on the plane and get comfortable and relaxed, tune out the outside world and listen to the drone of the engines, I can escape into my head and write. If you put me on an around the world ticket I could probably knock out a novel!!
So really, being on the plane is about attitude, looking at the time on board as a bonus of your vacation and not as the “hassle” of travel. What a GREAT time to update your dream list for life. A great time to re-connect with your spouse without interruption (except for dinner and wine of course!) or simply think. Who does THAT anymore??