I flew for the first time as a pre-teen in four seater CESNA. I have been fortunate that I have continued to have the opportunity to fly on many types of aircraft throughout my life. I must say that in my 59th year I still marvel at the wonders of flight.
As a baby boomer, I am the first generation in my family to be able to enjoy the benefits of air travel. My generation is the first where air travel is truly affordable and accessible. Consequently I have been able to see the world in ways my parents could only dream of.
As I sit here waiting to board my flight to Beijing I am filled both excitement and anticipation at the prospect of flying at nearly 1000 kmph at 30,000 feet for 12 hours to reach a far away continent. It is like I’m that kid again flying for the first time. This same voyage taken twenty years before my birth would have taken months of extremely difficult travel without the benefit of five star accommodation at the other end. I never take for granted the gift of flight we have been afforded.
At times I listen to other travellers complain about the perils of modern jet travel. They are often angered by delays, poor service, a rough ride or the exhaustion experienced after a long flight. Then I often smile to myself and reflect at how this generation sometimes views the wonders of air travel and everything it has to offer with so little reverence. They fail to realize that we are living in a wondrous time where travelling to all corners of the earth is possible. It is a pity that our obsession with first world problems associated with modern flight get in the way of appreciating, experiencing and marvelling at this wonderful gift we have been given. Every time I fly I take comfort in knowing that an old guy like me can become that wide eyed kid again…