My first long-haul flight

I took my first international flight when I was six years old. Nowadays, infants and toddlers fly everywhere from Atlanta to Antarctica, but back in the seventies, and living in the Philipines, it was a pretty big deal. My parents took my sister and I for a month-long visit to the United States, and just a few days before we left, my sister and I went down with a bad case of the flu. But even that couldn't dampen my excitement. What are fever and chills and nausea compared to your first long-haul flight on a Boeing 747? Everything was a source of delight: the enormous cabin, the plug-in headphones, the pillows and blankets, the airline food (even though I couldn't eat any of it).

And the lavatories... don't get me started on those. I remember hitting the lavatories many, many times during that flight -- not to use them, just to stand in them. I was fascinated at how everything could fit into such a small space. I stood inside the lavatories, locked the door and pretended I was in an airline commercial, showing the audience how cool the toilet flushing sounded!

In retrospect, I probably should have played pretend less, and rested more -- because when we finally arrived in New York, I was feeling sick as a dog. So sick, in fact, that my sister and I had to stay in our teeny Manhattan apartment for a whole week before we felt well enough to see the sights. I lost a whole week of the Big Apple that time -- but in the years to come, I more than made up for it.

I will never forget how that first international flight sparked my excitement for flying and kindled my passion for travel. Even now, countless flights later, I still feel a thrill of excitement when I board a plane, knowing I'm traveling to another country. My kids feel the same way, and I'm so happy I've passed down my love of traveling to them.


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Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with JetSetVacations and Global Influence and I have been compensated for my participation. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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