The Perspective of a Solo and First-Time Air Traveler

It overwhelms me every time I think of floating above the clouds away from home and closer to airspace. When I was told that I’d be flying to Boracay for work, thousands of thoughts curled up in my head. As an anxious person, it was a crazy mix of emotions for me. I was excited, pressured, worried, and nervous knowing I’ll be traveling alone. Days before my flight, I decided to message some of my closest relatives and friends to ask them how it feels like to travel through the air and to somehow orient me on what I should do at the airport. I searched for the airline travel rules and guidelines, safety precautions, the easiest way to get to the airport, and everything that would put my mind at ease. I was wondering, what if the plane crashes? I was expecting a large crowd at every airline, strict security, and a quick interrogation regarding my flight history. In my 22 years of existence, this will be my very first airplane ride, all by myself. 

A snapshot of the plane is a must for a first-timer

I stepped outside our house and looked up; the weather is calm—rest assured today is gonna be a good day. The huge backpack I was carrying made my heart heavier as thoughts continued to huddle. Z2 227. I’d been repeatedly uttering it every 30 minutes like a secret vault code or a magic spell that I mustn’t forget because people told me to be attentive to my flight details. As I neared the airport, all the worries were suddenly replaced by extreme excitement. I was half happy and half tense to enter Terminal 4. I was right—there were so many people at the airport and security was strict. Good thing they didn’t interrogate me, which made me think: am I too nervous? Is it too obvious that I’m a first-timer? Maybe. 

We were falling in line and I held my printed ticket while other passengers were showing the tickets through their phones. I had a smooth check-in process. Almost everyone was wearing a surgical mask and some of the staff had gloves—testing everyone’s temperature due to the nCoV outbreak. I felt lost trying to familiarize myself with the process and atmosphere. In a few minutes, I managed to relax. I looked around and observed that there were also solo travelers besides me. 

Sitting beside the window means witnessing the breathtaking view of the sky

Since it was my first time, I was aiming for the window seat so I could have a full view of the sky. I was a bit disappointed upon getting my boarding pass. It was 5D. My seat was on the aisle. But it never stopped me from hoping to take the window seat. Luckily, nobody was seated beside me. Yes, I was the only person on that row. Two seconds after the stewardess closed the plane door, I quickly transferred to the window seat! It felt like winning a trophy. Finally, we were ready to take off! My nose and glasses were touching the small window. The plane started moving faster and faster, my stomach lifted as we rose. I whispered, “Wow.” I was so amused. I watched how the houses and buildings slowly turned into a miniature. It was just a 30-minute plane trip. I wanted to make the most of it as I sat there. Despite the sunlight, I still managed to enjoy the aerial view of the ocean, mountains, and the city. The blue skies and fluffy clouds that I used to watch when I was a kid were magnificent. I couldn’t believe I was seeing them up close and that I was way higher than them. I put my phone on airplane mode and took photos of the perfect view for remembrance. It felt uplifting. The cabin crew announced that we would land in 10 minutes. That was too fast. It seemed like my body was magnetized to my seat. I wanted to stay longer.

I was hoping to fly longer as we get closer to the ground

We landed safely. I was too busy watching the buildings and houses zoomed in as if I were looking into a microscope. My excitement and happiness were consistent. It was one of the best moments and opportunities in my life. When I got off the plane, I told myself, “You made it.” It was just a few minutes since I arrived at my destination, yet I was already composing myself for my flight back home.

While waiting for the shuttle service, I checked if there was a seat sale promo in April— a birthday gift to myself, perhaps. It will take a lot of time to plan and save up for the next trip, but I know that I’m ready to travel farther and explore on my own more. For those who are hesitant to travel alone, I’m telling you to go and give it a try! It’s worth experiencing. 

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Kayla Ramos

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Our journey began with an idea to discover what it means to travel the Philippines, beyond the alluring images of sparkling blue waters and powder white sand. We seek to share travel stories to inspire the wide-eyed traveler, moving them deeper into the destination with stunning images and narratives about its sights, tastes, textures, smells, and local life.

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