As I boarded my flight, temporarily leaving my husband and baby behind me, I sat back in my relatively comfy seat, belt on, phone off... and relax. I'm gutted to be travelling alone on the one hand, and would swap my work trip away for being at home in a heartbeat; but I'm embracing the empowerment of a one hour break from "the grid" on the other hand, as I'm forced into "flight-safe mode" and the clouds greet me from below.
Flying solo can be a daunting prospect for anyone with even a mild fear of flying, but last Sunday I flew for the first time in over 18 months and reminded myself that actually a short flight can be a revitalising experience.
I gazed out the window at the floaty, puffy clouds and my mind wandered. But not absently. My mind switched to creative and a couple of ideas popped in my head. I can only attribute this to the "switch off". No phone beeping or vibrating beside me. No TV on or radio singing. Not even my husband or baby to talk to (of this I'm quite sad). Just me. Just my thoughts. And quite a few of them at that.
I'm flying so I'm not going to be back in a day. No dinner to plan or bath/bed schedule to keep to. Work ahead of me but in a while. Right now, it's the clouds and me, and the hum of the aeroplane blocking most of the ambient passenger buzz. It's quite useful that my ears won't pop so I can't even hear the hostesses on the tannoy.
I guess not everyone has the forced opportunity to escape the rat race. But I highly recommend you make the break. Just for an hour. In the bath or in a tunnel. However it happens, give your brain the time to break loose. It'll do wonders for future you.
Note to readers: Just an FYI, longhaul on the other hand, is nothing short of the equivalent of waking from a night on the tiles, heavy with booze fumes, after eating a dodgy kebab and having a small kangaroo jumping on your head. Maybe the first hour was revitalising? I'm sure Business class feels better.
There's definitely an optimum flight time that sparks this creative release! Beyond that it's just fog. Belfast from Manchester seems the perfect timeframe!
You'll find out what mind-map my brain created in due course... a bit of a teaser for some exciting things to come...