We’ve done a lot of travelling as a family and have used various modes of transport over the years.
My favourite ways to travel are the ones where we have wheels on the ground; I like driving and I love taking the train. We regularly take our car to France and Switzerland. Lately our family train trips have been restricted to the tube and the Chunnel but one day, I’d like to ride on the Orient Express.
I accept that a lot of travel is done by air these days but I can’t imagine ever being a happy flyer. No matter how many times I get on a plane, I can’t help knowing it is going to crash and we are all going to die horribly. I have to mentally force myself onto the plane every time we fly and I never, ever, ever show the kids how I feel. As far as they are concerned I love air travel!
We fly quite regularly, 2-3 x a year over the last few years, and we’ve flown back and forth from NZ a few times, so I figure that if I was going to get used to flying, I would have by now. I don’t like flying; I just have to tolerate it. And I do.
But last year, when we went to the Maldives, we took a plane trip that I almost enjoyed. The Maldives are a chain of over 1000 islands and atolls in the Indian Ocean. We flew to the main island, Male, from Sri Lanka but to get to Noonoo atoll, where were staying, we had to take a 40 minute sea plane trip. The sea planes are tiny; they seat 16 people at a time.
They have propellers, but only two of them. And they take off and land on water.
I really didn’t know how I was going to cope. I was able to distract myself in the gorgeous Hilton departure lounge while we were waiting for our plane, but all too soon it was time to board and I was no longer able to ignore the fact that we were about to
There wasn’t much room in the plane.
And DS’s interest in the safety instructions didn’t help.
I felt myself panicking as the engines warmed up. They were so loud. The small plane nosed its way out onto the ‘runway’, the propellers got louder and I think I screamed a little bit. Luckily it was too noisy for anyone to hear me.
Then suddenly, we were up and away.
I was mesmerised. The sea was so, so beautiful and we flew over so many little islands on the way to our hotel.
Some of them had resorts on them, and others were simple atolls, sitting beneath the surface of the water, yet clearly visible from our plane.
At times they looked like they were floating through the sky with us; it was hard to tell where the sea ended and the sky started.
Then it was time to land and the spell was broken. I only had a short time to worry before we were down. It was the softest landing I’ve ever experienced.
We clambered out of the plane onto the float, then onto the jetty, and we were there. Ready to enjoy 5 days of sun, sea, and not doing very much at all.
To read about more journeys by plane, train or automobile, click here.