About a week and a half ago I was walking into an airport, suitcase in-hand, alone for the first time in ages. This was the first time I travelled by plane all by myself. It was one of the most peaceful experiences of my life.
Checking in went without a hitch. Then I got a Panini, mocha and a tiramisu cake. After a bit of people watching and browsing I remembered how uncomfortable airport seats are. Before I knew it, it was time to get on the plane.
A poor lady, also travelling alone, broke her bag. Then another had a nose bleed, not before her bottle of pop fizzed everywhere. She just calmly asked if anyone had a tissue and cleaned herself up. No stress.
I think that rather than getting more stressed because you’re alone, you realise that it’s just you and you can handle it alone. And strangers can be friendly.
The plane was very uneventful. I strapped myself in, watched the stewardess waving and signalling while saying something about exits… and I was asleep.
The couple next to me were friendly, not too chatty and not all love-dovey. Perfect.
I didn’t even care that it was raining when I finally got my first smell of Turkish air. I love that it smells different when you get into the fresh air of another place.
I found my transfer easily and didn’t even mind sitting in the van alone until the other passengers got there. I even learnt how to say thank you in Turkish from the driver when I swapped a 20 pound note for his handful of coins. Don’t ask me to spell it.
The first stress I felt was worrying that my sisters were waiting for me at my hotel and we were late. But if I was alone it wouldn’t have mattered.
So there you go.
This may not seem like a massive deal to some people. But it was to me because a few weeks ago I didn’t feel like I could do anything. I’ve always been a very independent person. But anxiety is a killer – more than I ever realised.
So I went from panic attack on my way to work to getting on a plane on my own. Well done me. 🙂
P.S Turkish food is awesome!