Of Flights and Love

I guess I am a little bit late (like always) but Happy Valentine’s day!

So, we just had Valentine’s day last Friday, and frankly, this whole weekend, if not week, should be all about love. You all know by now that this is a travel blog filled with stories from my travelling mishaps and adventures, and we all know that travelling is also all about love.

I’m pretty sure that sometimes especially if someone is alone waiting for their flight, they unconsciously scan the people around to see if anyone is interesting. Well, at least that’s what I do. We often hear beautiful love stories of couples meeting at the airport or during a flight. For instance, once I met a couple whose meeting, I would instead call funny rather than romantic. The girl was quite petite, and usually, when she would fly alone, she often found it challenging to pick up her heavy bag and place it in the cabin. However, during an embarrassing moment of her trying not to fall over while holding her cabin bag, her charming prince arrived to help her out. And that’s how she met her soon-to-be husband.

As I am also a petite woman, I would often dream that a charming prince will appear before me to help me during plenty of embarrassing moments that I had with large suitcases, backpacks that are usually bigger than me or cabin bags. But unfortunately, although I did meet many wonderful people who helped me with heavy bags during flights or when there would be no elevators at stations or hostels, I still did not find my prince charming.

But I believe similarly with Valentine’s Day when we think of love, we should not only think of romance, red roses, and chocolates. There are many types of love, and thankfully I was once privileged to experience a different kind of a prince charming.

A couple of years ago I was flying back home from Manchester, and usually, I like to book a seat next to the window. Not only because I like to observe the beautiful scenery outside but also because I can’t be bothered by always making space for those who want to go to the washroom. Or because usually when you’re next to the plane’s corridor, you’re exposed to all the loud noises. Thus, as usual, I took my seat next to the window, plugged in my earphones, and relaxed with some of my favourite songs until the plane would take off.

However, while I was relaxing and waiting, I saw a family of three coming towards my seat. It was a couple with a toddler. I’m not a parent, and quite frankly, I am not familiar with children as I am the youngest in the family. Still, we all know how difficult it can be with a toddler at a flight. As I saw them struggling to settle down, I felt that I should offer them my seat so that they can be on one aisle rather than having the plane corridor separating them. They thanked me a million times, and quietly I took my stuff and sat at the opposite aisle next to the passage. Not a significant change, but frankly, not my favourite seat. Nevertheless, I plugged in my earphones again and relaxed with a book in hand.

Finally, after the always dreadful take off, we were able now to relax and enjoy the flight. The duration of the trip back home is five hours, so there was plenty of time for relaxing with music, a book, or taking a nap. Also, as this is a relatively long flight, the flight attendants would sell meals, drinks, and snacks. As it was my turn to be served, I asked the flight attendant for a meal and a drink, and as I was about to pay, she told me that the man whose seat I took said would pay for everything that I ordered. I was so shocked. I said that it was ok, and he shouldn’t pay for me, but he was very persisted and paid for my meal. As the flight attendant with the cart finally moved further, I thanked the man and his family for their kindness. However, he said that there was no need for me to feel thankful after all I was the one who was inconvenienced by them. Nevertheless, I said thanks once again, and happily, I ate my meal.  My meal was probably the most fulfilling meal I ever had on a plane. During the flight, I couldn’t stop from feeling a warmth in my chest. I honestly didn’t feel like I did something that extraordinary to be paid with an entire meal. But sometimes what might seem like a small thing for us, it could be a big deal for someone else.

When I think of this beautiful family, I feel that I may not have met a prince charming, but I met a kind King with his queen and their little prince. When I think of them, I can’t help it but smile and think of how kindness is a cycle. When one offers their kindness and love, it is only natural that they would take it back one way or another.

Today, whenever I can, I will always do something when I see people struggling or need a service (or a seat). Kindness and love don’t have a price, but they indeed are valuable, and one should invest in them when they can.

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