Offline is the new luxury (22)

Irene used to be scared of flying, but doesn’t mind sitting in a plane for twelve hours nowadays because she finally gets some quality “me-time”. Or so she believed, until she stepped into the new KLM Dreamliner…

Contrary to what some people may think, I am not exactly what you would call a relaxed and mindful person. I sometimes struggle through life and over the years, have learned a lot from the articles in Flow about fear, accepting things as they are, being less controlling, and worrying less. Thankfully, things are getting better, because yes, there was a time when I was much, much worse. A time when I used to worry about everything, and it got so bad that I daren’t even fly anywhere. In the days leading up to my departure, I would become consumed by panic, and when I boarded the plane, I was a ball of stress. Throughout the entire flight, I would have sweaty palms and I would be hyper alert, aware of every single sound and watching each flight attendant, thinking: “Is she acting normal or is there something wrong that we don’t know about?” Fortunately, those days are now far behind me (thanks to a fear of flying course I took, as well as an ex-boyfriend who happened to be a pilot).

And so now, things are completely different; I even actually look forward to flying. Which explains the jubilation I felt as I stepped into the plane last week that would take me to Palm Springs in California, where Astrid and I were promoting our new partnership with the American book publisher, Workman Publishing. I had more than twelve hours ahead of me in which I could do nothing but sit, read, listen to music, watch movies and sleep. Bliss. The previous weeks had been crazy busy with deadlines, kid’s birthdays and having to take care of my poorly mother. Everyone needed a piece of me and I felt that I never had a moment to myself. And that’s why those flights to and from the United States seemed to me like absolute paradise. I’d have so much time for myself, so much uninterrupted time, so much time to do absolutely nada!

And then the time came. I boarded the plane and snuggled smugly into my chair. Being in KLM’s Dreamliner would be even better I thought, as such a new aircraft would be quieter and calmer. I unfolded the airline’s blue blanket, spread it over myself, blew up my neck cushion, plugged my e-reader into the power point in front of me, and thought: “Ooooh, this is lovely!” And then the purser began his announcement, saying the words that I absolutely did NOT want to hear at that moment in time: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are pleased to announce that we have inflight Wi-Fi on board this Dreamliner…”