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What It’s Like to Fly For The First Time At 21

Growing up, I always dreamed of traveling the world and seeing as much of this Earth as I could, but now I’m 21 and have only left the state of California once in my life. We drove for 14 hours to another state and while interesting it was nothing like what I had wanted out of traveling. I had also spent a long time with travel anxiety that prevented me from feeling comfortable and safe when using transportation services or exploring places. I would think of the worst possible scenario that could happen in any situation with travel and transportation besides maybe by car, and this stopped me from taking a lot of opportunities in the past. It wasn’t until the end of 2019 that I started to say yes to these new opportunities that made me anxious but I started looking at them as exciting adventures instead of fearful opportunities. So here is my honest reaction to flying for the first time ever! Time to go to Salt Lake City! ​


I’m nervous and excited. I feel a panic in my stomach yet my heart is raising thinking about what the trip holds! For other people, it is so normal to board a plane but for me it is a completely life changing experience. Nearly 22 years of my life never knowing what it feels like to be in a plane that flying is such an odd experience. For those who flew as children it’s just like a car ride, but it is uncomparable for me. All of these experiences, checking in, getting through security, boarding the plane, all of them are brand new. I’ve never even been in an airport before so even that itself is exciting. 

I’m sitting by a window looking at giant planes take off on a runway in front of me. I’m not able to process what it will be like when I’m in one taking off. This is the beginning of the very start of a traveling life that I’ve wanted for so long. The airport was also very nic!e I highly recommend John Wayne. It was super fast and security was nothing like how scary I thought it was. I’m now boarding the plane and it’s so exciting and terrifying. It’s like going on a huge roller coaster that will take 2 hours! 


What an amazing thing. It actually doesn’t seem that it should be possible to take off and fly in a metal-like bird. Not only is it possible but it is something so common! Taking off was the best part; it was fast and as soon as you’re off the ground, your stomach gets all fluttery and it just seems like you are defying the possibilities of life. It was cloudy the day I flew so breaking through the clouds was something wild as we climbed further up and finally got above them all. That was when the view became just incredible. I can’t imagine flying over the ocean but this was the closest thing I could relate to it because the clouds became like an ocean. I’ve always dreamed of flying, what it would be like and now I can say how mind-blowing it actually is. It was far less scary than I had thought; the hardest part for me was just dealing with the small amount of turbulence that we had. However, it was nowhere near as bad as I had thought. Overall, sitting by the window observing towns go by and mountains disappear, I was happier than anything about being able to finally do this. 

Writing this, I wanted to inspire anyone who might be scared of flying or traveling in general that it is a truly eye opening experience. While the trip was only going to a different state, I still realized that life there is still very different to life in California. I never would have known had I continued to spend my whole life here. I think in order to care and understand others, we need to travel. We need to walk in other people’s shoes and experience their day to day. So whether it is taking a train up to another city or flying for the first time, expand your horizons because life is not made by being afraid of the best parts. 


Jenna Morehouse

UC Irvine '20

Jenna is a third year Film and Media Studies major at UCI, she enjoys plants, Sci if movies, and photography! Follow her on Instagram @jene.vie.ve
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