Later today, I will take an airplane trip. This trip will (ideally) consist of leaving Portland, Oregon and arriving in the Twin Cities.
It’s the 43rd – 43rd! – airplane trip of my life.
And here’s the real kicker: I don’t even like flying. I used to be quite terrified of it, and the only way I could get through a couple of flights (such as my 1995 trip home from Germany and my 2001 trip home from Nova Scotia) was by drinking heavily.
It would be a stretch to say I have aviophobia anymore, but I still really detest the activity. In my defense, I haven’t instigated the majority of my flights, and I haven’t paid for many of them, so it’s not like I’m inflicting this unpleasantness on myself. Usually.
Nevertheless, in celebration of my 43rd trip into the upper troposphere, I thought I’d do what I do best: Provide excruciatingly detailed trivia about my history of flying…
*My first flight was at the wee age of 7 weeks old. I flew with my parents to New York.
*I’ve flown to 17 different destinations. This includes layovers and return trips.
*The place I’ve flown to most often is, obviously, the Twin Cities. Excluding home base, my most common destination has been Orlando, Florida, which I’ve flown to four times.
*The biggest gap between flights was 8 years and 7 months (I had flown home from New York at the age of 3½, and didn’t fly again until I was 12).
*The smallest gap between flights has been mere minutes (when catching a connecting flight). Excluding those, the smallest gap was 2 days, when I returned home from Texas after being there a mere 48 hours. Excluding return trips, the smallest gap was earlier this year: I flew home from Salt Lake City in April, and was back on an airplane on my way to Massachusetts just over two months later, in June.
*I’d never been on more than 4 airplane flights in a single year…until now. I’ve already been on 6 flights this year, and in a few hours, I’ll be on my 7th.
*The most frequent month of the year for plane trips has been June, with ten separate plane trips. I’ve never been on an airplane in February or July.
*The biggest group I’ve ever flown with was that trip in April, when about 40 faculty and students from Hamline University all boarded a flight together.
*The smallest group I’ve ever flown with is one: Just me. I’ve been all by myself on 18 airplane trips.
*My most frequent traveling companion is Jennifer: We’ve been on 14 plane rides together. Fifteen as of tonight.
*Despite being my youngest child, Emmett has accompanied me on more airplane trips than any of my other kids. We’ve been together 3 times, and that number is bumping up to 4 by day’s end. Owen has been with me on two plane rides and Isla, one.
*The longest plane ride I’ve been on was over 6 hours, returning from Frankfurt, Germany and landing in Detroit. The shortest ride was about 40 minutes from Dallas to Amarillo.
*I took one plane ride on my birthday: The day I turned 24, I flew to Dallas. Since I was born at 11:03 at night, I was still 23 during the plane right, though. (This was not the same trip when I went to Amarillo.)
*As noted above, I haven’t paid for most of my plane tickets. In fact, I’ve only paid for 8 of them – less than 20 percent. Well, I suppose I technically paid for 12 of them, because I did pay for my trips to and from Germany (which included layovers in Detroit). However, my Dad used his frequent flyer miles for me, which meant I merely paid the tax ($20), so as far as I’m concerned, he “paid” for the majority of the cost of those tickets. And really, I’ve paid for several of Jennifer’s flights, too (including the one later today), so I’ve paid for a lot more than 8 tickets, even though they weren’t always mine. My children – who have collectively been on 7 flights (soon-to-be 8) – have always flown free.