Why Being Suspended 30,000 Feet in the Air is One of the Best Liberties

Somewhere in the sky..., The World

When you live abroad and have an inert and cellular love of travel, spending hours aboard Boeings, puddle jumpers, transatlantic crafts and other varieties of airplane travel becomes habitual. No longer do you second guess that extra bumpy turbulence, you have a favorite drink order on the plane and you know who your preferred airline and staff is.

One I have come to find, is that there is something incredibly relaxing to me, about being suspended 30,000 feet in the air, free from the shackles of modern day technology and the expectation and pressure to be constantly connected and available through various devices at all times. 

Flying is something I have come to find frees me from all that. 


I went from dreading long flights as a child, to looking forward to them as I entered into adulthood and an expat lifestyle. Since I travel alone 90% of the time, flying likely means something much different to me than to those who fly with family, a significant other, colleagues or friends. 

Flying for me, is finally obtaining a few hours of uninterrupted peace. How I spend these couple of hours or half day, (depending on if I am flying transatlantic or domestically), is entirely dependent on my destination and flight time. 

From my current home of Milan, to Barcelona, I have one and half hours of time to write a skeletal outline and some first few pages of a chapter for my seemingly, never-ending novel. From Milan to New York I have 7 hours uninterrupted photo-editing time and maybe a quick one to two hour nap. From New York to Denver, I have 4 hours of time to finish the thesis for my Master’s and make some final tweaks to my portfolio. From Morocco to Italy I have 3 hours to catch up on some of my favorite travel publications- Cereal Magazine, Suitcase, Where[ever] Mag and Tiny Atlas Quarterly- while jumping from Amsterdam to Milan I get 2 hours to write some thoughts and aspirations in my journal. But you get the point.

Travel for me is me time. And it’s free. There is something so liberating about literally being detached from all obligations, pressures, commitments; you name it.

For five years now, I have been an insomniac. Being a creative, this is something that is actually quite helpful, for I have come to find that I do my best work between the hours of 11 pm to 3:30 am. For a person on a normal 9-5 schedule, this is quite rough. For some reason though, if I decide not to do some form of work on a plane, but rather, catch a few z’s, the effect is almost instantaneous. My ability to fall asleep and stay asleep for several hours on a plane, is quite uncanny. I seem to have no issues finding my way into dream land as long as I am aboard an aircraft. When discussing this with a friend this summer, on our way to Malta, I told her strange I thought that was. She just smiled at me, wise and knowingly and said:

“It’s because you’re a traveller.” 

In that moment I had goosebumps, because I knew it was true. Felt them shiver right down to my core.

So the next time you board that plane dreading the long flight being seemingly trapped with no form of our generations accustomed addiction to constant stimulation, remember that you can find a safe haven in those few hours, just suspended in a moment 30,000 feet above it all.  And if you frequent the roads and airways and find peace in the journey, maybe you are a traveler too. xx