Words By Liz Langley, The Washington Post
Flying somewhere and back – just for a day, just for fun – has long been my idea of glamour, and last spring I realised I could.
Actually, I realised I’d better. Obligations were pouring in like junk mail, and the sense of being cornered was making me one of the mean girls. I was living that Zen story about the man furiously trying to chop down a tree down with a dull saw because he thinks he doesn’t have time to sharpen it; a short respite to refresh his equipment would ease his work tremendously.
I needed my saw sharpened. I needed a mini-escape. It wasn’t going to be a road trip. I live in Florida, a stupidly long peninsula which is harder to get out of than a wedding invitation – at least by car.
Nope, I was going to live my dream of jet setting, fly out and back in the same day, just for fun. I felt like Jackie O, or better yet, Edina Monsoon. Neither of those fine ladies had a budget to consider, though, and I did: one day and a limited amount for a flight.
‘A good trip is all about pacing, whether it’s a day in Boston or a month in Southeast Asia,’ says Susan Moynihan, veteran travel editor and founder of the Honeymoonist, a luxury travel-planning company. ‘You want to determine what part of the experience is most important to you, and build everything around that.’
Going somewhere new was another key, but it couldn’t be a cross-country flight: it’s called jet-setting, not jet-sitting. Philadelphia, where I had never been, was just right.
I kept it simple and chose one thing I really wanted to see. My destination was in the Rittenhouse Square area, on what promised to be a beautiful day, and there were numerous options in case I needed Moynihan’s next tip: Have a backup. “Flights get delayed, museums get closed for government shutdowns, traffic causes delays.” With limited time you want a thought-out Plan B.
I got a leisurely 10 a.m. flight out. What I spent altogether would have been the same as a few visits to my shrink and was itself worthy therapy. The trip was as smooth as a bowling lane and the exhilaration of getting on a plane without dragging a bloated carry-on behind me was as freeing as going commando on a spring day. I was elated for weeks, and still am every time I think about realising this dream, not because of my can-do attitude but because of my I’m-done attitude. Putting 30,000 feet between you and your problems won’t erase them, but it will sure make them look smaller. Being cornered can be bearable if you know there’s a flight at the end of the tunnel.
Featured Image: Nils Nedel, Unsplashed