This could pass as an ordinary experience for most of you, but this is the moment that defines my adulthood. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I have been used to travelling in public transport vehicles and in rare occasions, get a chance to ride in private vehicles.
My first experience on a plane was in late 2009. I had been asked by my manager to go over to Sweden for athletics trials in the hope that I would join a training camp in the country. (A note to our American readers- the word “athletics” is used around the world to mean the sport of running including cross country and track). The first time that I went near an airplane was when I went to see off a friend named Martin. He was heading to his homeland, the United States. As the saying goes, everything is possible if you believe, and I promised myself that I would board a plane just as my friend did.
Because I have gotten used to the chaotic public transport in our country, I thought the same applied to the planes. I was in for a pleasant surprise; the seats were big and so comfortable. I never thought that one could have a chance to eat something while in the air. I thought the food would defy the force of gravity and go upwards. I was filled with mixed reactions; I did not know what to do, should I go to sleep? Suddenly I felt the plane shake, (that was the most terrifying moment for me), and I thought the worst had come to worse. I struggled to free myself from my seatbelt. It took the reassurance of the gracious air hostess that that is a normal occurrence and that I should not panic. I could see that the other passengers were surprised with my behavior, others smiled at me to reassure me that all was well.
When we left Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Kenya, I thought that was the biggest airport in the world; I was wrong. After some hours, we landed in Amsterdam, and as we touched down, I was amazed with the size of the airport I saw. The planes landed every minute and I could not believe my eyes. The environment around me was so different than the one I am used to. I saw skyscrapers and bigger planes than I ever imagined, I simply could not believe what I saw. We then boarded another plane to Stockholm. The journey to Stockholm was great because I had no worries when we experienced some turbulence. The view was so breath taking that I forgot my fears and worries and lived in the moment.
On touching down in Sweden, I was picked up by a man holding a placard containing my name. That was when I was taken to the best hotel that I have ever seen. This kind of hotel is always reserved for the wealthy and politicians in my country and I finally knew that I had fulfilled the promise I had made to myself and that the future would only bring more experiences to strive for.