So I packed my bag, booked my taxi and headed off to the airport. Had some lunch, met up with my travelling companions and did some last minute shopping. Yet even as I walked onto the plane, it still seemed completely unreal that me, little old stay-at-home mum, should be flying to New York, going to the SaveUp conference.
And yet here I am, blogging in midair. And having watched an episode of Glee and had a full meal with some coffee, I am starting to come around to the idea that it is really happening.
This is a really big deal for me. In a previous life (before marriage and kids) I was a frequent flyer. I was intimately familiar with the business class lounges of several European airports and racked up enough air miles to go on holiday a few times. I could name all the shops in each terminal at Heathrow and knew which the best car parks were. It almost got a bit routine.
But the last time I flew long haul was over ten years ago. back then I was single (ok, dating the man who is now my husband) and working for an Internet travel agency (in the long -forgotten dot com era). I flew out to see my boyfriend in the Bahamas where he was working (flight paid for by his business, upgraded to business class by mine). That lifestyle seemed perfectly normal to me.
But things have moved on since then. I have quit the corporate treadmill, and am now a happily married mum of two running a very small business from home. Its a completely different life. When I found out about this trip I was ridiculously over excited as this sort of thing doesn’t often happen to stay at home mums. I have flown several times since those times, but mainly short hop and mainly with the children. I can tell you that flying Jersey to Southampton in sole charge of a toddler and a screaming baby is not quite the same thing as a business class flight to the Bahamas. Necessary, but not exactly fun.
Today however, I am having fun, great fun. I had heard about the ways that audiovisual systems in planes had improved since I last flew, but this is my first time to try them. I loved choosing my own tv, pausing it while I went to the loo, playing games, then having a nap with some soothing audio. The food has been lovely too, even though now I am of somewhat mature years and will not drink alcohol ‘just because it’s there’. In the last ten years, it seems I have become a grown up…
So yes, I still love flying, just as much as I ever used to. However in some ways I have changed too. When i see the gadgets I just want to share them with the children, and I find myself drawn to the kids channels, trying to look for what they would like. I chose my meal, because it was something my daughter doesn’t like so I never get the chance to cook at home. I’m drawn to the photo album on my iPad , and find that I am missing my two little people (and of course my husband) more than I thought possible.
I gave up the corporate high- flying lifestyle nine years ago, and settled into the life of a stay at home mum, then later on work at home businessmum. It was a difficult decision at first and not always easy for me to make the transition. However as I sit here, enjoying, with reservations, my first ‘business flight’ for a very long time, I know deep down that I did the right thing.