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  • I wonder if people really remember the first flight they took or first time they traveled alone. My first flight alone has been etched firmly in my memories. I remember that flight very well and for very interesting reason.

    I started traveling alone pretty late in life. I had a fear of traveling for a large part of my life. Even now sometimes my heart and mind get caught up in that fear but it’s not so overwhelming. For that first flight, I spent a good deal of time preparing myself mentally. I used to think through the problems I may encounter and how I would handle them. There were more imaginary problems than real ones. I was very scared of being alone in a new place and then traveling from one place to another was like a nightmare. You need to know this about me - I am a polyglot so the chance of my getting lost and not being able to get help from people was almost zero. Even then here I was sweating it out and fearing the worst! I reached the airport on time, checked in my luggage (just one nice, cute bag) and was on the plane in no time. And before I knew it the plane landed at my destination! I was incredibly happy that it was so smooth. My confidence level rose, I got down happily from the plane and went to the conveyer belt to pick up my bag.

    What happened next still feels like a scene from a movie for me even today! A man, in his early 20s picked my bag and walked away! I stood there frozen in that moment and then suddenly ran after him. I was wondering why someone would pick that girlish bag. It wasn’t a bag that somebody could pick up by mistake. I ran as fast as I could and when I reached almost near him I shouted at him “Stop, you are taking my bag!!” That man turned around, he stared at me with a rigid expression on his face, put my bag on the floor and walked away - so fast! I saw him disappear in the crowd. I wanted to shout but I couldn’t speak.

    Was he a thief? I don’t know. Was it a mistake? I don’t know.

    Wasn’t it enough that I had to deal with the fear of traveling alone? Now I have to live with the unpleasant thought of losing my belongings to such strangers while traveling. My life is so INTERESTING!

    (Pic courtesy: Yuichi Kosio, under CC license)
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