Growing up, my siblings, cousins, and I were mildly obsessed with the movie Chipmunk Adventure. The plot involved the Chipmunks and Chipettes in a race around the world via hot air balloon, leaving doll replicas of themselves behind as they unknowingly smuggled diamonds and cash for the criminals funding their trip. In the end they foiled the bad guys and got to see the world.
While in Vegas this past April with my mom and sisters, we came across Chipmunk and Chipette Beanie Babies in a hotel gift shop. I could not resist purchasing Brittany, since I always played that character when we would reenact scenes from the movie. It’s time for her to jump back in her traveling hot air balloon.
It started when I traveled to Baltimore last fall for work. While packing, I thought that it would kind of funny if I changed my iPhone ringtone to the theme song from The Wire. Now, nerd that I am, when I travel I have to update my ringtone as an homage to that new locale:
Confession: I am a nervous flier. I know that statistically speaking, flying is safer than driving, but when you’re in a metal tube shooting through the air at 36,000 feet at 500 mph, I’d much rather be in my car with four wheels on the ground.
I thought that if I understood how planes actually fly, I might feel more confident in the air, so I asked my boyfriend, an engineer, if he could explain it to me. After hearing his description involving terms like mass flow, pressure regions, and lift, I realized I felt much better when I just thought it was magic. Basically, if he had said, “The pilots lift up a wand and say Wingardium Leviosa!” I would be happy.
This Saturday, I will be in the air for 6 hours total (with a 2-hour layover in Miami breaking it up) and I know that I will be my usual anxious, sweaty, paranoid self every time I feel the slightest turbulence or hear the mechanics of the plane shift below me. I’ll close my eyes, lean back, and try to think of it all as magic.