One 14 Hour Flight | My Family Travels

I fight with my siblings.  A lot.  I mean, who doesn’t?  Unless, of course, if you are that extremely rare sort of person who cannot dare to dream of arguing with someone who shares over half your genes. In that case, I think you should consider becoming a saint.

Every summer, my family and I travel to Japan and stay there for a month. I consider myself very lucky. Not many people get to travel halfway across the earth, much less stay there for a month. I love Japan. It’s an entirely different world. However, there is something that I love almost more than staying in Japan itself: the plane ride.

Now, a normal person may ask me, “Why in the world do you enjoy being crammed in a seat that hobbits can barely fit into for 14 hours straight?”

“Well, because,” I would reply, “I get to be stuck next to my younger brother and sister for 14 hours straight of course!” Usually when I answer like that, the person looks at me as if I sprouted two more heads. In other words, they think I’m insane.

For most families, having three kids jammed together for over half a day would simply spell out disaster. It’s no different for us. Sometimes I really do wonder how we manage to come out in one piece.

So let me explain why I love it so much.

Being in high school, I hardly ever get to spend time with my sister and brother. Usually I am in my room studying or out at dance practice. My sister has basketball, while my brother has boy scouts and baseball. Not to mention they both have school. The most we ever spend time together is every night when we eat dinner or when we go out to lunch on the weekends. It’s fun. I love spending time with my family. But in the back of my mind I always wish we could be with each other more often.

Finally after school has ended, summer comes. Suddenly I am stuck in the house with my brother and sister 24/7. All of the sudden, after practically never seeing each other for ten months, we can’t get away from each other. So do we spend time reminiscing over the past year? Do we spend quality time together? Do we share our dreams and fears? Absolutely not. Usually we start off our days fighting over the remote control or the last Popsicle in the freezer. Then we disappear to do something else, like hang out with friends or finish the dreaded summer reading.

So eventually when we go to Japan, we find ourselves stuck together in an aircraft over 40,000 feet high. So unfortunately, that rules out jumping out of the plane when you’ve had enough of your siblings. I guess you could always hide in the bathroom if you have an extreme need to get away. However, that risks you getting in trouble with the stewardess. They usually don’t like people locking themselves up in the lavatory. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Every summer, I complain about sitting next to my siblings. The thought of it makes me nauseous. Seriously, 14 hours beside each other? Are my parents crazy?

Yet, whenever I get on the plane, I realize that sitting next to them isn’t half that bad.

It turns out that being stuck next to your brother and sister can really yield some surprises. For example, your brother and sister could become very bored and decide to rip up pieces of bread provided by the flight attendant and make “bread town.” Or perhaps you three will find out you share a secret ambition to roller skate down the aisle of the plane while it takes off, just to see how fast you’ll go. Maybe, by complete accident, you’ll mess up your brother on his video game, initiating a huge fight that results in a couple of scratches and a lecture from your parents.

Finally I have figured out why I get such an immense satisfaction from the plane ride. It’s not because I get to play video games for hours at a time without being yelled at. It’s not because I get to watch movies that haven’t been released on DVD yet. It’s not because of the beautiful scenery outside the window. All those things are nice but ultimately, I feel content because I get to bond with my siblings. All it takes is one 14 hour flight.

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