I blame the pandemic.

I used to be that person who loves to travel — especially by plane — so much that even turbulence created a feeling of thrilling excitement. I think I still love to travel, and I am not afraid of planes, but the pandemic and everything it caused us to change about the way we live our lives and relate to other people definitely put a damper on the experience for me. I think. I have yet to get on a plane and confirm this, but I plan to do so this summer, and I am finding myself cringing at the thought of it.

I have to say, though, there’s a somewhat serious reason for this dread — and a lighter, less serious reason as well.

Reason #1

I will be traveling with my husband and children on our first airplane trip since the pandemic started, and I am feeling apprehensive about the fact that although my husband and I are vaccinated against COVID-19, my children are too young to receive a vaccine. And I imagine there will be people on that plane who have chosen not to get vaccinated.

Although I am not afraid I will get sick, I do feel some concern about my children and about the possible transmission that could take place. I am not a medical professional — I am a mom who believes in the gravity of this virus and the current variants making their way around. And I have concerns. 

I know people have been traveling in airplanes during the pandemic. I know some people who have traveled to the same destination we are going to, and everything has been fine. Still, everything has changed. And if I previously believed it to be no surprise when I caught a virus on a plane, why would I not think it’s possible for someone to catch this one now?

We will all wear masks, and I trust we will be OK (especially the kids), but I still can’t shake the sense of dread — despite the fact that I am so looking forward to hugging my parents and loved ones for the first time in almost two years.

Reason #2

This is the less serious reason. I have honestly enjoyed some level of social distancing. And I know I’m not the only one. I have embraced the parts of me that are introverted, and I have been dabbling in socialization recently, but I don’t know how I feel about the complete opposite of social distancing — which is sitting on a plane full of strangers!  

Seriously! I mean, I will be sitting in a row with my two kids, and my husband will be in the seat just across the aisle from us. I will not be sitting next to a stranger. But I will be one of hundreds of people in that long and skinny tin room, and I am not loving the idea. It’s giving me scrunched-up-face-emoji kind of feelings.

I’ve always been fine with flying coach (although I have enjoyed some business and first-class flights, on occasion). Now? I’d go for a first-class upgrade in a heartbeat. But for all of us in the family. I still don’t want a stranger sitting a foot away from me in first class. Ew.

Dread or no dread, I will be getting on a plane soon, though.  

And I will survive… I’m pretty sure. And the best thing is that I will be able to spend a few days with some of the people I love and have missed the most. Because of this pandemic. And that will make it all worthwhile. Here’s to hoping it goes so well I get my travel bug (no pun intended) back and say bye-bye to this scrunched-up-face-emoji situation. 

Angie V Martin
Angie was born and raised in Panama and attended college in Massachusetts, after which she took a couple of years to work in Boston and enjoy the nightlife before attending law school. Soon after becoming an attorney, Angie got married to the love of her life. They set down roots in Jamaica Plain, where they welcomed their firstborn, Henry, in 2012. Angie now lives in Nahant with her husband and two children (little Eloisa was born in 2015) as well as their rescue Boxer dog, Hobie. Angie is passionate about public interest law and serves as the pro bono director at Veterans Legal Services, a nonprofit legal services firm serving Massachusetts military veterans. Angie is also a certified life and leadership coach and loves supporting women and mothers on their journeys in their personal and professional lives. In addition to feeling honored to be a contributing writer for Boston Moms, Angie also enjoys writing in, and translating Boston Moms articles into, Spanish — she is a firm believer in ensuring every Boston mom feels like she/they belong here!