SHAW THING: Flying high

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As I write this column, I’m sitting on an aeroplane, bound for Heathrow Airport. In London I’ll catch a flight to Helsinki and then on to a local airport there.

It’s my first holiday alone, and though I’m mildly terrified something will go terribly wrong, my predominant emotion is just sheer excitement.

Everyone talks about how your first sans family holiday is a rite of passage and though they’re probably talking more about boozing in Zante with your girlfriends. I can’t help but feel that this trip will result both in less injuries and more fulfillment.

I’m not saying a girls holiday wouldn’t be amazing. But getting to see one of my closest friends marry the love of her life in a country as full of culture as Finland is a once in a lifetime opportunity and so I count myself very lucky.

My gripes about travelling are relatively few considering, and the only thing I really hate is how tight security has been since 9/11.

It took almost half an hour to get through security last time I flew, mostly because a number of passengers didn’t seem to understand the restrictions on liquids.

I always have enough leg room, being 5ft 6ins, though my mum can never get comfy on a plane, mostly because she’s 6ft tall and has legs for miles.

The in-flight food doesn’t tend to be very good, but then I’m perfectly capable of packing myself some lunch instead!

Today, for example, I have Quorn chicken and olive wraps and a Quorn bacon sandwich.

I don’t find flying particularly scary in and of itself, mostly because I’ve had the luxury of flying all over the world at-least twice a year since I was only a few weeks old.

I know my way around an airport and at this point, I could probably recite the in-flight safety procedure word for word.

None of that means I’m not a little bit scared to be visiting a strange country without my regular familial safety net. Familiarity doesn’t make you fearless, no matter how much I wish it did.

If you have anything to add, feel free to email me, Danielle Shaw, at