Flying back home!
I am privileged to work in a job which necessitates loads of travel: around twelve to fifteen trips a year. Such a privilege has enabled me to widen my horizons and visit many countries: some very frequently, others only once. The more I travel the more I learn to appreciate diversity and enjoy the differences which make this planet and the people who inhabit it such a wonderful place.
Living on a small, Central-Mediterranean island also means that most of my trips involve flying: a sensation which some people thoroughly enjoy and others dread. I have to confess that I do not really mind flying although my comfort zone generally starts to get stressed if individual flights are longer than three and a half hours!
After all these years of flying, the single most pleasant sensation still arises during the last few minutes of my return flight home. Borne perhaps out of the need to get back home to rejoin family after yet another business trip. But not only for this reason alone! There is another reason which can only be understood by those who, like me, possess a familiarity with the minute details of the territory in which they live. Something which is of course very possible when you live in a country the size of Malta and its islands.
As the aircraft descends, all the familiar details become visible and recognisable. Generally, most arriving flights from northern locations fly past the islands’ eastern coast thus exposing the heavily indented eastern shoreline to perfect view. The cherry on the cake is when the aircraft flies past the glorious panorama of Valletta, straddled between its two two deep-water harbours and their numerous bays and creeks: an area of heavy urban development, historic walled towns and busy shipping activity.
The photo accompanying this story may not necessarily be top notch from the photographic perspective, but adequately displays what I am trying to explain. A moment in time, captured while sitting on an inbound Air Malta plane (www.airmalta.com), watching my small island drift by and absorbing the first class view of the UNESCO World Heritage City of Valletta within its impressive maritime setting. A scene that I have enjoyed so many times but that still continues to give me a tingling sensation to this very day!