I don’t particularly like flying. To psyche myself out, I tend to chew gum or take a shot of rum or gum and a shot of rum. I had neither on my trip to Jamaica. What I did have is my standard full charge on my mobile, a collection of podcasts, and various 80s rock songs to listen to upon take off to avoid being hyper-aware about the fact that planes fly really high and really fast and, unlike me, the pilot might have been drinking.
Here’s a track-listing of some of my favorite takeoff 80s songs:
- Journey – Separate Ways
- Europe – The Final Countdown
- Survivor – Eye of the Tiger
- Toto – Africa
- The Cars – Heartbeat City
- Queen – We Are The Champions
- Michael Jackson – Beat It
- Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle
- Prince – I Would Die 4 U
- Stevie Wonder – Part Time Lover
I was midway through Hidden Figures and the free pack of pretzels when we flew over what I suspected and subsequently confirmed was Cuba. Even from the dizzying height, I could make out fishing boats speckled across the ocean expanse, coasting over the ephemeral white caps, the shadows of colossal cumulus clouds covering them completely. At the same time, I took mental notes of the topography, lush green hills and mountain ranges, bordering islands, cerulean shoes, and utilitarian gray highways, I soon found myself misty-eyed and out of gum.