My first ever flight was last year. Considering I am now 28, to some people that may seem strange. Funny how my first experience of flying was a 15 hour flight from London to Tokyo. Honestly I can say it was probably the most uncomfortable, scary experience of my life so far. It was definitely an eventful day. I left London on my Mum's birthday. I remember just before going through to the security checks looking back at my mum and dad standing there...holding back my tears I saw my mum breakdown. From that moment I didn't really know when I would see their faces again, and for a split second I wanted to give up on my adventure. Getting on the plane I was filled with anticipation and a mild sense of fear drifted over me. I made a conscious note of where the toilets were and sat down in my window seat. I was sitting next to 2 girls during the flight that unfortunately for me slept very well, blocking my route to the toilet. When I eventually gained the motivation to tackle the íobstacle course' of legs, bags and plastic glasses, I unfortunately spilled both glasses of drink in one move. Because it was my first flight I never really thought about the problems associated with being so high in the sky. Ears popping and tummy freaking out about the situation.

It's important to note the day of my flight is significant. It happened to be the day of a FED EX plane crash at Tokyo's Narita airport. This resulted in all the runways being closed and all planes due for landing being severely held up or diverted to different airports. As my plane approached Narita from the sky we learned of the terrible incident. The extent of the situation was unknown and we were required to circle overhead for a while to see what would happen next. Eventually we were told, much to my dismay, that our plane which had already flown for 15 hours would be diverted to Nagoya. The distance between Nagoya and Tokyo is pretty far. All I could think about was how to get from so faraway to my required destination. (I should add at this point that my trip to Japan was for work, and I was required to meet my company at Narita airport.) Upon arrival at Nagoya I breathed in my first breath of Japanese air and looked around. The airport was busy with baggage trolleys filled to the brim, and the sounds of life all around me. I could see and hear so much that I couldnít understand, and yet my adventure had begun. I felt dizzy with excitement. 1 year later I donít know if itís my fear of getting back on an aeroplane, or my love of Japanese culture, but I canít seem to leave. It feels like my home now.

R Miller

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