People find it odd that, for me, airplanes have always been a source of comfort. I guess I’ve traveled so much that they’ve become a constant of sorts. This snug approach to air travel changed dramatically when the activities manager at my hotel in Zambia asked me if I’d like to see the Victoria Falls from a microlight.

The thing is that I’ve always wanted to fly. Entering in a giant, metal capsule with food and television doesn’t exactly make you feel like you have wings and I was definitely not brave enough to skydive. The main factor, that held me back from going on a microlight, is that I despise that feeling of not being in control. In an airplane, there’s an element of safety, as if nothing can go wrong. Surely flying in a machine that reminds me of Hagrid’s motorcycle can’t possibly match that level of security.

In the end, I decided to go on the micro light anyway. As the Holstee Manifesto says, “Opportunities come once, seize them.”

As I hopped onto the flimsy-looking contraption, I tried desperately to keep it together. My voice was a little lost for a while because words just weren’t getting past a certain lump in my throat. I finally managed to utter to Pascal the pilot, “Don’t kill me okay?” I think I heard a chuckle before he retorted, “Alright, just relax and enjoy the view.” Upon takeoff, my stomach sinks in as if it’s resisting the journey upwards.

Then, everything became all right. From up there, Victoria Falls looked absolutely beautiful. There was even a rainbow that seemingly reached down to try taste the crisp water. I became completely at ease. Within five minutes, I was leaning forward and pointing at elephants, crocodiles, impalas, and zebras! The pilot kindly (but worriedly) asked me to “please sit back and hold on”.

 In short, I owned that microlight. “Getting lost will help you find yourself.” I’d like to think I found a braver Ailsa somewhere between admiring the waterfalls and almost falling out of my seat at the sight of zebras. Maybe skydiving is next on the list after all!

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