The Jet-Set Journalist: Flying for Two

September 17, 2008

N.B. A new column where I give some updates from wherever I happen to be.  In this case, Austin, Texas…

I always enjoyed thinking that I was part of the jet-set.  There were a set of years when I would travel with just one sleek black suitcase, wearing a set of high heels, occassionally upgraded to business class if the person at the check-in desk was feeling generous, as I was whisked off to another exotic destination.  Well my friends, those days are over.  

On Monday, I left London at 5:30am with a nine month old baby in tow, for a 10 hour flight to Houston, followed by a change for Austin.  No longer am I the sleek traveller of my past.  While I was bringing only one suitcase, I had an overloaded backpack full of diapers, board books and baby food with me in addtion to my purse.  My outfit, while reasonably classy by young mother standards (though notably including flats, not heels), already had a nice streak of baby oatmeal down the front by the time I got on the first plane.  

And no longer can I make witty banter with the travellers next to me: I was the woman with the screaming baby.  As a point of clarification, I do not have a screaming baby generally, but take one baby learning to walk and try to make him sit still for a 10 hour flight, and you too would have a screaming baby.  At one point, a woman said to him / me, “Why don’t you go to sleep?  You’re giving me a headache.”  Another woman covered her head with a blanket when he started screaming again after a 10 minute pause.  Yet another sighed loudly at the same time.  I was that person, the person who can’t control their child, the one who you pray you’re not going to be sitting near when you look around the departure lounge.  And decidedly not a member of the jet-set.

But all is well now that we have arrived.  My jet-set kiddo, who has already taken 14 flights in his young life and visited four countries, suffered only a bit of jet-lag yesterday and this morning is happily playing on Texas time.  All is well.  It’s just too bad we have to go back to London next week, and endure the 10 hour flight nightmare all over again…


2 Responses to “The Jet-Set Journalist: Flying for Two”

  1. Steve H. said

    First, welcome back to the blogosphere!

    Second, your description of being on the plane made me cringe — in sympathy, of course! We’ve been through that joyous experience, too, though not yet with our 9-month old. I think that may be planned for January! It’s great that your little one is already such an experienced traveler.

    Good luck on the return flight!

  2. […] consequence of being a “jet-set journalist” is that at some point it catches up with you, and you become the jet-lag journalist.   Or, […]

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