I was sitting on a flight from Perth going back to Melbourne this afternoon in business class, thinking about how both on the flights to and from Perth, I sat next to mothers with their infant children in their laps. One baby looked like she was only a couple months old, still getting breast fed. Regardless of whether these mothers paid for their business class tickets or used points to upgrade, they clearly live privileged lives that they will then pass on to their children. Their babies aren’t even a year old yet, and they have already enjoyed flying business class; that’s an experience some people never get their entire lives. My parents are included in that so far.
It wasn’t until I turned 13 when I finally boarded a plane for the very first time. It was a short flight to Las Vegas, and it was also my very first time leaving the state of California. The first take off feeling was so exhilarating, as it literally felt like I was either flying or floating when the wheels left the ground. I was so surprised by it that I immediately started laughing, which made my dad laugh, too. Then, flying was not about the experience or journey in itself; flying was a means to get from point A to point B.
I think about the kids who are as privileged as the babies I sat next to on these two flights, and I wonder if they will end up being grateful for the privilege they have been born into or take it for granted. Because I grew up with parents who thought that holiday travel was only for the “rich,” I never knew when I was young that budget travel existed, or that average people could actually do world travel and not go broke. You know only what you know and have been exposed to, right? But I wonder what it’s like for kids who have always traveled, people like Chris or Ben or these babies, if they truly realize how lucky they are, and especially for kids who get first-class treatment when they travel. If you expose your children only to the very best and most premium experiences, how will they react and cope and adapt when they have lesser experiences? Telling them about your own lesser experiences doesn’t really resonate with children; children need to experience these things themselves.