Airplane – home

8 years old 

They say 1,000 times wishing under 1,000 passing airplanes will make the dream comes true. And wish I did. Every time there was an airplane flying upon my head, I would put my hands together, tilted my head, and asked for a present. It was a compass that I wanted, because the love for travelling, even though I have no idea where I would end up, or whether I would move to somewhere else other than my birthplace. 

An 8-year-old me longed for wonderlands away from home. 

6 years later 

16 years old. 

It wasn’t my first time being on an airplane. But it was the very first time I traveled by myself. I knew what I was supposed to do, for I understood more than what a girl at my age did. When got lost, I knew where to go and what to look for. My eyes worked better than my mouth, and that just saved me so much more time for not having to assail someone when in trouble.

16 years old, I was sitting on an airplane and crying. I missed home even when the airplane hadn’t even taken off yet. I missed it even when I was still on that homeland. Tears dropped. Didn’t even want to eat. I skipped my breakfast and had half of my lunch. 

The flight assistant approached me and said that since I am under 18 and this was the first time I had ever been on an airplane (which was not true, so I was confused), I would have to follow them after landing. I did. And I didn’t like that.

And I cried even harder when the women had gone. That was when I realized how much I had grown, based on the fact that I was travelling alone and would live far away from my family, and how much I had not grown at all. The fact that she told me to follow her showed that I was nothing, and that I couldn’t do it myself. 

It was two years ago. 

Almost 18 years old. 

I miss home. That’s what I refused to say many times for the past almost two years. 

I miss home. 

The more I fly back and forth between these two places, the more I understand what home feels like, the more I appreciate where I come from. 

18 years old

I learn and will learn to love more and more. Love the people that I have left behind. Love the people that I met and will meet. And love the people that are different, from each other and from me.


8 years old: out of my reach 

16 years old: full of excitement, confusion, and sadness. 

18 years old: I miss home. 

I can use the compass on my phone, but I didn’t actually care about it that much. I long for something else. I long to see more places and more people. I long for knowledge. I want more. 

But also long for home. 

Published by Thi Le


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