Why I Choose the Window Seat

By: Yair Shavrick  |  October 29, 2020

By Yair Shavrick, Opinion Editor

I absolutely love flying — the awaited excitement, the thrust of the engines, the snacks, and the overall cabin environment. I’ve always found flying to be an experience which serves not only as a transportation device, but also as a journey. I tend to meet the most interesting people coming from the most diverse walks of life when I fly. Aside from the beautiful conversation that is provided throughout the trip, there is a sense of togetherness. How many times have you completely trusted a stranger to watch your belongings in direct disagreement with the airport loudspeaker saying not to? How many times have you heard clapping and cheering for a mere landing of an airplane? All of these culminate to a feeling so warm and comforting. This actually alleviates some of the anxiety accompanied with travel; we can be comforted by the knowledge that there is an entire flight of people experiencing very similar feelings and accommodations as ourselves.

A large question that always resides in my mind before my flight is the choice of seat. Nobody wants the middle seat because access to the bathroom is compromised, and most likely someone will commandeer one of your arm rests. The aisle seat is typically the wisest choice. As aisle access is unregulated, you are the first to get snacks, and can exit the plane quickly if you so desire.

We are left with the window seat. Most choose this seat to lean on the wall for an easier sleep. Children choose it to look out the window — and so do I. The sight of our society’s buildings and world geography perplexes me every time I gaze on it from thousands of feet above. I am moved mentally and emotionally when the realization hits me that I’m a small speck in this world. 

That last sentence may have come across as deep and profound, but as an optimist, it is a claim with which I absolutely despise and disagree. It is true that we humans are limited to the physical size that our bodies will allow us to grow — but our minds are so much more than the flesh and bones in which they are contained. We can express ideas, culture, talent, art, emotions, power, love, and so much more. Why limit ourselves to concrete jungles of physicality and finite identities? Why don’t we try to soar like airplanes as high as we can go? If a metal contraption can fly 37,000 feet in the air, why can’t we go even higher with our ideas and creativity? 

Is taking the window seat childish? Maybe. I would understand the bathroom- and snack-prioritizing people’s claim to the aisle seat being the better choice, but to me, the seat is much more than a mere physical space. So look down from your imaginary (or real if you’re on a flight, too) airplane and see how far you can go beyond the foundations of society. Be a pioneer. Be bold. To quote the song “From a Window Seat” by Dawes, “So I reached down for my notebook to see what impressions could be spun, but it’s just buildings and a million swimming pools.”

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Photo Source: Yair Shavrick