On Tuesday I shall be travelling to Victoria, taking the early ferry and landing in the harbour at 10:30 AM. You have no idea how pleased I am that I am able to travel by ferry to Victoria, as opposed to taking a plane. Plane travel is a nightmare if you are disabled, for many reasons.

I think the biggest deterrent to me travelling by plane unless I absolutely have to is the increase in security theatre surrounding flying. If I were lucky enough to own my own private seaplane, I’d have no trouble with flying, because I could bypass most of that, and get to land on lakes and the ocean. But that security theatre is extremely agonizing for those of us who hate being touched by strangers, don’t like crowds, and are prone to acting jumpy or anxious in stressful situations.

I’m worried that some day it will be a very autistic day for me while I am flying, and I’ll end up having a crude colonoscopy performed on me by a TSA agent *shudder* I have at one point considered just making business cards that say that I’m autistic, advising people to be gentle, or else getting a medical bracelet made for myself that says that. That’s humiliating though, and I would rather they just learned to not be jerks on a power trip.

The rapid decrease in space has been the other reason that I’ve become uncomfortable with flying. I’m really big, and while I like being in somewhat cozy spaces when I want to self soothe, the fabric used on airplane chairs (Or cheap leather, yuck) is awful, the armchairs are hard and miserable, and the other people there and recycled air ruin any chance of being comfortable.

My mother, who is three inches taller than me, responds to this by just asking for the Exit Row seat, but I’m always terrified that I’ll land in a sticky situation and need to act accordingly, but screw up. Plus, my flight attendant friends complain all the time about people who think that the Exit Row is a special section for tall people, when they would prefer to see other off-duty flight attendants, military personnel, and stronger people sitting in those spots. I would not be as level-headed as any of them in a situation that required opening that door, so I won’t risk it.

Contrast this to travelling by ferry. There’s ice cream on BC Ferries, full food service, you can walk around, sit down, use the internet, look out the windows for sea life and birds, observe the waves, and, if it’s a nice day, go up a deck and enjoy the sunshine. The waves are pleasant and rolling, and the motion of the boat is soothing to me. The only thing that can be improved upon is the bathrooms. Apparently some people have difficulty keeping steady with their pants down while a boat is moving. Blech.

Travelling by aircraft was an already generally unpleasant thing turned even more unpleasant by power-tripping officials and money-grubbing airlines. If it weren’t for the fact that aircraft travel is the only way I could travel back to my beloved Hawaii or go abroad, I would be done with it entirely.

Unless, of course, dirigibles become popular again. Come on, ageing steampunks, don’t fail me now!

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