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The Power of Flight

I took my first flight 4 months ago, headed from Rochester, New York to Seattle, Washington. Not my first flight to Seattle, my first flight ever.

It wasn’t that I’ve never traveled in my 24 years of life. I just found it easier (and cheaper) to go places where my friends already lived, which turned out to never be more than an 8 hour drive / bus / train ride away.

I boarded the 6:00am flight, lucked out and had a window seat. No one seated next to me either. Across the aisle sat a mother and her maybe 2-year-old daughter, and besides them sat an older gentleman. As we took off, a mix of nerves, bewilderment and turbulence took over me. I looked over and realized that that toddler and I were having essentially the same reaction. Hand on the window, jaw to the floor, eyes as wide as can be. We were taking off as the sun was rising. Flying is incredible!

I was on this flight to go to an interview that would take me 3,500 miles away from my family and friends. For a job that would ACTUALLY be in the field I have a degree in! For the opportunity to experience a part of the world most are not lucky enough to see in their lifetime.

3 months later, to the day, I boarded my second flight ever, a 25-hour journey to Nome, Alaska. It’s a weird feeling to fly. It’s an even weirder feeling to take off and watch everything you’ve ever known fade off into the distance below you. And maybe I was being a bit melodramatic gazing out the window and blaring The Mountain Goats “Going to Alaska” in my headphones as we left, but sometimes you just have to, you know?

A month into my KNOM adventure and I am already incredibly grateful for the incredible opportunities that have been given to me, and so excited and overwhelmed at what is to come in the next year. I have yet to wrap my head around everything that brought me here and I’m wondering if I actually ever will. All in all, a worthy first flight indeed.


  1. ennui4sb on August 17, 2014 at 9:25 am

    So, I just get Mountain Goat alerts and this came up. Why are you Going to Alaska? I see it is a radio station for Western Alaska but what else is this expedition going to entail? On a side note, I love flying and it’s great to read that sense of wonderment about this amazing gift of being able to travel in the sky.

    • Caitlin Whyte on August 25, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks for your comment! Im here doing a service program working at a radio station – As an on air morning DJ and producing public service announcements for a year. Always cool to hear from another mountain goats fan!