Experiences of 2015, #2: The Airplane Hitch over Malta

#2: The Airplane Hitch over Malta

This is part of a series on my travel experiences of 2015, read #1 about Albania too!

In 2015 I hitchhiked my first airplane over the Maltese islands, which was really cool in terms of getting things off my bucketlist and having seen Malta from the sea, the land and the sky – all from people’s hospitality and generosity! What’s really awesome is to go through security, not at the main entrance, but the back, where the private jets are parked. I loved hanging out in the hangars with other plane-afficionados who are painting or otherwise maintaining their jets. The 5-seater Beechcraft F33A Bonanza private plane in the pictures needed to be kickstarted with a Mini Cooper because the battery went empty after not having flown for three weeks. A car can boost it to get the propeller running. This was only a little sketchy. All together I learned a lot about flying, the lingo used for take-off and landing, traffic jams in the sky and automatic piloting.

Some of you know that I don’t take airplanes unless it’s for emergencies. I don’t really enjoy flying in the sense that most people know it: being stuck in a tin can with 200 other people while breathing recycled air and sock-smell. It’s definitely not my favorite thing in the world and I’d rather hitchhike a car or boat to get to my destination than cop-out by flying and skipping all the good parts in between. This was real hitchhiking though, so I said yes to the experience. After first meeting this seemingly friendly Frenchman in the marina close to Valetta on Malta, he offered me to go flying over Malta and a few days later he’d fly me to Montpellier in France to meet my mother before my birthday. Having a daughter my age, it all seemed fine at the time and many people in the marina knew where and with whom I was going to fly that day.

Unfortunately, my driver/pilot put his hand on my leg in-flight in a suggestive manner. Unlike in a car, you can’t just get out of a flying plane, unless you value your life very little. It makes me sad that out of the one and only airplane I’ve hitchhiked so far, I’ve got a 100% sexual harassment rate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the experience, it would have just been a lot better if people didn’t try to intimidate me into “repaying the favor”, as is excellently examplified in this article. It’s even more ridiculous that I’m now publicly apologizing for something that’s not even my fault. The world would be such a better place if people only gave women rides when their intentions are pure, unquestioning hospitality and help, whether it’s an airplane, car, truck or whatever.

Hitchhiking an airplane is off my bucketlist now. After turning him down, he obviously didn’t fly me to France in order to see my family – which I made up with by hitchhiking real fast through Sicily, Italy and Monaco. Not a day after this incident, I saw him hanging with a prostitute in the marina. I guess everybody got what they needed.

8 thoughts on “Experiences of 2015, #2: The Airplane Hitch over Malta

  1. I also wanted to hitchhike on a plane.. but then I read the harrassment after so oops.. it’s really difficult to be a woman traveling around. I salute you for being brave

  2. It’s a pity that woman can’t hitchhike without having sexual harassment in mind! And although it might be easier to get a car to stop for you as a pretty girl, I’m sure you can live happily without those rides. I’m glad that there are still so many woman solo hitchhiking and don’t let themselves be intimidated by those acts.

    • Thanks! I would definitely be better off without those rides, they can keep them 🙂
      It’s not easier to stop a car as a pretty girl though, it’s easier because I pose less of a threat (and at the same time pose more of an opportunity to be threatened). Common misconception though! 😉

  3. (Please delete previous message – wrong email address)
    Happened to me whilst hitchhiking in Tunisia, and I’m a guy. There were also a couple of other cases in other countries that I refused because it looked like it was gonna be the same. These things happen to men as well. It may be less frequent but men also tend to talk about it less, which is silly because when it happens the shock is even greater.

    • Boo-fucking-hoo. I don’t tolerate “but men!!1!” comments on my blog. The shock is most likely “even greater” because of internalized homophobia. Women aren’t shocked because it happens so often we know we should at least expect it, so yeah, yours is “even greater” because the world doesn’t throw this crap at you constantly. Saying “a guy proposed sex to me once so I know what harassment is – and it’s worse for men!” is like saying “I once got offered too many cookies and I know what diabetes feels like now – and it’s much worse for skinny people!”
      Do you hear yourself? It’s ignorant AF and diverting the attention from the real issue. Check your privilege and once you got the memo you’re welcome back here.

  4. Nobody ever touched me whilst hitchhiking , but I was asked for sex some times. It always makes me so sick because it really breaks the magic of the ride and changes the attitude of the driver, like it really is the only thing they want from picking you up. I try not to let this guys influencing my confidence for future rides.
    We solo chick travellers are more and more everyday out there, I hope something will change, and fast!
    Safe travels amazing girl 🙂 thanks for being so inspiring!

    • I’m sorry for your experiences! Your words “it really breaks the magic of the ride” really resonate with me and I bet they do with others. Stay happy and badass whilst hitchhiking and keep spreading the fact that female solo travel is EPIC 😉 thanks for your kind words!

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