Sit me down

We do a lot of sitting these days – think about it. Many of us sit for our jobs and then we go home and sit and watch the tv. OK, there is a bit in between with housework, gardening and cooking but for the most part, we do a lot of sitting. That’s why when it comes to sitting on a plane some of us get really antsy about where we should sit.

There are those who don’t like to be near the toilets – well not because of the toilets themselves but more because of the queues of people in the aisle waiting for the toilet. They are kind of in your space – standing (or leaning) up against your seat. No, cut me out. Don’t put me next to the toilet.

Then there are those who don’t like to be at the bulkhead because you have to put all your stuff in the overhead bin and then you feel claustrophobic because you are sitting facing a wall. I sometimes find the legroom a bit limiting – and I am only 5 feet tall (or short)!

And of course,the airlines did not help with that awful 3 – 3 configuration. It means any which way if you are travelling as a couple one of you has a stranger sitting next to you. That’s why those 2 seats along the side always go so quickly.

Any way you look at it – choosing the right seat for your flight is a pain in the butt! Literally. So that’s why I really laughed when I came across this guy who practises Extreme Sitting!

Robert Silk went all the way to Antarctica with his folding camp chair to practise extreme sitting. Hmmm. Maybe this extract from Atlas Obscura will explain it better than I can –

Robert “Robby” Silk, 49, was participating in the sport of competitive chair-sitting, a still-evolving endurance activity Silk has pioneered that involves sitting in extreme environments, from sun-up to sundown without any sort of time pieces or electronic devices. “The idea,” says Silk, “is to really just be, and not do much of anything.” On June 21, 2020, Silk completed his longest sit to date: a 14-hour, 27-minute stretch in California’s Joshua Tree National Park. Before Antarctica, this budding trend-setter had only sat himself in desert settings, including Sedona, Arizona, and the state’s McDowell Mountain Regional Park in North Scottsdale. (The Antarctic continent is the largest desert on earth, but many of its surrounding islands are considered tundra.)

I wonder if in this Extreme Sitting you are allowed any “aids”. I know you cannot have any electronic devices but maybe a good foam cushion. I would imagine it must be very good for you in a way – sort of clearing out the mind. Whenever you go on a trip aren’t you always just rushing here and there, thinking about where you have to be next and what gifts to take back for the grandkids. Well this guy just sat there and stared into that beautiful freezing water and did absolutely nothing. Wow – I am warming to this idea more and more.

The rules allow you to have food and water with you – doesn’t say anything about toilet breaks though. I wonder how that works. Maybe you just wear an adult diaper like people wear to these incredibly long rock concerts. Rock and roll people! #nowayjose

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. Oh I hear you as far as sitting on a plane near the toilets. We had a 8 hour flight to Ireland on the Dreamliner and my husband and I were seated directly in front of the toilets. The line ups weren’t too bad as there were lots of stalls. What got us was the constant flushing! Listening to flush after flush after flush for 8 hours was unnerving to say the least. Next flight we bring noise cancelling ear phones!


    1. I was on a WestJet flight from Amsterdam to Calgary 9 hours.
      Sat next to the toilet, yes the people leaning at your chair, but the worst was the smell 🥺😞


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