It’s a fact of life, if we travel abroad, more often than not (apart from the Eurostar), we all have to hop on a plane.
Some travellers take it completely in their stride and it’s as natural as hoping in a car or catching a bus. Other aren’t keen and put up with it, as the excitement of where they’ll end up far out ways their nerves. Then, there are the people who are petrified and who won’t leave their home turf or set foot on a plane as the feeling of flying far out ways their desire to visit some place new.
Me, I’m somewhere in the middle.
When I was 18, I flippantly decided I wanted to go to America for a year as an exchange student (even though no exchange took place), not really thinking anything of it. Carefree and full of excitement, I took that long flight from Heathrow, to Dallas and then back up to Oklahoma City like it was switching Tube trains.
It didn’t bother me in the slightest, I still remember talking to a professional guy on the first flight and we chatted away for ages, I was in my element. This was long before anything like 9/11 and the surge in terrorism.
How things have changed. I now hate flying.
For me, it’s either fly or miss out. I love travelling and visiting new places, more than ever, but the actual flying, well even airports make me feel extremely anxious and deep down in the bottom of my tummy, I feel panic.
As I write this, our flight is around 15 days away and I cannot wait for our hols, however I’m already starting to feel nervous about the flights. And I’ve googled it, it’s only 4 1/2 hours each way.
With all the shit that has happened in the world, I can seriously see why people stop flying. I feel out of control up there! Completely out of control and claustrophobic.
Every time I board a flight, I cross my fingers and only feel I can breathe again when I arrive at the hotel the other side. It’s the same on the way home, I’m relieved only after when we land, collect our luggage and are on the way home. And then en route to the cattery to pick up our beloved cats.
I’m not going to stop travelling because of how I feel deep down inside. Nor should anyone else.
Of course I take bits on board to keep me occupied and Tony holds my hand reassuringly during landing and take off. I definitely wouldn’t fly without him or the following items:
A book (normally unread).
A couple of magazines. Maybe Elle, In Style, Vogue.
Hard boiled sweets.
A huge array of beauty products.
iPhone and headphones.
A bottle of water.
A cosy cardigan or jumper.
An eye mask (on the shopping list).
Life’s far too short not to go places. If people are happy staying at home doing their own thing then that’s completely fine. However, when you do have the desire to travel and want to see the world, I’m trying to go with an attitude of ‘if it’s going to happen it will’. But I’m going to pack that carry on bag, smile, take deep breaths and think to hell with it, it’ll be worth it in the end.
Are you a nervous traveller? Is the whole experience completely distressing? On the flip side, do you love hovering up high in the clouds?
I’d love to know how you feel and what you do to cope with the whole travelling rigmarole.
P.S. I was so uneasy about flying I decided to publish this after we had arrived home….