Fearing Flying

I’ve travelled in a plane for three return journeys in the whole of my life. The first two times were when I was in my early teens, and I don’t remember a great deal about them.

The third time was more recently, on a trip to Spain, which was just about the closest place that we could travel to to prove to myself that the plane wouldn’t actually blow up and I would be just fine.

For most of my adult life, the idea of flying filled me with horror. I was scared about feeling claustrophobic, of having the plane explode in mid-air, of having a wing drop off and of the prospect of just landing in the sea. None of it was rational, and I really did know that. But fears rarely are, I guess, and no amount of sensible thinking could convince me that I’d be safe.

When Mike and I first met, we talked a bit about having a foreign holiday. We talked about going somewhere in the car; a great touring adventure across Europe. We talked about attempting to sneak onto a Saga coach trip and spend a week in the company of people older than our parents.

We had a couple of holidays in England. The first in Scarborough, which I never tire of but do know that I can’t expect Mike to put up with it for the rest of his life.

Our second holiday together was in the Lakes, inspired by me having picked up a copy of Swallows and Amazons in a charity shop and with the hope that we’d spend our time meandering through gorgeous countryside, gasping at the breathtaking views. It rained, almost solidly, for the whole week that we were there. We found indoor things that we could go to and got soaked every time we ran between the car park and whatever it was that we were visiting. Even the best of holiday spirits can only suffer damp walks around National Trust gift shops for so long.

And then I realised. Quite suddenly, actually, I realised that my fear had gone. I didn’t have special tablets or an anxiety course or a special visit to the airport and a tour behind the scenes. It just occured to me that I wasn’t frightened any more.

I wanted our first trip to be reasonably close. We flew from the airport that’s a half hour drive from home, and our flight happened to be in the middle of the afternoon so I could look out of the window all the way. I took photographs from my window seat and loved every moment.

And Mike held my hand. It turned out that that was all I needed to feel brave enough.

I created this post for the flying prompt on ‘For the Love of Blogs’, a great site for linking up with other bloggers.

10 thoughts on “Fearing Flying

  1. I just about spit my drink out at your wing falling off fear, have to admit that one never came across my fears but the dirty smelly people had me and the itching in the gross seats. I still believe that no matter how much they clean, it’s NEVER thorough! I have to wear a lot of layers! lol. I’m so glad you overcame the fear. I can take the mini flights but anything over 2 hours kills me!:)

    1. That’s the trouble with fears – they’re never really rational. I’m not good with dirt either, come to think of it…

      I’m really unsure about how I’d cope with a longer flight. Suspect that the claustrophobia would be a bit much for me.

  2. I’m with Vic on the wing-thing. I subject myself to a window seat and then look out, watching for any sign of wing abnormality.

    And that claustrophobic feeling? It hits me the moment everyone finishes boarding and that point-of-no-return hits when the plane starts its movement for take-off.

    I never feel brave…enough!

    1. I was really lucky that my flight was in the afternoon so I could focus on looking out at fields / scenery / clouds from above. I really enjoyed that part of it, although I’m not sure how long it would be before the novelty goes.

  3. Great post! So glad you are able to fly now! Fear is not rational, and sometimes neither am I!!

  4. —-I love that your “fear of flying” is gone!
    I used to be soooo bloody frightened that everybody I flew with sat away from me in some corner of the plane….and sent lots of wine over. Especially those long trips to England…
    But now, I think I’m okay. Of course, I’ll still take all the wine I can get 🙂

    1. Thanks! It feels great to know I can do it now. Not sure that I’d manage a long flight, but there are lots of places I’d like to visit and that’s what will make it worthwhile.

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