I have a secret to share with you guys.. I have a fear of flying. Yes, I cry, and I even passed out on one or two occasions. I’m a huge baby when it comes to this. This is a big problem if traveling is your job.
Since I can remember I have been traveling by airplane. I was about 3 years old when I had my first flight and I always used to love it. It seems that children have no fear at a young age and besides that, I was allowed in the cockpit and I received a colouring book from the stewardess! I was happy.
How my fear of flying started
It all started when I was about 13 years old. An plane accident happened in Amsterdam and a plane crashed into a flat which killed many people.
Suddenly it became real and a fear was born. Besides this I also feel the need of being in control. In a car I can say: “let me out!” In a plane..well, that just wouldn’t be a good idea.
So how do I cope traveling the world with this fear?
I travel to a far country at least twice a year and I have a lot of European trips throughout the year. These times are exiting but can also be very stressful for me.
My not so proud moment
A few years ago, my boyfriend had the brilliant idea of taking a short flight between 2 islands whilst we were travelling through Greece. We needed to travel from Kefalonia to Corfu and we had 2 possibilities: By car + boat = 10 hours or by propellor plane = 25 min.
I was still in favour of the 10 hour trip but my boyfriend re-assured me it was only one short flight and he really wasn’t going for a full day of travel so I had no chance. Over the years I had always sworn that I would never-in-a-thousand-years get inside a propellor plane.
It kept going through my mind and I got more nervous the closer doomsday approached.
It was a beautiful sunny day and there wasn’t much wind. Everything was good. Except Elke. I started to cry even before we were boarding. My boyfriend wasn’t fully aware of how scared I actually am but he certainly found out there and then. Walking up to the plane I was hyperventilation and people started turning their heads asking me if I was OK. Well, I wasn’t. This was hell for me. I did however sat down and as we strapped on, the stewardess came over to me and said the following words; ‘don’t worry, it will only be two short flights of 15 minutes each time. We will be there in no time’.
Did she just say 2 flights?? Two?!
The moment of truth..
Yes, my boyfriend decided long before that he wasn’t going to share this news with me as he already knew at the time he booked. I was too scared to be angry about this “minor” detail so I buried my head into his shoulder and squeezed his arm until it turned blue. We made it. I ran out of the plane and I literally kissed the ground. I was extremely proud of myself. This was a big deal for me.
Are you experiencing a feat of flying?
Here are some my personal tips for when you are nervous of taking your next flight:
- Read this book. It helped me a lot. Everything is explained by a former pilot. From noises to turbulence.
- Check in online early so you can pick your seat. Sit in the front of the plane as this will be less bumpy.
- Personally, I always sit next to a window so I can see whats happening. This way you won’t be surprised when you get a bit of turbulence because you’re flying through the clouds.
- Listen to music. This calms me down a lot.
- Find somebody next to you that you can talk to. A little distraction is always good when taking off.
Unfortunately the propellor flight didn’t cure my fear of flying and I will never step into a small plane again! …Ok, never say never because I have another incurable virus.. that’s called WANDERLUST.