I have to do the odd business trip from time to time, which obviously involves train, planes and auto-mobiles. On the positive side, travelling doesn’t really bother me. I try to make these trips as short as possible so that I’m not away from the hobbits for too long. I would hate missing any fun moments.
Funnily enough, when you have kids you are at times praying for moments where you can be alone – completely alone – with no loud sounds or without stepping on Lego pieces scattered on the floor. But, when you actually get away for a few days, you end up sitting in a hotel room all by yourself, listening to the sound of silence. Most of the time you flick through the various TV channels, surf the web or you are paralyzed by the noise coming from the rooms next door. Is somebody getting killed in there or are they just having sex?
You quickly realise how much you miss having the kids around. I always miss travelling with my wife. I miss sharing new sights with her.
Lately, and I don’t know if this is related to me getting older, but I’ve started to develop a minor fear of flying. For years I’ve been giving out about my mother’s phobia of flying, but I’m unfortunately starting to see why she might be somewhat nervous about flying.
Do I have a Aviophobia?
Well, I don’t really, but I’m just scared shit-less of turbulence or the smallest bumps while hovering 10000 meters above the surface. It’s not like you can just pull over and check the tires or stretch your legs. Millions of people take to the skies every month.
I feel like bending over forwards, crying and screaming when these little bumps and turbulence happen. I’m sure fellow passengers wouldn’t appreciate that, so I order alcohol instead. That seems to do the trick, or at least it distracts me for a few minutes.
According to the lovely in-flight staff and Discovery Channel, these bumps are not really defined as turbulence, it’s more like little air pockets that the plane hits while flying through the atmosphere. So, it’s like hitting small inconsistencies on the road while driving. Harmless.
When did my minor fear of flying start?
I remember it clearly. It all happened during our flight home from Atlanta (Costa Rica) in 2008, when we hit (according to me) some insane and dangerous turbulence, as the plane flew over the US coast line, heading towards Ireland. I was shitting myself but I tried to stay calm. Screams were building up on the inside but I felt like such an idiot when looking at my fellow passengers that were just sleeping, laughing or watching movies. The only two people on the plane panicking (on the inside at least) were me and my lovely wife. Obviously nothing happened!
On the two most recent plane journeys, I was so fortunate to sit next to some interesting characters that made the journey more interesting.
- Divine intervention; we were heading to Paris with the kids and I was seated next to a priest/father/padre, which made me wonder if this trip was blessed in advance. At least I had the perfect companion to meet the Almighty. I’m sure he could get me a good seat.
- The Dentist; I was heading to Prague and I was placed next to an elderly couple. The wife (or lover) had some interesting insights to why passengers have to place the head on the legs during an emergency. The reason is to save the teeth from being smashed or to avoid decapitation! Personally, that’s the last thing I want to hear or know when sitting in 10 km altitude!
Despite my developing phobia, I refuse to give into it. I rather face my fears, pooh my pants and travel. There are so many places I want to visit with my family, so this little hurdle cannot stop me.
Not So Fearless Traveller
I used to love to fly- but now like you I am really not much of a fan.
I would actually prefer to drive all the way home, even if it is 2 days on the road, but we need a much bigger car!
I’m fine until I start thinking about how, aeronautics be damned, the 60 tons of metal I’m sitting in should in no way be defying gravity. Then I ask for another drink. Or five.
Once we’re in the air, I’m fine. But during takeoffs and landings, I’m a raw bundle of nerves. I think it’s related to my fear of falling. Not heights, mind you, but specifically falling. (I’m fine in a 20th story building looking out of the window but not so good on a 2nd story balcony.) Landings are sort of like controlled falls, but try telling my fear about the “controlled” part. Take-offs aren’t really “falling” but it gives that same sense of moving swiftly in a vertical direction.
I’m getting ready to fly in a few days, into thin air, going home to spend time with the family in the native country. Can’t wait to sit with nothing but frosty air between me and the ground. Man, I need alcohol already.