After 10 years of not flying, Josh and I decided to take a practice flight to New York City. Upon arriving at the airport, I was overwhelmed with fear. Just being inside the airport is enough for me to start hyperventilating. We were waiting for our plane when I began to weep- not cry- WEEP. I was uncontrollable. I started bartering with Josh.
We don’t have to do this! We can go home now! It’s not too late!
He wasn’t having it. All those persuasion tactics I had learned in college as a Communication major were not working on him. He calmly explained that everything would be okay and that I needed to believe he wouldn’t put me in danger.
The concept of trust is an odd one for me. Josh needed my trust, but I couldn’t understand the correlation. What did trusting him have to do with flying?
Fine, I trust you, but I don’t trust the pilot. If the plane goes down, how will my trusting you save us?
Our plane arrived early, so we boarded earlier than expected. As our row was called to enter through the gate, I kept my head down, but it was no use. I felt that everyone I passed on my way to my seat saw my fear exposed. In my seat, I felt comforted by the limited amount of space. Weird, right? I would naturally feel claustrophobic, but instead, I felt safe? The JetBlue staff did their final check; as I put my headphones in, I heard the captain say that he had experienced some turbulence on the way to picking us up (no pun intended).
Great! Just perfect. This thing is going down with me in it for sure!
(Did I mention I also studied theatre and tend to be a drama queen at times?)
Our plane began to ascend, and I thought for sure I’d cut the circulation off in Josh’s hands- yes, I was holding both of his hands. My mind raced as I pictured Josh reviewing our marriage license for a loophole. In seconds, the roughest part of the trip was over. The movie on the plane started, and by the time it was over, we were landing.
Now, I realize not every trip will only be the length of a film, but it’s important to keep yourself distracted. Don’t let your thoughts take over, and trust me, it’s easier said than done. I took a ton of things to distract me while on the plane. I had more “toys” than I had outfits.
Local to Global Must Dos/Haves:
- Fidget Spinner
- Coloring Book with Crayons
- Playing Cards
- Word Search/CrossWord Puzzle
- Book, Notepad, and Pen
- Journal (jot down your thoughts; it’s a great way to release your anxiety)
- Green Tea Mints (very calming) and Gum
- Headphones and Chargers (Portable Chargers, too)
- Apple Music, iPhone, and iPad
- Pillow (Great way to give Josh’s hand a break)
- Dress comfortably- wear layers (The runway is for the plane- not you)
- Avoid caffeine and fried foods
- Gingerale, Gingerale, Gingerale (Buying it in the airport = bringing it on the plane)
- Check with your doctor for specific medications (if necessary)
The sense of accomplishment upon landing is indescribable. I couldn’t stop smiling. My practice flight went smoothly, and yours can too. Don’t underestimate yourself. Isn’t it time you looked your fear in the eye?