I really don’t like flying. I’m not sure what exactly it is. I know it all stems from the fear of dying, but, frankly, apparently I’m more likely to die in my car, driving along the highway (which doesn’t actually really surprise me, considering what the 401 looks like sometimes). I guess the main difference is that I’m in control of my car (or at least I’m in the front seat and my sharp intakes of breath make me feel like I’m slightly controlling whomever is driving), whereas when I’m on a plane, I have zero percent control, and I probs don’t know the pilot, either.
And it doesn’t help that I have problems with feeling claustrophobic, and also with heights. And that I’m afraid of pretty much everything about the ocean, and that’s usually what I’m flying over. I’m just so aware when I’m up there that I’m in a tiny little capsule being shot through the sky with only a trust of man’s knowledge of physics keeping me up there. That doesn’t seem like enough of a security blanket. And what if something goes wrong up there? What if I have some sort of medical emergency?
Or what if someone else has a medical emergency, and I get freaked out by it? I am super extra prone to just getting anxious if anything at all goes wrong, especially on a plane, where real, proper help is however many thousands of kilometres below you. On the Earth. Where humans belong. And don’t even get me started on turbulence. That’s a big bag of nope from me. Even though I’ve read that turbulence is just so common and non-consequential that pilots don’t even think about it, all I can think about when I feel the place tilting and bumping is that I’m about to plunge to my death.
I’m the person who the flight attendant notices and checks on because I’m white-knuckling the arm rests. Once, when I was flying alone, I started to panic-cry when the plane took off, so obviously, apparently, that the kind woman beside me held my hand when we landed, anticipating some sort of breakdown. Which, I mean, she wasn’t wrong to predict might occur. But then, when there is turbulence, or when we are landing or taking off or whatever, I look around me and other people are so very calm. They have a magazine on their lap, a drink in their hand, just not phased at all.
I’m not sure whether these people have more faith in the pilot, know more about physics, fly more often than I do, or just don’t care as much about their lives, but I envy them. They just seem so calm, cool, and fearless. I hope that one day, I can be that not-crazy when I fly. And I know that I shouldn’t be so scared, because there are so many years of study and testing and research of these human flying machines to back it all up. I thought researching some of that stuff might help me be less afraid of it. So, here’s my blog, with some posts about research, some posts about my experiences with certain airlines, and some posts that are just my musings that will hopefully make us all feel better about the whole ideal that is flying. If you’re a nervous flyer, I hope you have something in here to grab onto that will make you feel better.