I’m afraid of flying. Well actually it’s just take-off, turbulence and landings – i.e. just the parts where things go to hell and you start worrying about falling more than flying (so technically I’m only afraid of falling). I know all the stats that flying is safer than driving a car, it’s a totally irrational fear. I’ve got tons of irrational tendencies like for instance I don’t eat peas, or like sharing straws, forks, cookies et al (well i’m working at not squelsching so much with this one)
When I worked at ASU almost all the girls on the team knew I was shitting bricks during flight and a nervous wreck before flights. They prob had a roster or something but there was always at least one or two girls (prob whoever drew the short straw) distracting me on the plane or at the airport. We traveled often at ASU, so bless those girls hearts for distracting me. Thank God for Sudoku as well. I feel pretty sorry for passengers who don’t know me but have to sit next to me, because I’m a blabbering idiot who talks to distract my brain.
On my most recent international flight, I flew on the newest Airbus (Boeing is light years behind Airbus, in fact Boeing is just Detroit for airplanes) which has a channel on their entertainment system that lets you see a forward facing camera from the tail *they also have one from the nose). At first I thought that was pretty cool. I watched the plane taxi to the runway, and that’s when I realized that’s probably the scariest thing ever!!!! Initially I thought it would help me conquer this girly phobia I have. Not a chance. I watched takeoff and almost had a heart attack. I switched it off but the idiot next to me kept pointing at the screen and going “cool, hey?”.(guess which country he came from?) When we hit turbulence over the Atlantic, the same reaper-bate next thought I’d enjoy watching the plane wobble like jelly!
I found these 2 titbits of wisdom from pilots in 50 things pilots wont tell you,
1.“There’s no such thing as a water landing. It’s called crashing into the ocean.”
2. “Pilots find it perplexing that so many people are afraid of turbulence. It’s all but impossible for turbulence to cause a crash. We avoid turbulence not because we’re afraid the wing is going to fall off but because it’s annoying.” Thats good to know, but it still doesnt install any confidence buddy. Most people dont die from earthquakes either – they die from stuff falling on top of them.
So to hell with new technology! I’m a train guy! Its the only way to travel long distances. After I arrived in NYC, I caught the Amtrak train from Penn Station to Albany. Riding up in the fall seeing the leaves change color, now that’s the way to travel!!!
Steven Wright said it best – “Everywhere’s walking distance, if you’ve got the time!”
The irony of my phobia is that iv got more air-miles than most small countries. Despite my phobia, I’ve traveled through places you probably wont even find on Wikipedia. I am (amongst many other amazing things) a wanderlust journeyman. I love traveling because I love losing myself on journeys to forgotten hotels, mystic beaches, intrepid forests, or to dank & nasty markets. Travel has broadened my comfort zone and challenged my perspectives – particularly when I’ve gotten off the beaten track, out of urban mayhem and into the heart and soul of a place.
But man I hate flying without decent company!