Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Experience Flying

Pre-Flight Selfie

As someone who has always had a fear of heights, flying was always something that I dreaded. I had never been on a plane in my life until the first time I went to Germany last April. 

I am a relatively calm person in general, but flying has always been one of the few things I have been anxious about. Surprisingly though, I wasn't nervous leading up to the flight. In fact, I wasn't even nervous when I stepped on the plane. My excitement was temporarily outweighing my anxiety. 

When the plane took off however, and I felt the weightlessness for the first time as the wheels left the ground, I must admit that that was an anxious experience. I was seated next to a high school kid who was calm as can be, so I did my best to maintain any shred of dignity I have left. 

I quickly put my earphones in - trying to engross myself into a movie in order to take my mind off of the fact I was climbing thousands and thousands of feet up into the air. 

Rational me was thinking: "Flying is by far the safest way to travel so there is absolutely nothing to fear"

Irrational me was thinking "Oh my God we are going to free-fall out of the sky at any second"

Once we reached cruising altitude, and the seat-belt signs were turned off, rational me began to take control.

That lasted until I felt turbulence for the first time. I don't care how many times you have read about turbulence before your first flight, and how normal it is, and how harmless it is, yada yada yada, there is nothing more unsettling than feeling turbulence for the very first time.

"This could not be normal - is the plane coming apart?? Did one of the engines fall off?!" irrational me thought to myself. 

I frantically looked around and saw everybody either engrossed in the screens in front of them, asleep with gaped-mouths, or nonchalantly chatting with the people next to them. I regained my composure, hoping nobody noticed the scared middle-aged idiot who almost just peed his pants. 

Eventually I began to get less and less nervous each time I felt the turbulence. I began to pay more attention to the movies I was watching on the screen in front of me rather that thinking about the fact that we could plummet out of the sky at any given moment. 

There was nothing so sweet as the relief I felt upon landing! I'm alive!!! 
Since that first flight back in April, I have flown 7 more times. Even though I still am not a fan of turbulence (at all), my anxiety is lessening a bit each time :)
Are you a good flyer? A bad flyer? Have you had any scary flying experiences? 

150 comments:

  1. I haven't flown for a long time but have always found it a great experience - my aunt, on the other hand, cried all the way to her destination on her first flight, since then she has flown hundreds of times with nary a tear.

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  2. You've given a perfect description of the flying experience. The biggest fear I have when flying is that I have absolutely no control over the situation. I can't just get up and walk out. I'm at the complete mercy of the plane, pilot, and ground control. I always hope the pilot is sober and reasonably sane.........

    I experienced extreme turbulence once during a bad storm on a flight from Los Angeles to New York. The stewardess was carrying a tray of food and she was knocked right on her ass. The food went everywhere, and in retrospect it's hilarious.

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  3. I've flown many, many times and I still don't like it. I'm pretty much white knuckles until the plane pulls up to depart. It didn't bother me until I hit super-turbulence during a severe thunderstorm once. That did me in.
    Not afraid of heights, just falling from them!

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  4. Flying doesn't really bother me, but I did have one scary experience on a flight to Canada when I was 12. We encountered a huge thunderstorm mid-Atlantic. Lightening struck our plane, knocking out an engine. There was a lot of turbulence and all the lights down one side of the plane went off.
    Yes...definitely a hair-raising moment! ;)

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  5. I have a thing about heights. I fly occasionally and do so only because it is the best way to get to places you want to go. I do not like it and always am happy to land.

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  6. I'm not a good flyer for a number of reasons. I'll do it if I have to, but it makes me anxious and stressed. It's a little easier if I'm off to somewhere fun, but it's still not pretty.

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  7. I am smiling . . . not at you, as much as memories. I have flown many times, I can do it, make it through . . . BUT . . . I get air, sea, car sick from movement I guess SO there have been some awful trips. I have it pretty much under control now, by wearing Sea Bands and taking Bonine . . .(they are not paying me to endorse). And believe me, the combination works, (at least my head tells me so and I trust it.). Turbulence is NOT FUN . . . I can't imagine sleeping through a batch of turbulence. I am happy you have reached a "safe place" with it all because no doubt there will be more flying trips in your future!

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  8. oh...you have flight phobia ? ! I thought you are calm, cool and brave...:)
    I don't have any problem flying; I enjoy it :)
    Nice post, as usual :)

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  9. I have a fear of heights, too. I went on a place for the first time when I was a teen and I was all alone, traveling from Florida to Michigan and back again. Surprisingly enough, I did great and actually enjoyed it. I even had to board a tiny, propeller plane and got a lot of turbulence. I had to look out the window during take off though. Looking straight ahead didn't work.

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  10. I have a fear of heights, too. I went on a place for the first time when I was a teen and I was all alone, traveling from Florida to Michigan and back again. Surprisingly enough, I did great and actually enjoyed it. I even had to board a tiny, propeller plane and got a lot of turbulence. I had to look out the window during take off though. Looking straight ahead didn't work.

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  11. I love to fly and travel..My first plane ride was to Hawaii 1982..it was almost 11 hours in flight..I loved flying and Hawaii so much I went back to Hawaii the very next year..Only once did I have a hard time, it was landing in San Francisco in a storm. the plane was rocking and rolling.. I got nervous and started a nervous laugh. I think I had people around me upset, they did not know I was nervous...I think I am use to the turbulence now..but then I have not had a really bad flight.. YET!!!

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  12. Honey, did I ever tell you at the airports how proud I am of you and how happy I am that you actually dared stepping on a plane for me? No??? Well, then it really is about time! I'm so proud of you and I'm the happiest woman in the world you did it!! Because otherwise there would have been no engagement or wedding ;) I love you! I'm still smiling at your description. I'm sure you'll become a pro soon. I must admit - I fall asleep the second I sit down and I wake up when we're landed.....other than drinking huge amounts of water I usually have no memory of the in-flight experience LOL I don't like turbulences though - cause they wake me up ;D

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    Replies
    1. Ah, this is the comment I was looking for. Last time I flew was in a friend's Cessna to take aerial photos, and before that, a Boeing 707. Yes, I am old. But you are young and highly motivated, Keith. I mean, think about it. And, if all else fails, doctors are pretty good about prescribing a little Lorazepam ahead of flights. Thinking about who is waiting for you also helps immensely.

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  13. wow. surprised you hadn't flown before you took that great leap across the ocean to meet your love! :)

    i've never worried about flying. if it is my/our time, then my worrying won't change anything.

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  14. I have only been a plane a few times, but it doesn't bother me. The airports are what bother me. I hate being rushed and having to go through security and trying to get through the crowd. When I traveled last May for work, I had a layover in NY and it was HORRIBLE. I had a 2 hour layover, but my one flight landed in one building and I had to be shuttled to another building...and GO BACK THROUGH SECURITY! Ugh! I almost missed my connecting flight.

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  15. Hello Keith,

    Well, we are very impressed about what you have endured for love!

    We were never good about flying but, several long haul flights later,one does get more and more used to the experience. And, of course, there is the most wonderful feeling when one arrives. Only bettered by being embraced in the arms of your loved one.

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  16. I have gotten better about flying than I used to be.

    But the worst flight I've ever been on was flying home from St. Lucia by way of Puerto Rico in a thunderstorm. I was absolutely convinced I was going to die. My husband kept patting my hand and telling me the turbulence was normal. (It was only much later that he admitted he was lying. It was the worst he'd every experienced!)

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  17. I've only flown a few times. I'm not a big fan of flying, and would rather drive, but sometimes it's necessary.

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  18. Oh Keith you actually look pretty calm. My very first flight was on to Vancouver, I was excited BUT scared to death the thought of throwing up on the person next to me was a real possibility most of the way. I was 55 and needed or to get to my brother. Yes it does get easier, I have done it four times, I have never flown over the ocean....BUT would have done it for a true love like you have found there. Luckily mine was only couple miles away. Hug B

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  19. Flow twice in my life, was a tad nervous at first. But that went away. I mean if it plummet's us to our doom, at least we'll go out with a bang ad not feel it, hopefully lol

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  20. I have only been on a plane twice in my life. I was in my 20's, and I went to New Brunswick and back...which was just a 45 minute flight, and the second time was in a small private plane by a friend who had a pilot's license. I am not fond of flying at all.

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  21. I love flying but I admittedly get a little nervous at one point or another during a flight. The whole concept just goes against human nature, so it's natural for your body to react with anxiety. I try to just stick to mind over matter.

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  22. I am not scared of flying , I enjoy it a lot :)

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  23. I haven't travelled by air yet. But I don't think flying would be half as terrifying as drowning, at least in my case. :)

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  24. Dick and I are both private pilots, so yes, we love to fly, but are not fond of bad turbulence. I was only scared once when we had ice forming on our struts while flying over some mountains. We were unable to land at our local airport and had to return back over those mountains to an airport further south and thus warmer. Not fun, but we were in contact with the control tower the whole time. And landed safely.

    Big hugs, honey...

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  25. I am a fairly good flyer, but lately I've noticed I'm more anxious than I used to be. that may have nothing to do with flying, however, LOL. Glad your anxiety is lessening the more you fly.

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  26. I haven't flown for over 10yrs. I'm due to this year but I'm nervous

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  27. this made me smile, you poor soul, I am glad you made it thru that first time and many to follow. I was a flight attendant for years and loved seeing the fear and then trying with much compassion to help them understand all was well. (smile) You are awesome!

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  28. The older I get Keith , the more nervous I become
    I am due to fly to Australia alone toaster this year
    I will be ( as we say in Wales) shit scared

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  29. I wanted to be a flyer, but I was not. Birds are terrific flyers, leave it all to them.

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  30. I've never been up in a plane Keith and have no intention of doing so. You are very brave.

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  31. I'm a good flyer for the most part. Hubby isn't. He hates getting on a plane.

    I've had two frightening experiences. The first was flying out of John Wayne airport. Here's the link as to why: John Wayne Airport Named Among 10 Scariest.

    The second was going over the Rocky mountains. Lots of turbulence and I swear the plane dropped a mile. I'm sure it didn't but it scared me half to death.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  32. I'm not a fan of flying but especially in winter. I'm more afraid of freezing to death should we crash, lol. I have Renauld Syndrom and my fingers get so very painful in the cold. The pain comes very quickly and is about the same measure of pain as if someone would smash my fingers with a hammer. It's that painful, so no wonder my fear of finding myself in the cold is strong. The pain is unbearable and I need to get them in hot water right away to stop the pain.

    I'm flying to my daughter on the 7th of February late at night and I'm hoping for a clear night. The last time it was snowing part of the way and cloudy. with periodic clearing here and there and I passed the time playing freeCell on my laptop.

    You're an honest man to admit to your fear of flying. Love is stronger than fear and love conquers all.

    Hugs,
    JB



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  33. I can't fly or float or ride in the back seat of a car.. i get motion sickness, and not slightly but really bad.. in 1984 i flew in a 4 seater piper cub, just 30 minutes up and 30 back... when we started to land in Sarasota the tower said holding patter at whatever for 30 minutes to the pilot. he said request emergency landing, i have a very sick passenger.. they had to carry me to a sofa and it was half and hour before i could walk.. boats do me the same way. i also have no sense of balance, like not riding a bike, or skating. i fall down. i think that might be what causes the sickness. same in back of a car on a trip. ..

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  34. I wish you find peace in it!

    For me, flying has been normal, all through.

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  35. Although looking at the clouds and sky-scape in general, and the world below from thirty-thousand feet up can be fascinating, I do not like flying. I could be glib and say it wears my arms out ;p, however, it is more the way I am put together; those things aren't built for someone who's almost six-six.

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  36. I've been flying since I was a whipper-snapper and was always fine, but a few years ago I started to get a bit anxious. I'm fine again now, but I do have a big sense of relief once we've safely landed. Imagine if you hadn't found Beate? You might have never flown. Now the world's your oyster. Time to explore!

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  37. I've done a lot of flying. Planes I've been on have even been struck by lightening. It's so weird. It hits on one side and goes out the other. Nothing bad happens, though. It's just really weird when you experience it. (I'm still not a fan of turbulence. I've had some pretty scary landings, where I wondered if the plane was even going to come close to the runway!)

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  38. I've done a lot of flying. Planes I've been on have even been struck by lightening. It's so weird. It hits on one side and goes out the other. Nothing bad happens, though. It's just really weird when you experience it. (I'm still not a fan of turbulence. I've had some pretty scary landings, where I wondered if the plane was even going to come close to the runway!)

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  39. I love your honesty and humor in this post Keith. Congratulations on working through your fear and bringing light to it by sharing it.
    I like flying, I like the expansion it affords me. I visualize arriving safely and enjoying myself. Why hurt myself by imagining bad things happening? Hugs and thanks for being here!

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  40. I am clutching the armrests every time it shakes and shudders. The kids don't understand it at all.

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  41. OK, I am laughing here. You do have a way with words on the story you just told here. That must have been so scary for you, but I think all in all, you handled it well. I'm not really a fan of flying, not just because I'm way up there in nowhere land, but for other reasons - the long lines and check-in and how incredibly crowded the plains are, especially when sitting right next to someone who coughs, sneezes, or is weird haha. When I felt turbulence for the first time, it was a little scary, but like you said, each time it gets easier.

    Great story, Keith. I loved every bit of it.

    ~Sheri

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  42. The first time I flew was to New York and was the day after Concorde crashed. Nothing calms your nerves like walking around a terminal (whoever thought of that name deserves a severe slap) seeing newspapers covered with photos of a crashed plane.

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  43. I enjoyed reading this. I have been flying since I was about 23 - as a passenger that is. There are aspects I love about flying and aspects I dislike. I don't like turbulents either. I have never had a scary experience when flying though, unless you consider a very inebriated man who sat on the opposite side of the aisle from me. He was paralytic and thankfully fell asleep soon into the flight. He snored loudly but I had my earphones, I turned up the volume and that took care of that for the next 8 hrs. My last view of this man was of the flight attendants trying to wake him up as everyone was leaving the plane.

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  44. I like flying, minus the cramped legs, but I get really bad motion sickness and my ears don't pop for a very long time and so is super painful. I have take sudefed and dramamine to make sure it's a good ride. Other than that, I love it, just not the terminal.

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  45. I have never flown in my life and don't plan to ever fly in the future. I am so lucky that all of our loved ones live close. But I can see how the more you fly, the more you get used to it and less afraid. I am very glad you are alive, too!

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  46. Just remember, *somebody* has to make up the statistics, right? I figure that death by flying would be better than wasting away in a gulag. ;-). The only thing that bothers me about flying is when I'm in the air and remembering standing in my back yard, looking at a little dot in the sky. That kinda creeps me out. But congratulations on your safe flight!

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  47. I hate to fly and I will do it now only in case of an emergency!!

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  48. haha, i love flying! and i'm sure it does get easier with time for those who aren't too comfortable with flying:-) x

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  49. I am a horrible flier, but more because I get motion sickness - I'm not a nervous person on a plane usually. Typically I make if I make it a full 10 minutes into the flight before I NEED to curl up into a ball to make sure I don't hork all over my fellow passengers I consider it a win. The Mister has actually had flight attendants interrupt his movie to ask him if I'm okay. Good times!

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  50. Sounds like you've made the adjustment to flying -- congrats! I'm a pretty good flyer and luckily have never had a bad flight -- long may that continue. But I refuse to watch movies or that TV show "MayDay" about airplane disasters. Ignorance is bliss.

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  51. You look very cool and composed on your selfie. I've flown a few times and quite enjoyed the experience. The only thing I'm not keen on is when my ears go pop just as the plane takes off.

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  52. I don't fear flying but I hate it! I have been stuck on the tarmac for hours in the summer till I am about ready to explode or packed in like sardines. If I have the time and the option is available, I'll take t he train. That said, I still fly and have had several scary events but the roughest flights had to be in a 30 seater into St. George Utah in the summer with the thermals pushing the plane around like a toy. Like Molly says, you look pretty cool in your selfie. Must be the deodorant :)

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  53. No, I am not good with flying. If I ever make it across the ocean, it will have to be on the Queen Elizabeth! Nice selfie!

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  54. Had to laugh at your rational you and your irrational you, because I'm the same way when I fly. In fact, if I never have to fly again, that would be perfectly fine with me. I always keep an eye on the flight attendants. If they seem to be acting normally, then I think everything is going okay, LOL, but they are probably trained to act normal no matter what :) One time flying from Santa Fe to San Diego, we were up in the air and I knew it wasn't time to start descending. I felt us going down just mildly, not much to make a difference but aroused by interest. Sure enough, about 2-3 minutes later the pilot said we were heading into Phoenix because there was a mechanical problem with the plane (can't remember what it was, nothing serious, but they didn't want to take chances). I was never so glad to land, LOL. Managed to get back on a different plane to return home, but it was hard to do so. Needless to say, I do not like to fly :)

    betty

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  55. Sorry, but I giggled at this post! I LOVE flying! It's so cool that a million, trillion pound thing can fly! And I'm on it! Going to a cool place to explore! Ha! :) but, I have never experienced turbulence. A rough landing and spilled pop on my lap. But hey, a new adventure awaits. And I'm all about new adventures.
    Cheri

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  56. I'm laughing so much with your rational/irrational vision that I'm not sure I can answer.
    I'm a great flyer. And you know why? I believe I "leave" my body throughout the flight. No, really. Sounds absurd but something shuts off and only becomes on when the wheels touch the ground. I'm a basket case before flying. Fretting about having all family in the same flight and thinking maybe we should have taken 50/50 on different planes, then that I should travel alone (since I'm the only one pressenting the immediate death) and the others can fly together. I behave with Hollywood aplomb during the burocracies and entering the plane. I put the seatbelt and I have no idea what happens the rest of the time.
    Once we were returning from Barcelona and my mind was ready to enter the body (it was already time to land) when pilot announced that we were still in Barcelona because bad weather prevented us from advancing. If I could I'd have opened the door and walked all the way to Lisbon. Longest flight ever as the mind stayed conscious that we were all going to die.
    No trust at all. And mind you I'm a faithful one. I really believe that things happen for a reason. Just don't test me there.
    Lovely Selfie!
    Ah, about selfies. I always think "oh well they might find the mobile and see the last pic I took. So glad I look happy and my hair is perfect as God Knows how many times that picture will be printed worldwide" ahaahahahahah
    Keep rational and irrational as Great as you are and have fun! On air and by land... Europe has Countries that are worth the stress and bothersome ;)
    Teresa

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  57. I am a woeful flyer. Little planes are much, much worse than the big ones but I am not a fan. And, to add insult to injury, I get air-sick too.

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  58. Oh Keith, I felt your anxiety from here and realize now just how much you loved Beate to have made that trip. I once was learning to get my pilots license in a small plane. Oddly small planes don't scare me. Its the big jobbers that terrify me. So glad it is getting better for you.

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  59. I began flying at an early age as my dad was in the air force..prop jobs, all the way up to the big boys. I threw up each and every time. That's the number one reason I won't fly. I won't tell you the other reasons. You are doing well to fly that many times. Congrats!!

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  60. still always a bit scared! distraction helps.

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  61. I have never liked flying. I used to do quite a lot of it for work and to visit my family in Germany, but never really got used to it. I still hate it and do as little as I possibly can.

    Give me a nice train anytime or even a car, although there are far more car accidents than any other kind.

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  62. I love your first flying experience! I was very young the first time that I flew.. I remember being horribly afraid, and my dad kept assuring me that there was nothing to be afraid of, that flying was indeed a safe way to travel.
    When we took off, I was quickly filled with excitement and all my fear disappeared and was replaced with wonder. I was floating in the air! What a peculiar experience for an 8 year old!
    When I looked over at my dad across the aisle to inform him that I was enjoying myself on the plane ride, I saw him with his head in his hands, wrenched forward. It turns out that he was deathly afraid of flying, and he was only acting fearless in the hopes to instill the fearlessness in me.
    He was a wonderful father.

    Thank you for posting this and reminding me of this beautiful memory.

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  63. As I get older, I fear it more. Experience had not been a kind aid

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  64. cute post! I don't mind flying but I DO MIND sitting in airports all day long! flight is amazing!

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  65. I hate flying, but it is not the flight itself, it is the airport experience.

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  66. A grand story and I think many people can relate to your apprehension. I don't fly much anymore but I was always on the "go" when I was younger. I am afraid of heights but I have never been afraid of flying.
    Good luck on all your flights as I'm sure there will be many. lol

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  67. I am phobic about heights. I can't go up the 3rd ring of the ladder until I feel my heart pound and the ground come up towards me like some Hitchcock film. I really become a raving loon when going across a bridge and I have to sing the meow, meow song to keep me from turning into some freak nut job (not that meowing like in the commercial makes me look sane). Flying, you would think would make me go to the stratussphere of loo-loo land but it doesn't. I don't mind flying at all and have been on planes many times. I think because the plane is large and everything looks unreal that i don't think of the possibility of hurdling towards my death in 5 min from an altitude of 35,000 ft (ok that does sound scary). My one dear friend is on a plane at least 20 times each year and he is still aok:) If I want to experience culture, art and anything to do with Europe I have to fly as the wonderful days of going on a ship is no longer the most affordable. Enjoy, sit back and meow yourself to contentment

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  68. I just hate the process. I don't like checking in my luggage, finding the spot where I'm supposed to be, switching flights, and finding my luggage again. That to be is the nerve racking part. The flight its self I'm ok with.

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  69. I'm an iffy flyer. I've had one not-so-great flying experience going through a bad thunderstorm during a landing. Not a fan of turbulence either.

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  70. Never felt like peeing my pants while flying. Sure on that one

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  71. I've never had a frightening experience on a plane. The first time I flew, I think I was 13. My dad sat down with me and drew pictures that taught me what keeps a plane up (he had been a pilot). Now I've flown so much it bores me. I'm glad you made it through your first flight. Congratulations. I wish you'd had my dad to prepare you.

    Love,
    Janie

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  72. I'm the flyer with the calm facade masking the inner ERMERGERSH WE'RE GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take-off, landing, and the turbulence are what gets me, and every time I board a plane, I almost convince myself that this is going to be "that flight" on which something dreadful happens, and I regret ever planning that trip. But of course, I keep going back for more. :)

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  73. I hope you're getting frequent flyer points. Those babies add up fast! :) I'm not scared to fly. Hubby didn't used to be, but these days he's very cautious. Makes it harder to get him all-in on a trip. I understand his concerns...but I do like to go go go !! :)

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  74. I'm a calm flyer. It's being crammed in with a lot of other people that bothers me a little. But I usually sleep the trip, I can sleep almost anywhere.

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  75. Hi Keith...welcome to the world of ugh flying...I am an OK flyer but my husband is not. Even then I rejoice when we are back on earth. : ) Happy 2015!

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  76. I love to fly. I also had a pilot's license at one time. The thing I hate is being crammed into a seat where your face is stuffed into the back of the seat in front of you.

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  77. I've flown quite a few times. I have some worries, but not enough to stop me from flying. It's always a pleasure to get back on the ground.

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  78. I'm very calm when I fly because I try not to think too much about it. If you allow your imagination to take over, you can get yourself into trouble with all the possible disasters you'll create in your mind! I did experience a horrible case of turbulence on one flight many years ago (first and only), and it is something I'll never forget. It was dark and stormy, and the plane shook like it was going to explode. I thought for a moment or two that this might be it. Game over. But here I am writing about it, so all is well :) I usually sleep on flights, which makes it that much easier.

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  79. I flew for the first time this summer from Lexington, Ky to Myrtle Beach, SC. We were seated over the landing gear and I did not know that. When they pulled the landing gear up, I whispered loudly "What is that?! Are we dying?!". When we flew back home, we were delayed because the plane that was originally supposed to bring us back to Kentucky had a broken thing that brings the oxygen into the plane. Hurricane Arthur was right on top of Myrtle Beach as we flew out and again, I was sure we were going to die. Not the best experience for a first time flier!

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  80. You're irrational side is a hoot. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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  81. Bad flyer ... but I keep it inside ... lol :)

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  82. i dont love flying, as I get motion sickness, a little issue with the inner ear...but acupressure bands on my wrists work great...better than gravol because I get there and I'm not drugged. I do love the convenience of getting somewhere fast, so fly when I want to do that. It takes us 2 days to drive to my daughters in Nova Scotia, and only 1 hour and 20 minutes by plane from takeoff to landing. I actually like going by train when I can.

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  83. What bothers me most about flying is knowing how good it used to be. As a college student I flew half-fare, never had problems getting a ride, always had food on board.
    A few years back I did have one unusual experience in the Rome airport. Because of a delay in London, I arrived in Rome too late to make a connection and spent the night at the airport. At a certain time, they locked the gates to keep people from wandering between the various gates or sections. I spent the night lying across four plastic seats with my baggage as close as possible on the floor. Sitting across from me was a man in a long black trench coat and an eye patch--an eye patch made out of duct tape. He spent the night staring at my luggage and I spent the night staring at him. But isn't that why we travel in the first place? New experiences.

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  84. I've flown a lot. I had a bad experience in Newark back in the 80a when low level winds made the aircraft dip and sway dramatically as it was about to touch down.
    I had to make a pit stop to clean my britches before we collected our bags.
    R

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  85. I flew from Denver back to Indiana back in the 70s and I was scared to death the whole flight-lol never flew again

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  86. I love flying. It's my preferred method of travel. :)

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  87. I haven't been in an airplane before. I would be nervous if I ever get to

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  88. I have my share of turbulent flights, missed flights, early morning, late evening & specially travelling half way around the world to visit family ~ What I do is eat gum or soft candy to lessen the impact of air on my ears & I get engrossed in the book or tv ~ You begin to relax more and more each time you travel ~ Thanks for sharing Keith ~ Frankly no sign of anxiety on your face, just pure excitement ~

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  89. I've flown quite a few times and I am a good flyer and just don't seem to worry about it at all. I love the take off and landing. The actual flying is kind of boring.

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  90. Oh my gosh Keith... I laughed hysterically... not at you... but because I had the same experience... I flew to Oregon from Halifax Nova Scotia in 1995 and I decided it was best that I just sleep... but NO... my oldest daughter thought it would be better to wake me up and tell me about the turbulence... I was like REALLY? I would rather be asleep if the plane falls out of the sky... lol

    I did overcome my fear quite a bit when I had to travel by plane each week going back and forth to Toronto when I was trained for my current job... it became second nature... it has been a while though and I still would not like turbulence... just let me sleep... haha

    Thanks for sharing this and giving me and others a good laugh plus it reminded me of my own funny reaction to flying :)

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  91. My very first experience my ears did not handle the decompression of the cabin very well and the whole time my ears were killing me!
    The second time I flew there was lots of turbulence and I felt queasy. It was not a very big plan and I asked the stewardess where the bathroom was. She walked me to the back of the plane and opened a door. Inside was some luggage and a toilet next to a door with a red handle. "Whatever you do, do NOT push on that handle or that door will pop open." I looked and felt like I would probably fall against it will all the turbulence and fall out! nope! Returned to my seat with a barf bag and praying for nothing to happen!!!

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  92. I HATE turbulence! I really do. I was on a white knuckle flight going into Albuquerque with my daughter and 3 year old granddaughter when we encountered the worst turbulence ever. Everybody was scared. Everybody. Then all of a sudden my granddaughter yelled out, "Wheeeee! again!" Everybody burst out laughing. When we landed people came by and laughingly told us how great it was that our KC broke the tension like she did.

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  93. Flying can be fun - but it often is not!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  94. Flying is fun when one is young with no thoughts of disasters. It is only when one gets older that the anxiety builds up. Flying to me will always mean anxious moments. Nicely Keith!

    Hank

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  95. Hi O. E., I finished this post with a smile. I don't fly that much anymore but used to fly often. Getting accustomed to turbulence does take some time. It does seem like lately there has been more in the news about severe occurrences. I’m going to guess that things are not really getting worse but that just a lot more people are flying and there is a lot more access to media for reporting events. Anyway, I enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing! John

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  96. The only time I was super scared on a plane was on a quick flight from Pittsburgh to Cleveland. Pretty sure the engine of that particular plane came from a lawnmower.

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  97. Wow that was the first time you flew to meet Beate ~ love does conquer all fears! :)

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  98. I feel you. I am usually not scared of flying (although I wonder how the planes stay up there) but one time I had a really horrible flight with such bad turbulence that I just wanted it to end. I felt so terrible.

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  99. I'm glad it's getting better each time. :) I'm not a fan of flying. I have flown twice and that was enough. :)

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  100. As the saying says, "Love conquers all." And love is a good reason for finding a way to deal with that 'fear of flying.' As for myself, I am not a great fan of flying. Actually, I once flew on a short turbulent flight and for many years after that refused to set foot in another plane; but I did (for a reason not dissimilar to yours - smiles) and I continued to fly after that. I don't think I will ever grow to like it, butI now tolerate it better & talk to myself about how safe it is!

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  101. Haha! Love this story!! I totally get it. I don't fly very often and definitely get nervous. I've found that it's gotten better over time...until I'm sitting on the plane...silently panicking. lol

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  102. I've flown quite a bit in my life both nationally and internationally. Fear hasn't been a big issue with me in it...maybe it's like anything where if you do it enough a certain sense of ease sets in.

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  103. Kudos to you, Keith, for not letting fear of flying stop you from getting on a place! And look what happened ~ you married Beate! I've had some scary experiences on planes, and for quite a few years I was afraid to fly. I still flew, because I have an insatiable desire to explore the world. I've been on numerous flights when the flight attendants have had to stop service and strap in because of severe turbulence. On one flight from Denver to Calgary this happened, and I was obviously scared. It turned out that the passenger next to me was an naval structural engineer who designed planes. He told me that the turbulence was nothing and that the plane could take a lot more. We were on United flight, and the engineer also told me that I could get earphones and tune into channel 9 and listen to the pilots communicating. I did that on later flights and that really helped. I don't know if United still has the service, but it was awesome. Still later, I was on another turbulent flight, and I felt a calming voice inside me that assured me that I would never die in a plane crash. I truly think that voice was God. Now I love to fly! I try to get a window seat so I can watch our beautiful Earth below. I hope you and Beate share lots of wonderful future flights!

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  104. I ever flown so far, but wish I fly at least once to experience how it was. You sound funny :)

    Cheers!

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  105. ha. its been a while since i have flown...ironically i was in the air on 9/11...which is a whole different story....but i am usually pretty good...i have had a few that were nail biters....

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  106. Checking out your blog on Sherry Ellis's recommendation :)

    I'm probably in your age bracket by the sounds of it and I flew for the first time 23 years ago. It was positive experience, even though I was pinching myself to believe it was real. My next flight was 21 years later (i.e. 2 years ago) and my third will be later this year. You've flown 7 times since your first flight last April??? All I can say is, wow - good for you! Are you a business traveler or is this all for recreation?

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  107. Oh, I can so relate to this. I have flown my entire life. My parents both moved across the country from their hometowns so I've been flying since I was a tiny girl and have never stopped. And even with that, flying is terrifying to me. I am okay on a smooth flight but even though I know what it is and that it's fine, turbulence so so unsettling to me. Ugh. I hate it. I have to just repeat mantras in my head! I'm sure it was even more scary for you your first time.

    With that said, flying also opens up the world so I'll never let it stop me from doing it but I so feel you! Congrats to you on your new air freedom!

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  108. My first flight was to Germany too! I was 17. I was so terrified of my first flight being over the flippin ocean. A little girl next to me who apparently flew all the time because her dad lived in the US & her mom lived in Iceland (where our layover was) calmed me down actually by having me help her with her homework haha.

    Flying is no big deal to me now. I moved down to Texas after college & am originally from MN so I get on a plane at least 4 times a year.

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  109. I have well over 1,000 hours flying in the Navy, so I guess that means I'm okay with it. In fact, I usually preferred flying military aircraft than civilian. Not only do I avoid TSA, I can sleep on the floor.
    My most harrowing experience? When my family and I were returning to Iceland on Iceland Air (okay, not a very creative name). The winds were incredible and that airplane was all over the sky. Just before we touched down, we were sideways to the runway. I was a little nervous until I realized Iceland Air pilots were used to the weather.
    They still wouldn't let me sleep on the floor, though.

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  110. I'm glad to hear you're more used to flying now :)! Even though flying is the safest way to travel, I think it is by far the scariest because of the concept of it.

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  111. I LOATHE flying. I usually have at least one - ten panic attacks every time we had to fly. I envy people that don't think twice about getting on a plane. I do find extra strength though when I'm next to a child/teen... gotta put on the 'adult face' :)

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  112. I'm a good flyer, Keith. I feel me like a bird that flies in the sky.

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  113. I love flying, specially because it takes me to my destination in lesser time as compared to traveling by roads :-)

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  114. I hate flying. I can't fly. A couple years ago I paid almost $2,000 for a trip to Mexico. I got on the plane and had to get off. I was on anti-anxiety meds too. I can't do it. I have flown before and have had several (to me) bad experiences. UGH. I can't even see planes flying in the air without getting anxiety. It is my biggest fear, and the one I want to get rid of the most. It is really holding me back in life.

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  115. I have never flown. The fear of flying is pretty grand. When my youngest son flies to Scotland I pretty much am a nervous wreck for him. I just don't trust a man-made machine and putting my life in 2 men's hands (the pilots).

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  116. Hi Keith! Flying is definitely not my favorite thing but I've flown a lot so I usually don't get too stressed. Having dated and married a European myself, I have no choice but to fly to Europe fairly often. There are moments when I experience panicked thoughts but the rational me has to take over. Still, it is scary. Glad you've been managing okay with all of your trips!

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  117. Cool, I am in Germany. Being an Air Force spouse, I had to accept the fact that we will always be on the move. I'm a frequent flyer. But whenever there is turbulence, no matter how many times I've already experienced it, it scares me big time.

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  118. This post made me smile! I like your sense of humor. I have never flown before, but I *love* heights--the higher the better! So, I'm guessing I would probably enjoy flying as well. My sister once told me that the #1 U.S. ace in World War 1, Eddie Rickenbacker, was afraid of heights, so a person can be a great flyer (even pilot) without liking heights!

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    1. (P.S. But if I ever do fly, I hope the pilot isn't one of those who are afraid of heights!) :D

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  119. I was about ten when I first flew on a commercial flight. I thought it was so cool I was thinking about joining the Air Force. I didn't join, but got a pilot license when I was young and single. I got married and moved out to the boonies and never had any extra money ever again, so that was it for flying.

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  120. Let's put it this way, Keith...all my friends know that I am so, SO afraid of flying that I always say, "I'd rather be eaten by a grizzly bear than die in a plane crash." So, every time I fly and people text me I reply, "now, where's that grizzly bear!?" Haha. I hate everything about flying. And I will never get used to it. ;)

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  121. I'm a TERRIBLE flier. I can't handle the altitude change and since I can't chew gum anymore after some teeth issues/dental work... I get major headaches that don't go away until an hour after landing. I also get very anxious, but the headaches are the worst. If I stay in the U.S., I opt for Amtrak. I guess if I go overseas again and now since I'm over 21 (last time I went to Europe, I was 17 and went with my HS, so had to follow U.S. laws) I'll have some liquor. When I went to Memphis with my mom, mom wanted to fly. I drowned out my pain in whiskey and coke. :D

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  122. I haven't been on a plane since 1997. I also have a fear of heights, but in an enclosed space it's not so bad. I kind of like flying, although takeoffs make me a little leery.

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  123. I am ok as long as there is no turbulance. Now my problem is being patient on long flights. I think that is what ruined my first trip to Hawaii, that 4 hour flight about killed me. Now I have a friend wanting me to go to Paris, really! I would have to be medicated or people would beg for someone to shoot me at some point during the 10 hour flight.

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  124. I'm fine on a plane. I've flown many times but I will admit to diver bombers in stomach the first time I flew. I still am very aware of turbulence--I don't freak out--just aware. Glad you and Mr. Rational got a rapport going. :-)

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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  125. I'm a good flyer, but I am ALWAYS on planes (which I guess ups my chances for a crash, but whatever!). I don't like the small planes at all! But I will say, in a big jet, I kinda like the turbulence. It makes me sleep better! ha. This post gives me some insight into how my friend feels when she flies. A couple glasses of wine help her chill out before a flight.

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  126. I love flying and have taken many LOOOOOONG flights. Perhaps the longest of flight (Australia, India, Europe) but my dad hates it!! I can see both sides. Sleeping definitely helps... and wine!

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  127. I don't have a fear of flying...but I do have my wings clipped which makes it difficult.

    Seriously though...I get a little apprehensive during take-off and landing, but otherwise I'm. It's a few years since I have flown anywhere...and I have no plans in the near or far future...but one never knows what the future holds.

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  128. Hello Keith!:) I have flown dozens of times, but my husband always has bruises on his arm afterwards where I have clung on tightly on take off and landings.:) I don't like short or icey runways either.
    Keep well
    Best Regards.

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  129. Hi Keith! Love your blog! And I LOVE this post! I am a nervous flyer as well, and I've flown a number of times already. Turbulence is the one thing that scares me the most as well! Every time it happens, it seems like I'm the only one freaking out on the plane yet everyone else around me is calm. What gives?! You're a great writer -- looking forward to your future posts :)

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  130. It's wonderful when we can conquer our fears. I've only flown twice and both times I found it an interesting experience.

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  131. First time I flew was in my 20s. I had similar feelings to yours. :-) You get over them quite quickly.

    Greetings from London.

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  132. Exposure therapy my friend! I'm typically okay flying, but whenever I fall asleep, I wake up in a panic because for some reason, the first thing that pops in to my mind is "Oh, my god, there are miles between my feet and the ground!" Yes, I feel it in my feet. So weird. I'm so happy for you and I do agree, turbulence is the pits!

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  133. I remember my first flight.. awful! I ended up in Oslo airport throwing up for a good half hour! I've been up in the air so much ever since, I'm ok with it, but still, I have that feeling in the back of my mind.. is the wing gonna fall off, was de-icing done properly.. too much Air Crash Investigation!

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  134. PS--thank you for the wonderful comment about Huskies on my blog :-)

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  135. hmmm, I think my original post did not get posted--I complete relate to the dislike of turbulence, however, I first flew at 13, and the thrill of seeing everything out the window has stayed with me. That and the uninterrupted time to read as long as I want, is also such a gift, that I'll take a little turbulence ;-)

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  136. Have flown back and forth between Europe and North America many times ... enjoy flying ... as it would the easy ticket out of this stinking life ... remember one turbulence though ... we fell a few hundred feet ... it ea a terrible experience ... I remember clutching my seat neighbour's knee tightly ... and only realised this ... when he gently put my hand back onto my lap ... after it was all over ... bless him ... :)

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  137. I can think up more excuses not to go somewhere if I have to fly. I could have gone to Alaska, Germany, and England and didn't because I didn't want to fly. Call me chicken, call me crazy, I want my feet near the ground.

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  138. Loved reading about your experience. I always had the feeling people in the US were constantly flying. I have never been scared of flying but sometimes, while in the middle of a flight and looking down at the earth, the though that this mode of transportation is a bit unnatural, enters my head. Yet, people once thought driving in a car would harm their organs and passengers fainted. .. at 20m/h.
    Hope you get more relaxed with each flight, because I think there might be a few ahead of you.

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  139. Ah, turbulence. Just another day at the office for Denver flight crews, especially in the summer with thunderstorms. Honestly I find it more annoying than scary. Never had a truly scary experience, and both of my "emergencies" were on the ground or just after take off. I have never evacuated an aircraft except in the trainer. My daughter has been flying since before she was born and has traveled internationally several times. Since my husband is also in the airline industry, it's what we know as a family.
    Glad you did take that first flight. Look where you are now!

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  140. On principle I try to avoid flying (though obviously when travelling from USA to Germany, it is really the only sensible way to travel). I don't particularly enjoy flying either, but what I live is being up above the clouds and looking down on the world. I love that different perspective.

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  141. I don't find flying to be frightening except when there's turbulence. However, I really dislike having to fly because it's so tedious getting through the airport plus the seats are crowded and then you have to sit there cramped up for so long.

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  142. It's a mixed bag for me when flying. When I was younger, I had terrible problems with my ears, so flying was not helpful. I had a good decade or so of no problems with flying and I loved it. Then came the motion sickness in 2006, I have a tight regime that I stick to in order to prepare for flying. I find that flights East are worse than flights heading West. Very weird :). Glad that you are getting used to flying!

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  143. I was indifferent to flying until I got older. It's so odd how as years pass I get more scared of things. One time I was on a business trip back to LA (where I lived at the time) and experienced the most terrifying turbulence ever. Hate those!

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  144. I'm so glad you posted about this because I was wondering how it went for you that first time. It's such a long flight also. I was looking at flights to New Zealand the other day (13 hours in the air) and thought of your flight to Germany. I love flying and do not get nervous,....however I have never been in the air longer then a few hours at a time. I'm scared about the long oversea flights. I hope that when the day comes I can sleep most of the ride. hahaha Thanks for your comment on my blog the other day. I think of you often and love seeing all your beautiful instagram photos. :)

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  145. I love flying. :) But I've travelled with people, one in particularly, who were paralyzingly, horrifically afraid of it. Such a traumatic experience for them.

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