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?