Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fear of flying

This adventurer has a confession to make, and it seems completely ridiculous for someone who writes a travel blog, and styles herself a relatively fearless person.

I am afraid of flying.

I never used to be, mind you -- I grew up flying between our home in Boston, and my family in Arkansas and England.  As my mother might say, I've flown in more planes than most people have had hot meals (maybe).  But as I've gotten older, the fear has settled in.  I hate the feeling of walking onto the plane, the recycled plane air just seems to bring bad omens.  I hate when the doors close, and I hate all of the safety announcements -- my morbid mind runs over all the chilling possibilities.

I also have a love/hate relationship with traveling solo.  I love it, I recommend it, and I promise you will have too many amazing experiences to count if you open yourself up to the adventure of flying solo.  But there is something so LONELY to me about hugging my family of Boyf goodbye, and walking into the airport alone (I cannot handle having people come into the airport with me, no matter how many bags I have, because there is nothing worse than having your friends or family standing outside security while you go through the line.  It just feels as though you could change your mind and run back to them!).

Flying, for many people (ahem, me) is a necessary evil.  And I actually have a weird soft spot for airports (as in, I kind of adore them).  But rare is the flight where I don't pop a pill to sleep off the stress (no, I don't drink when I fly... not safe, kids, if you're taking sleeping pills!  Also, it can give me a vicious case of restless leg).

How do you feel about flying?  Are there any other scaredy-cats out there pretending to be brave (like...me)?  I wanted to be honest, because few things bother me more than bloggers who "style" themselves so much that they lose track of reality -- and this is a big part of my reality!  Fortunately, I have survived another day of stress (and, yes, a few tears...), and am now in Seattle!

PS -- one counterintuitive thing that has really helped me with my fear is reading this column by pilot Patrick Smith.  I've found that knowing more about how planes and the airline industry work is soothing.

(image via)


  1. Really interesting article Julia! It can be daunting traveling solo, I'm a big fan but I know exactly what you mean having to leave people behind.

    I like airports a lot too, they have a unique quality about them and love the way the light floods in through the glass when you're waiting with a coffee for an early flight. I'm looking forward to more of your articles!


  2. Plenty of things you can do about it... There are plenty of blogs, support forums, books, courses etc. for fearful flyers. For example, there's a list of such things here:



Copyright 2009-2015. Julia Hudson, The Epic Adventurer.
Smiley face
  • The Epic Adventurer
  • +