You know what? I hate flying! There’s no doubt about it.
While writing this, I am I don’t know how far up in the sky, and with take-off a few minutes ago I realised a plane is my least favourite place to be on Earth or above it. I don’t understand how someone can do this for a living!!! Being up here, at the edge of a panic attack, I started reflecting on the reasons why I feel this way.
Here are a few of them:
1. Planes are flying machines built by the human race. There is nothing natural about it! I know, I know, flying is one of the safest means of transportation, after (probably) Melbourne trams –have you seen how big and steady those trams are? But no matter what the statistics say, it’s not natural and I simply don’t like it!
2. The exit doors are misleading! If I’m in the middle of a panic attack, there is no such thing as “Panic? Exit this way”, noooo! There is no place to go, you are stuck up in the air for God knows how long with that little voice inside your head that says ‘You may die today, that little bump you just felt is the start of big turbulence’ or my favourite: ‘There is something wrong the left phalange (insert wink emoji)’.
3. No respect for personal space! Let’s put aside my irrational fear of flying and talk about how uncomfortable being in a plane is when you are flying economy, which is the 99% of us. Being in a plane is the worst for the following reasons:
- You are sitting on a chair that, if you belong to the curvy clan – like me! could very easily, be way too small for your butt.
- If you don’t have people on either side of you it’s your lucky day, otherwise, you will have to deal with the ‘who gets to rest the arm on the armrest battle’. Popular culture says the battle should be won by the person in the middle. But that is more a myth than a reality as it seems not many flyers know about it, at least not the ones I get next to me.
- What about the horrible reclining chairs??? My space has already been reduced to its minimum and you, selfish person in the front row, wants a piece of it? IT’S NOT FAIR! I mean, I’m writing a very important post here, this post is preventing me from going into a mental freak out and you want me to feel even more claustrophobic? Why would you need to recline the chair to the max in a 45min flight? Why? Why?
- Have you tried taking a dump in a plane’s toilet? My first time was a couple of months ago on a NZ – Chile – 14 hour flight. I couldn’t hold it anymore and although going against my most sacred rule while in planes, I went to the toilet and did a poo!!!!. OMG, I’ve never rushed my digestive process more than I did that time. My biggest fear: hitting turbulence with my pants down and my butt dirty! I felt so uneasy, not the right mental space for a proper poo. My second biggest fear: what if there is a problem with the flushing system. What would I do? Would I go out and ask the flight attendants for a plunger? hahaha I wonder if those toilets can actually get clogged. Let’s move on, away from this nasty image of my digestive process up in the air!
4. Finally, don’t get me started about the whole process one has to go through before getting to the plane. I hate going through the scanning machines. Every time I’m queuing, I feel like I’m in a race to see the fastest person who can take the laptops, iPads and iPhones out of the bag and onto the little trays, while also moving along so you don’t hold up everyone behind you! And of course I always get picked for the explosive testing after packing all my belongings back to the bag. I wonder if it’s my Colombian face!
For those out there who also experience anxiety when flying, this is what I normally do or avoid doing for a “pleasant flight”
- I was raised Catholic and praying brings peace to my mind. Believe me when I said that praying has achieved what no medicine has achieved in terms of anxiety. Praying is the only thing that “calms” me down during turbulence.
- When I’m flying, I stay away from drinks with caffeine. I’m anxious enough just with the idea of flying, I don’t need another stimulant.
- I always have different options for entertainment, and by different, I mean many options, as each thing helps me in a different way. I bring a physical book or two, my iPad to watch the in-flight entertaining system, Spotify playlist downloaded to my phone, a pen (in case I want to do the Sudoku in the airplane magazine) and finally my laptop!
I’m getting better at flying but I think I will always hate it! Do you love it or hate it? Let me know down in the comments!