3 Days to flight
Here come the nerves. And this is what I was waiting for to be honest, as now I can give you a real in depth idea of what I go through and how I cope with it. As I said some days will be good, others bad, and I feel like today has been one of my first bad days, but not terrible.
As I sit and flick through my passport, I realise that this will be my 15th trip to the USA, by the number of stamps I have. So why do the nerves keep coming back.
Is it the flying?
As I mentioned in an earlier post, there was a time I wanted to become a pilot. I was fascinated with Air travel, and planes. Check out my 7 Days to flight post for information on that. The look of them, the witchcraft method in which they fly Even though simple aerodynamics) and the speed of them.
How could you not find this fascinating to watch. Its basically a double decker bus with wings!
I don’t think it is the flying though. Due to my fascination in aircraft, I do generally want the experience, but its just that deep seated anxiety that keeps coming back.
Afraid of Heights?
Hell no. Heights have never really bothered me. Do I get nervous on a cliff edge or the edge of a roof? Yeah sure I do, but it isn’t me being afraid of heights. It’s just a natural reaction to what could be a dangerous situation. Once in the plane, I will usually have a window seat, and make sure I watch the take off and landing. I’m pretty nosy like that. I like looking out at the landscape too when cruising high up in the air.
I took this one out of the window on the way home from Las Vegas on a Virgin Atlantic plane. Amazing views. So nope, its not the height thing.
Is it being scared of dying?
It’s not this one either. I am happy with the life I have, and whilst I don’t want to die, I am at ease with my time being whenever it is. Be that on a plane, or in an old peoples home in 60 years time. This is what makes the anxiety feelings hard to bear, as I know its just chemicals, and nothing more.
A plane crash or act of terrorism maybe?
Again, if it happens it happens. Living in the western world, we have learned to not give in to terrorism, so it certainly isn’t that. The chances of a sinister act whilst possible, are extremely unlikely. Also a crash again, whilst possible, is unlikely. The facts do back up that flying is still the safest mass method of travel. Time and time again I hear how I am statistically more likely to have a car accident on the way to the airport. I am a statistics guy to, so this should calm me down, but it just doesn’t work for me.
So what is it then?
I think to be honest its a number of factors. Its the build up to the day. You don’t just get on a plane like a train or bus, it has to be carefully planned. Its the airport, the waiting around, bored, with not a lot to do. It’s the whole queuing system and standing around. Its the uncomfortable seats on the plane. Sorry Virgin Atlantic, but yours are the worse from the flights I have been on. Air New Zealand, you certainly come up on top in the seating area.
Lastly I think its control, or lack of. I don’t get to decide what time I go anywhere as its all scheduled. I can’t just get on the flight that’s 10 minutes later. I can’t decide what to eat as you have two options. I can’t even fly the plane. Yes, its very stupid I know, but when control affects you, you lose the ability to trust in the pilots training. Now I’m not a back seat flyer, I have never flown a commercial airline before, so wouldn’t know where to start. It’s just a control thing!
I think I would find flying a lot less stressful if it could be a spur of the moment decision, instead of months, or weeks at least of planning. But this isn’t reality.