You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly!

3.02.2012

On the way home from our trip to Costa Rica, I remember experiencing a lot of emotions.

First, some embarrassment at how I was audibly laughing at the animated children's feature I previously had no interest in. That dragon was cute.

And second, how we were going through a lot of turbulence and I was completely sure we were about to drop out of the sky and plummet to our deaths. No one around me seemed concerned about this, but I was sure of it. I was probably sweating. 

I'd never previously been a nervous flyer. It just kind of hit me that we were gliding through the air in thousands of pounds of metal, with thousands of pounds of people and luggage, and we were bouncing about - and there was absolutely nothing that was comforting about that to me. I was just little me, in my little seat. With absolutely no control over the situation.

So what do you do with such a fear? 

Choose the profession which requires you to be on a plane at all times. Obviously.



There wasn't ever any hesitation about taking the job. It was a way to see the world and love people in the process. Turbulence, I would just have to get over.

On my flight down to training, I took every opportunity I had with the working flight attendants to ask them outrageous hypothetical disaster questions. 

"Have you ever been afraid of crashing?"

"Has anyone died on your flight?"

"What is the worst turbulence you've ever experienced?"

They looked at me with warm smiles that made it look like I'd asked them if they liked peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I imagine it just like when Carl and Russell meet for the first time. In this scenario, I was Russell.

Little did I know, in just a few short weeks I would be well-acquainted with all of the things that could go wrong. 

On one particular day in class, I remember we had to watch hours of interviews and video footage of plane crashes. It was sobering, and I definitely had thoughts of, "Oh, I'm sorry...why I am doing this again?"

BUT.

As crazy as it sounds, it completely removed my fear of flying. If something were to ever happen, we are all prepared to get everyone off the plane safely.

It is devastating and tragic when we hear of when something goes wrong, because it is not a common occurrence. Though people say it all the time, it's more likely that something would happen in your car than it would on a plane. And, there are thousands of people within the operation of the aviation industry that are meticulous in making safety a priority.

Turbulence? Can I say something sick? I kind of love it now. It makes me feel like I am on a ship. 

Obviously I don't want hot coffee to melt your face off or anything, but a little choppy air is kind of exciting to me.

If you're nervous about something, it's okay to ask questions! 

If you're going to ralph, just ask for a bag.

Take deep breaths.

Enjoy the view.



Are you a nervous flyer? Speak on it! 
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p.s.   the beginning

34 comments:

  1. Yesss!!! Within the past few years I've developed this crazy fear of flying. I used to love it! But then, something started to change. I think the logic of the whole thing kicks in, and suddenly I don't realize how the plane doesn't just drop out of the sky. The possibility of being on a plane over the ocean for 9 hours this summer already gives me anxiety, and I haven't even bought my ticket yet.

    The worst was when I was flying from Houston to KC on one of those smaller jets that seats 50 people or so. I took a window seat, knowing that calms me. There were some mechanical problems that delayed our takeoff, so I was already a little nervous. When I was finally seated in my window seat, and took my calming measures (headphones in--until they say no more, turn on the fan, look out the window), I was stopped dead in my tracks by a window shade that wouldn't lift. My anxiety mounted like crazy. I frantically texted my travel mates on the plane with terribly pathetic requests-- "Ummm, I know it's strange to ask, but could you possibly switch seats with me?" But to no avail, they had already turned off their portable electronic devices. I even contemplated calling you to talk me down from this anxiety ridden ledge. I was certain this was not going to end well. As it happens, the window was merely stuck, and fidgeting with it for the first 45 minutes of the flight was exactly what it needed. If it were up to me, this would be something checked before passengers boarded the flight.

    I'm not sure why it happens. Maybe with age comes a stronger affinity and love for your life and the people you share it with. Or recognizing how many experiences you'd miss out on, should something unspeakable happen. But there's nothing quite like it. And whenever we land, I am that much happier and thankful to be there.

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    1. Girl, you should have called me or texted me or something.

      I think the regional jets are the worst. The sounds are louder, and the turbulence tosses them about more than the bigger planes. I commute to New York on the smaller ones and I am glad I don't work those.

      "I'm not sure why it happens. Maybe with age comes a stronger affinity and love for your life and the people you share it with. Or recognizing how many experiences you'd miss out on, should something unspeakable happen. But there's nothing quite like it."

      Oh, I miss you. Let's phone date, soon.

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  2. I too have recently developed a fear of flying. Just reading this post made me a little nervous! My biggest fear is getting sick on the plane. I get so nervous on flights that I feel sick and it is awful! Do people often throw up on your flights? Any tips on how to make yourself not feel so sick? :)

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    1. Hahaha after I re-read it I thought, "maaaaaybe there wasn't enough comfort offered."

      People throw up a lot. Thankfully, I've not encountered very much of it and it's not as traumatic as I anticipated. Pretzels seriously do help. Someone once told me that ginger ale can cause projectile vomiting, so I'm a liiiittle weary about that.

      Sometimes if the temperature is too warm, it can even make me feel sick. If it's too warm, ask for them to cool it down. It makes a huge difference.

      It helps just to keep yourself entertained and distracted. Stay hydrated, too :)

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  3. Hiya! Just hopped over from Jenni's blog and am a new follower! Love this so much! I am not a nervous flyer, but do get a bit panicky during turbulence. I am originally from South Africa, but am currently living in London town and go home once a year. Every year, without fail, when we fly over the equator the plane just shudders for about 2 hours. It's usually at 1am in the morning too ... serious plane crash time. It really freaks me out.

    But, my brother is a pilot in Hong Kong and just knowing the training process he has gone through, makes me feel a lot better!

    Can't wait to read more on your blog!

    http://unpublishedworksofme.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hey girrrrl! Welcome!

      I am dying to go to South Africa AND London. I'm particularly embarrassed that I've still not been to London yet. The flight to Johannesburg is one of the longest flights we have, I think.

      Do you ever think about the pilot episode of Lost? Sometimes I do. It doesn't help...hahaha

      A pilot in Hong Kong? So cool. Every time I see all of the buttons and switches in the cockpit, I am completely enamored that anyone can remember what they are all for.

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  4. I think I feel more safer flying in a huge airplane than a tiny private plane... I don't know if they even makes sense. I cannot wait to read your stories!!! (:

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    1. No, that's so true. So many of the accidents you hear about are from the smaller private planes. I am not sure why that is - but I am right there with you. I am all about some big jets.

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  5. Like you, I would say that I used to be a lot worse. I still don't enjoy long flights (5+ hrs). Before I flew to Sweden I had surgery on my foot. A few days before flying I had a final post-op with my surgeon and he freaked out on me about my risk of blood clots. Safe to say I've never enjoyed flying as much since. However I do feel better knowing that I get up and stretch every hour or so. Also I was very impressed to see the BA had started screening a health awareness video at the beginning of their transatlantic flights.

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    1. I just had a passenger recently that was concerned about blood clots. It was the first I'd ever heard anything of it, so it's funny that you'd bring it up just a few days later! Is it just the elevation and cabin pressure that can cause them?

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  6. Oh my goodness! I just stumbled upon you blog and the first post I read is about flight fear. My last flight has made be have a huge fear of flying and it sucks! I used to love flying....you can read more about it here
    ( http://meandmyhoneylove.blogspot.com/2012/01/fears.html )

    but I'm so glad to find your blog.

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    1. One of my sisters had a similar experience to yours and she's a wreck when she flies. I think it helps to just keep flying, though. I know that sounds crazy, but it doesn't happen on every flight. Promise :)

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  7. My dad was a pilot before he retired, so I never had a fear of flying - if I did, I'd have to worry about my dad every time he went to work! Lately, I've noticed myself getting more nervous during flights and I really hope this doesn't progress into something ridiculous. I have no idea where it's coming from!

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    1. Having a pilot as your dad would make everything better. They are always SO calm. They even sound chipper most of the time. I sometimes think, "umm, are we flying on the same plane, here?"

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  8. Yes I am! I always think about how ridiculous it is to be in the air in an airplane!! But I do think It's fun. Cute blog :)

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    1. It's still bizarre that my office is technically an airplane. It's ridiculous but I am right there with you - it's pretty fun.

      And, thanks boo! Welcoooome!

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  9. Okay, first things firstly. I have a major crush on your blog. I actually used to think about being a flight attendant and I've always been curious about what that would be like! So there you go.

    Secondly, I love to fly. I've been riding on airplanes since I was about six months old and it never gets old to me. I used to get pretty sick on flights (especially the international ones). Now that I'm old enough to fly by myself, the novelty hasn't worn off because I'm always like, "I'm not old enough to get on this plane ALL. BY. MYSELF!" and so I feel like I'm doing something sneaky. Now that you've heard my life story, um...I have nothing else to say except that I am imagining you rubbing your hands together gleefully every time the seatbelt light comes on. Do you ever get to be the person who gets on the intercom and says, "Ladies and gentlemen, the captain has turned on the seatbelt sign because we are experiencing some turbulence..."?? That would be my favorite thing to do.

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    1. It's such an honor to be a blog crush. Just know I don't take it for granted.

      I think a lot of people are interested in it - and I always noticed that the blogs I've read about the lifestyle and job before are usually pretty negative. Just a lot of complaining about how annoying passengers are - and who wants to read that as a passenger? You feel me?

      And the flying experience you just described. That's totally me! I STILL have moments when I am flying up to New York for work that I feel stupid excited about being by myself.

      Ah, the seat belt sign. I'll admit, it drives me to crazy town when eight million people stand up to go to the bathroom right as we've pulled the cart out. But I get it. People have to pee.

      I mostly love giving kids little wings to pin on their clothes. They feel confident that they can fly the plane.

      Love the honesty of your blog. Very refreshing.

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  10. I'm absolutely convinced you have the best. If I wasn't married, I'm 99% sure I would be a flight attendant. I love the idea of travelling everywhere and meeting new people. HOWEVER, turbulence terrifies me! I'm not a nervous flyer at all. Except with lots of turbulence. But I think I'm more terrified of puking everywhere than crashing. Let's just say I've given some flight attendants the worst day of their lives :)But flying is one of my most favorite things. I love it.

    Btw, I second the comment above me. Major blog crush on you, girl.

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    1. Whoops! I meant to say you have the best job. Way to proofread.

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    2. Well, thanks girl! You're so sweet to me! I definitely enjoy this job. I don't ever want to sugar coat it as being perfect and glamorous. At times it is faaaar from it, but it's been my favorite one so far.

      Don't rule it out as a possibility - I know a lot of married people that do it ;)

      As long as you don't vomit ON me, or all over the plane, I promise it won't ruin our day.

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  11. Hi! I'm visiting because we're both featured on SOML today! I have to say, I'm super jealous and think you have the COOLEST job in the world. I honestly wanted to be a flight attendant for a long time, I was actually told that I was too short! Anyway, now i'll live vicariously through your stories, I can't wait to read more! I hope you have a good weekend!

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    1. Girl! Your blog is great. My grandparents lived in Daytona for a long time, so I have fond memories of it. AND, I'm half Spanish. Look at these common things we have! hahah

      One of my closest friends from training is tiny as can be and she's a great flight attendant. I say, try again! You just never know.

      Have a great weekennnd!

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  12. hey! I'm loving your blog, it's refreshing and fun :) My roommate is a flight attendant as well, she loves it! Anyways, i look forward to reading your blog and get to know you better, have a great weekend

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    1. Thanks, girl! I am sure your roommate has some little treasure stories you get to hear. I love dispelling the rumors that it's a glamorous job. It definitely has some perks I am very grateful for, but it can be out of control sometimes. Have a great week!

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  13. I found your blog over at Jenni's blog! I just had to read when I saw you are a flight attendant, because I love everything having to do with people's adventures and travels. I'm not a nervous flier, but that's because I've grilled my pilot husband with plenty of questions covering flight scenarios gone bad haha. I actually enjoy flying, but if I did hear a Catchphrase game beeping in the overhead that would make me squirm a bit. (:

    Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures!

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    1. You have a great thing going for you - the travel benefits of your hubs without having to be gone from home! I am sure you guys have some awesome stories. Is he super chill about it when you ask him about the scary things? I feel like pilots always are.

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    2. He's pretty understanding about the crazy questions I ask... and it's fun asking him about turbulence, because he always acts like they're just up there in the cockpit loving the bumpy ride, ha! I think that in order to be a pilot you must have a little bit of adrenaline junkie in you, right? ;)

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  14. I am terrified of flying. Like I have to take anti anxiety medication before I step on that big bird.
    I do think it's awesome that you faced your fears. And am totally loving your blog!

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    1. Thanks, boooo! I am so used to the sounds that every plane makes during every flight, I don't even think about it most of the time. I DO forget to drink enough water, though. That makes me feel all wonky and sick eventually. And it will never be not funny to call planes big birds. SO thanks for saying it.

      Welcome, welcome!

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  15. First off - I'm a new follower! I looove your blog - is it weird that I started from the beginning? I just loved reading your stories and looking at your pictures!
    I was born in Italy and traveled between there and the US quite a bit growing up (and roughly every other year now) - I have to admit that I love turbulence on the bigger planes, but on those smaller, regional jets it does cause me to get a bit nervous.
    Funny thing - I always find planes to be quite comforting. I think it's because when we would fly when we were young my Mom would actually create a "bed" on the floor for us with blankets and our stuffed animals and pillows. I remember loving to fly because I would get to stretch out and fall asleep. SO weird, right? But my mother swore it was the only way she could get us to sleep now. I realize nowadays that's probably highly frowned upon (if even legal) - but 20 years ago, I guess it was ok!?

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    1. GIRL! How am I just now seeing this? How am I just now responding? That's horrible. Sorry, booo!

      That is such a sweet memory. I have nice memories of flying when we were little also, but I think 9/11 changed everything that was fun about flying.

      I am so glad you started from the beginning! And honored. It's better to know how it all began, anyway.

      So happy to have you.

      And jealous that you used to live in Italy.

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  16. I have always wanted to ask flight attendants those same questions..so THANKS for answering them! :) I could never do what you do..but I'm glad to know there are awesome people like you who DO IT!

    Jenna

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    1. Thanks, girl! Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it makes me loooooseeee my mind. But overall, I like being able to share it with people :)

      Shallow side note: you have beautiful hair.

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