This week is a special one: My two pals Isa and André will marry. Life writes the most incredible, wonderful stories!
Both decided for getting married abroad. To be more precise: In Portugal (Algarve), at the Sea. When Isa asked me and Stephan to join them there, I said yes immediately. No matter if I am afraid of flying or not – I will be there, when those two special friends of mine tie the knot.
While I am writing those lines the two of them are already up in the air. Stephan and me will follow them soon and I am starting to get nervous.
My fear of flying started after a – let’s call it not so nice – flight to Cuba when I was still an adolescent. I never loved flying, but I was not really afraid of it. Then I didn’t fly for some years. It just didn’t happen. When I finally sat in a plane, 18 years old, on my way to Turkey to celebrate the end of school with friends (André was one of them) I only realized I was getting a panic attack when the plane started to move. Unfortunately, at this point it was a bit late to exit. My seatmate was an elderly lady who gave her very best to calm me down until we finally arrived. I don’t know how I get back from Turkey but afterwards I avoided flying – I was too afraid of my own fear.
Nevertheless, I still loved to travel: I went to Rome, Paris, London and Vienna by train. Also to Brussels and Prague and Amsterdam.
Then, 7 years after my last flight, my doctoral supervisor decided I had to fly to Nice for a conference. Luckily my friend and colleague Lars accompanied me. It was a remarkable journey: We lost our luggage and missed our connecting flight in Paris. In between all the chaos, Lars calmed me down by talking and holding my sweaty hands. Somehow we made it to Nice and back. It was totally worth all the drama!
Nice was a turning point: Together with Isa, I booked a flight to Barcelona. She was the perfect travel companion and soon realized, that the way to get me on board (and to cry only a little bit) was to talk to me and distract me. After Barcelona, we also flew to London and back. With every flight, I was slowly getting better in confronting my fear.
But then life went busy and time and money were tight. So, my last flight is already four years ago and my fear returned.
Lately, a friend of mine told me the most remarkable thing:
“I love the take-off. At this point you have no more control about what is happening. You just have to go with the flow and feel free.”
This sentence reminds me on the yogi-way of thinking. I am practicing yoga for years now but I am still not able to give up the control. Still it’s a daring thought and I will have it in mind when the plane will finally start to move on its way to Portugal.
Just in case this will not help, I bought an herbal calmative and Stephan resolved to tell me lots of interesting stories to distract me and to hold my sweaty hands.
Now I cannot await the journey to begin – as well as to be with Isa and André on this very special day.
I wish you a wonderful May week! Dare something :)!
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