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As a Dutchie living in England and a lover of travelling, planes are like buses to me. I fly at least eight times a year; sometimes even more. This includes visiting my hometown in the Netherlands, going back to my home in Manchester and holidays.
And even with all these flights every year, I am still scared of boarding that plane. I get nervous before flights, clench my hands into the armrests during any sign of turbulence and the nerves won’t stop until the plane is back on solid ground.
It’s been getting slightly better though. It’s a slow process and I don’t know if I’ll ever get over my fears completely, but these are the things that help me.
The one thing I always do before and during a flight is distracting myself from the idea of being on a plane. Take off and the landing are the parts of the flight that scare me most, which is why I always listen to my favourite music as loud as possible while taking off and landing. During the flight, I try to read a book, watch a video or play a video game. This helps me ignore the fact that I’m actually in the air.
Turbulence is the thing that scares me most about flying. It feels horrible and makes my heart jump. Understanding why turbulence happens and knowing it doesn’t make your flight dangerous helps a lot with my fear. Flying is the safest way of travelling, but mass media likes to focus on plane crashes rather than car crashes.
Here are some handy websites to learn about what causes turbulence:
Think about the reward
Flying is such an amazing way of travelling, it’s relatively cheap (with the right airlines), it’s incredibly fast and it can take you literally anywhere in the world. My love of exploring the world, seeing my family and going back to my home in Manchester is definitely worth getting on that plane. Fear or no fear.
There will always be fears to overcome, but we shouldn’t let them keep us from doing the things we want to do!