(Photo Details: Twenty-one year old Sydney in Paris)
Putting together all that information for my post yesterday about the frequent flyer miles totally shocked me. Not just because I hadn’t really realized how much free travel we’ve managed over the last six years. But also because that list didn’t even include the flights we did pay for like an all-inclusive trip to Cabo, two package deals to Hawaii, and a several other trips down to LA and to Vegas. I never would have guessed we went on that many trips!
The other thing I realized, is somewhere during this travel frenzy, I stopped hating flying.
My family didn’t fly much when I was a kid. In fact, I can only remember one flight in high-school when a friend of mine moved to Maui and I went with her family for a visit while they all settled in to their new house.
We had relatives in Texas—I think we must have flown a few times—but I only remember driving there and camping along the way.
I went on my first long flight alone when I was in college. Two of my friends were studying abroad and I went out to see one in Madrid and the other in Paris on my winter break. I do remember that I loved that flight. I sat next to a really nice woman that was traveling to Madrid on business. I enjoyed talking with her so much, and the trip made me feel really grown up, off on my own--flying to Europe.
Somewhere along the way in my adulthood though, I started to hate flying. Not because of the hassle—it didn’t used to be such a hassle. It was because I started to fear takeoffs and landings. And turbulence. I had to concentrate, without anyone talking to me, while the plane took off and landed. As if my concentration helped get that big machine off the ground.
I didn’t really realize it until my post yesterday that I am so much more comfortable with flying now. Maybe it’s because I fly more frequently than when I was working. I’ve just gotten used to it. I take it for granted that everything will be ok. I don’t even need to help the pilot take off and land anymore. Although I still do get very nervous during turbulence, which I don’t encounter very often.
In fact, the only part I hate about flying now is being required to take off my shoes to walk through security. I don’t mind the physical act of taking off my shoes. I mind the walking on that dirty floor without my shoes on. I think that phobia is a carryover from my childhood. My mother used to make me keep my shoes on when trying clothes on in dressing rooms. You didn’t know what kind of germs were on the floor from other people’s feet, she warned. But I guess this isn't a real thing if mothers everywhere aren't protesting the TSA shoe thing.
Even that hasn’t been so bad lately. The last several times I’ve flown, I’ve been allowed in the TSA “pre-clear” line, allowing me to keep both my shoes and jacket on.
Anyway, I was surprised to see how far I’ve come over the years. Not just physically traveling far, but conquering my fear of flying at the same time.
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