Something you may not know about me is that I HATE to fly. I am a very nervous flyer, but I have been getting better over time. This is something that happened in my mid-20s and came out of the blue. Prior to that, I loved to fly and I’ve been all over the United States, Canada and Europe. So what happened? I really can’t pinpoint a specific incident, just one day flying didn’t seem right. Then after a few very bumpy flights, I became terrified.
For our honeymoon in 2009, my wonderful husband obliged and we drove to Walt Disney World from our reception in New Jersey. It was a loooooong drive and after the trip he was straight with me and said that if I every want to go to Disney again, I have to get on a plane. Ugh. I didn’t enjoy the drive either, but that was not what I wanted to hear. I had already planned a trip for the following year, so now I was already getting nervous for the impending flight.
There is another aspect of travel that makes me anxious prior to the flight, which doesn’t help the cause, and that is packing and getting the house in order. I am one of those people that need to have all of the amenities from home with me when I’m on vacation, so I tend to pack A LOT and that can be very overwhelming. For my past few trips, I have created a detailed packing list (that I always find things to add to) and this has made me much calmer in the week before my trip. I know I’ll have everything and that everything I need to do (i.e. – note for the pet sitter, mani/pedi, take the trash out) will be taken care of.
I’ve been working hard to get over this fear of flying because it is really hindering my ability to do the things I want to do. I want to have the craic in Ireland again, I want to sip wine in Tuscany, I want to see my husband’s homeland of Albania and I want to visit Disneyland! So far, I’ve kept my flights to the east coast with 3 hours to Orlando from Hartford about the max. I’m currently on my 4th trip to Disney World (my happy place) since May 2011 and in November I finally got to visit my mom in South Carolina. After this trip it will be 14 flights in the past 9 months, which is pretty impressive for someone who wouldn’t get on a plane 2 years ago!
I’m finding that the more I fly, the better I’m getting at it. I have met some amazing friends in Florida that I look forward to seeing every time I visit and I now have this runDisney bug, so I want to make it down for all of the race weekends. The excitement of these things is starting to override my fears. In fact, today is the first day that I have flown alone in almost 10 years to make it down for Princess Weekend…a HUGE milestone for me!! My husband is my rock and knows how to calm me down when I’m nervous, so not having him here to talk to or to grab on to during turbulence was nerve-wracking leading up to this flight. But I did it!
I’ve conquered my fears and I am so proud of myself. It has made me feel better about my abilities and myself. It wasn’t the easiest flight and there were some times of major turbulence, particularly during takeoff, but I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths and thought about all the fun I was about to be having in a few short hours. Life is made up of uncomfortable moments and for me, this is a big one, but those uncomfortable moments can have big payoffs in the end. This is my happy ending…enjoying the Princess Half Marathon Weekend in my favorite place in the world with some of the best friends I could every hope for. If I can do this, I can totally rock the Princess Half Marathon this weekend…injured and all. Bring it!
Last but not least, I want to thank Barry for pushing me to take this trip solo and encouraging me everyday to face my fears. Best. Hubs. Ever.