My Fear of Flying (and Why I Do It Anyway)

never let your fear decide your fate

I love to travel and having been to Europe a dozen times or more, I’m no stranger to an airplane. But honestly, I’d take a two day road trip over getting on an airplane for just two hours.

Days before the trip, I feel the anxiety rising up while I talk myself off the ledge with these sensible thoughts:

  • Statistically speaking, I could fly every day for 14,000 YEARS without being in an accident. (source)
  • Turbulence is an uncomfortable nuisance but it’s totally normal. For all intents and purposes, a plane cannot be flipped upside-down, thrown into a tailspin, or otherwise flung from the sky by even the mightiest gust or air pocket. (source)
  • Those loud noises throughout the flight are normal. (source)

Fortunately most of my airline travel these days are with my husband. He racks up over 70,000 miles per year flying all over the country for work so he is used to every bump and loud sound. He graciously holds my sweaty hand on the bumpy descents while I am silently praying and trying to calm my rising blood pressure.

So why torture myself flying several times a year?

Because I will not let fear deprive me of passion. Travel is very high on my values list. I love new cultures, experiences, languages. I want my kids to see the world, literally.

Biking in Ecuador, sailing the Greek islands, skiing the Alps. Building houses in Africa and serving orphans in Romania. I will not miss those moments because of fear.

Because I will not instill my own fears in my kids. My babies are sponges. They react to my emotions and if they smell fear in me, they will be afraid.

My oldest loves to fly and takes the entire trip in stride. Honestly, watching her gives me strength. My youngest loves airplanes but doesn’t like the “bumpies”. I rub his back, read a book or sing a song and we ride it out together.

The more I fly, the easier it does not become. But Motherhood has made me brave. So I fly anyway.

What are you afraid of? How do you manage your fears, especially in front of your kids?

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