Damn ! I too have aviophobia :o

This is quite strange. It’s not very often that you find someone who’s afraid of flying in aeroplanes and yet continues to do so, every time in fear. Well, I too am one among those who has somehow developed the fear with flying over the years. Honestly, it’s sickening and quite a pain to have such a feeling every time you fly.

So, how did it all start ? Well, I don’t know to be honest, I can only guess that it’s probably a result of me watching those documentaries on aircraft crash investigations and every time the plane takes a jolt or anything more than that(and I’ve been through mini free-falls on a couple of occasions) it does get quite frightening. You can sense the uncertainity throughout the aircraft. It’s right up there with one of the scariest feelings that I’ve ever had. Just imagine you’re trapped in an enclosure and the entire thing starts on a free-fall ! There’s no way out, nothing that you can do and you’re at the mercy of the almighty.

Despite all this, I travel in flights and quite frequently at that. It’s not something that like to do, but the amount of time that you save is just significant, and it’s time after all that you’re saving and that is always priceless. If I can save a day, I could probably spend it with my family and that is most definitely priceless !

Despite all that, it’s still not easy, anything but that. Every time the flight takes a jolt, you’re reminded of all the mishaps that have happened in the past century, damn ! the past century !! I’m almost always reminded of the Munich Air Disaster in 1958 involving the famous Manchester United team, the Air France disaster and more recently the Mangalore airport crash and the Malaysian Airline mishap. Your mind just tends to think along the lines that this is a ride that has gone all wrong !

Dennis Bergkamp sufferred from acute aviophobia
Dennis Bergkamp suffered from acute aviophobia

So, how is it then that I manage to travel in flights again and again ?  Believe me it’s not easy, there are people who would give up travelling in flights and it’s a thought that has crossed me more than once. The most famous example of such a person that I can recollect is undoubtedly  Dennis Bergkamp[1]. Probably the most gifted footballers of our generation. A Dutch and Arsenal FC legend. He was often the flying Dutchman on the field but not so the same when it came to flying in real life[2]. He was nicknamed the “Non-flying Dutchman”. So my point is, what I’m able to do is probably quite commendable, despite the fact that it’s something most people take for granted.

Here’s my tips and tricks for travelling through the fear and uncertainity :

  1. Try to convince yourself that there’s better life after death and prepare yourself for the heavenly abode.
  2. If that doesn’t work out, order some delicious food, which happens to be expensive onboard the flight. If you’re lucky enough, the flight would fly smoothly without the jolts and you can move your mind away from the distressing thoughts, atleast temporarily.
  3. Try sleep out the entire journey ! If this works, it’s a real bonus. Travelling is usually tiring and your body needs some sleep. Why not sleep while you travel ?
  4. You could also chant the holy name and on most of my flight journeys, you’d find me doing this. I’m not an atheist, but having said that I’m not someone who is very regular in his prayers, but flight travels are about only time that I really sincerely do my prayers. I can shamelessly admit that !

Anyways, if you too are affected by aviophobia, I suggest you read [3] instead of this blog post. Not sure if it helps a great deal but gives you an insight nevertheless.

People eagerly look forward to their travels with excitement and expectations. Obviously, it’s quite the opposite for me. Oh well, I do look forward to my next travel, which by the way happens to be tomorrow(from Pune to Kochi), except that I’m eager not so much to travel but to get it done and dusted with minimum fuss.  I just hope it’s a pleasant one. Fingers crossed 😀

Update : I’m slowly coming to terms with the reality that in addition to the fact that I suffer from aviophobia, I might also be facing cliethrophobia – The fear of being enclosed. This comes as little surprise really, as you are after all enclosed in an aeroplane and it constitutes to the uneasy feeling that I have every time I step on board an aircraft. Although this phobia of mine is probably not as bad as the one that I’ve just written about in this post.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Bergkamp
[2] http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football-bergkamp-admits-to-flying-phobia-1355776.html
[3] http://www.directline.com/travel-insurance/advice/fear-of-flying


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