September 26, 2011

Come Fly With Me.

Recently we returned from a ten day trip around Europe, visiting both of our extended families, traveling by air. I am truly a nervous flier, however as I am getting older, I have found a novel meaning in the saying  
"Life lived in fear is a life only half lived".
Thus I have decided that if I still want to see the world and visit our relatives who live spread all over, the only efficient way to do this is to fly.

Therefore facing my fear, I boarded a total of eight flights in those ten days, a true accomplishment for someone who until last year refused to fly altogether.
The recent experience of such a frequent flying consisted of a broad spectra of emotions -  anything from enjoyment and relaxation to becoming consumed by sheer terror and panic. I assure you that during the later I was not a pretty sight. Particularly during the flights that took off into cloudy skies, when turbulence shook the body of the plane upon a steep ascend through the uneven air, I had a very strong urge to scream. I think I literally tried to climb into the arms of my companion, chanting loudly (I have a short prayer that I whisper shout over and over again) and probably exhibiting a truly embarrassing behavior.

Nevertheless, I survived the flights and I am convinced that I will fly again.
Additionally, for the first time in a very long while have I enjoyed to actually be at an airport. Before, just my close proximity to one used to fill me with immense fear.

This time it brought on a certain kind of excitement and a sense of great expectations. Airports are certainly extremely exotic places. They are a manifestation and representation of the country in which they are situated, yet they are so very international simultaneously. Nowhere is there a larger concentration of so many nationalities in such a small space, interchanging so rapidly. Additionally, this must be one the most controlled, well organized and efficient workplaces in the world.

As we were enjoying a meal at one of Europe's busiest airports, I watched the various flights landing and taking off out of the large glass windows. Every minute a new plane took to the air, those sleek silver birds, defying gravity yet following simple laws of aerodynamics and physics, so effortlessly and with such an elegance. It simply made me realize what a safe way this is to travel indeed.

There is a certain atmosphere in an airport that is unique. One is surrounded by so many languages, faced by so many various people from every single corner of the world, all in a transit to new destinations. This location truly carries an imprint of the advances in technology and displays the speed with which we move forward today, all mixed with the basic human urge to explore.

As much as it holds a feel of movement and urgency, it is also nevertheless a place that is filled with love and affection. Upon our arrival to our final destination, as we were embraced by my parents, I momentarily recalled the opening scene to Love Actually and realized how fortunate I was, because I am loved. That love that I feel from my soul-mate and from my family has made me brave enough to face my worst fear and to finally give into life.

And I know that this love will keep me safe.
In the air as well as on the ground.


Elizabeth said...

Hurray for you!!!!

With eight flights in ten days over and done with, you can go anywhere you want to again. Isn't that a great gift!!!!

Enjoy your day without being in a airplane.

S. Susan Deborah said...

Congrats, Zuzana. I remember you telling us some time ago how you are scared to take flights. Bravo! you have conquered your fear. Life is all about taking that first step and then, we are victors. I'm sure life is opening up surprises for you. And now, looking forward to the posts of your visits to different places.

Joy always,

Becky said...

Defintely congrats.You sound like me but Im not thinking I will get over it lol.I dont like feeling that panic that you feel like you just NEED to get off that plane.That anxious feeling,its the worst.

Thanks for visiting today, its always nice seeing you.Have a beautiful new week!

A Bit of the Blarney said...

An inspiring post! My greatest fear is drowning and so there are no cruises in my future. Perhaps I should take your advise and just give into life! Have a grand day! Cathy

lilybets said...

I usually travel a lot,I'm so happy when I arrive to a foreign airport,but sad,very sad, when I return to fly away !.

Brian Miller said...

nice...i love Love movie...glad you had a great time on your trip and did not let fear get in the way and that you realise how loved you are...airports are fun b/c i love watching people...haha. the weekend was great!

Unknown said...

I flew the first time when I was 14. It was my Mom's first flight too. She was 55. She nearly broke my hand with squeezing as we walked across the tarmac to board. Calming her fear and then sharing her joy when she bravely looked out the window and started to enjoy the ride, chased away any chance at fear. I grew up and joined the Air Force. I learned all the things that could go wrong and for years I did not like to fly. I also learned all the ways they keep the bad things from happening and how many back up systems there are. Now I focus on the latter. Look at the statistics, it is safer to fly than to drive. My Sweet Husband loves to fly and he is the one who helped me to concentrate on the positive. Since I love to go places with him, flying isn't so bad.
Isn't love grand?
Glad to see you so happy!

Anonymous said...

Well done Zuzana, when you are afraid of flights, I can understand that it takes some courage and faith to do 8 ones in 10 days.
But here you discovered the true beauty of a place where cultures and languages are mixed and people feel more free to chat and you can feel the power that a plane can give you, moving across seas and oceans.
The most beautiful part of a trip like this is the moment you land on earth and hug the ones you love.....precious time and memories.

Have a great day and well done for taming your fear. Step by step it will be better and better. Take care

Bossy Betty said...

Zuzana--You are flying--in more ways than one! You are an inspiration to me.

Kath said...

I know the scene, I would watch theat movie just for the airport scene :-D
Well done you, for facing your fears, lot's of new pages being written in your book of you xx

A Lady's Life said...

That's so true.
You can't escape death if it wants you even at
How many cases do we hear of people who are supposed to be somewhere, get held up or change their minds and the literal seconds delay, saves their lives from a tragedy.
So why worry. Once you board a plane, cross yourself and hope for the best lol

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Bravo Zuzana! A post of true "can do" attitude. So glad you could enjoy time with your extended families and QUITE the adventure! I should like to see a little video of you shouting your prayer. NOT funny for you I am sure...but, maybe a little for your fellow travelers???

bright star said...

I also fear flying,I try not to if possible but you are right to face the fear and fly to see your loved ones. That airport scene in Love Actually is wonderful and makes you realize that tho there is such a lot of violence ,intolerance and
injustice there is also a lot of love actually!!

Unknown said...

Eight flights in ten days! Too much planes for me... But you are very brave, and have defeated your fears.
Your words are always a warm inspiration to me.

adrielleroyale said...

I continue to be all smiles as I read about your growing love and experiences! We all have things we dread whether logical or not. I laughed literally out loud as I pictured you clinging for dear life to your no doubt amused companion mid flight! To have someone to walk you through it truly is priceless! :) My husband knows the mere thought of a wax worm on me or near me will make me shriek as if I've seen the boogy man and even RUN away from it (as IF it's going to move!! LOL) and has to laugh and shake his head. He is kind enough though as a fisherman to buy the bait and put it in a concealed container rather than a see through one :)

Mimi said...

Dear Zuzana, congratulations!
Glad you've had such fun with your soulmate; love is so good for us.
Isn't fear a funny old thing? I have no fear of flying, I just wrap a pashmina over me, nod off to sleep and wake upon arrival. It's a trick I learned some years ago, and have perfected now.
But I am working on another fear that I have, and it's hard work. I don't even want to specify it here, in case I scupper the little progress I've made.
Have a lovely week, dear friend.

sprinkles said...

I've never really been afraid to fly but when flying alone, I'm always afraid I'll get lost and/or miss a flight.

I'm glad you were able to get away and visit family.

SandyCarlson said...

I'm glad you had the adventure. I share your feelings about flight. And I am glad you got to be with family.

Betsy Brock said...

I had to chuckle a little at your chanting. :) I don't like the turbulence, either and usually only whisper an "Oh dear God!" and grip the arms of my seat. lol. So glad you overcame and had a wonderful trip!

julochka said...

you've gotten so many wings this year..good for you! and airports....I love them. except the one in Skopje, everyone there is smoking....

Anonymous said...

Wow -- that is a lot of flying! Well done you for getting over your fear.

My brother is terrified of flying, but in order to visit his partner's family in Sierra Leone, he underwent hypnotism in order to conquer his fear. And this year, he actually flew to Sierra Leone and back!

Rajesh said...

Great to know you have finally overcome the fear of flying. Wonderful.

Myrna R. said...

I'm nervous about flying too, but when i have to i ddo. It sounds like your new life is making you brave. Enjoy.

Donna said...

I always get a bit nervous when flying too, but I love sitting in the airports and watching everything around me. So happy you have overcome your fears and are now flying!

Amanda Summer said...

good for you for facing your fears straight on - and overcoming them!

i love airports as well - even the smell of jet fuel. it always reminds me of the joys of travel and being in perpetual motion. i'm so happy to hear you had such a wonderful journey, dear zuzana - you deserve it!

sending love and hugs,



Becky said...

Lol Zuzanna,yes I agree the wine is good too when you celebrate. Darn forgot that ha.;)

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I am glad that you were able to conquer your fear and live life to the fullest. Love does overcome all : ) I was afraid to fly the first time, too. But i just decided not to think about it, get on the plane and go. I wasn't going to let it stop me from having fun and missing out on a great adventure. I'm so happy you feel the same.

Ash said...

Bravo! You go girl! I'm so proud of you. Here's to more lovely airplane journeys!

A Plain Observer said...

I am afraid of flying now; I wasn't when I was younger, actually I loved those turbulent flights back then. With 8 flights, I am guessing and hoping at least half of them were pleasant.
I like airports. When I was a pre teen, going to the newly built airport was like going to the mall. We'd take a bus and walk there for hours.
Love makes you feel safe, doesn't it? And you are feeling braver because you are being loved and that makes you safe.

Rahul Bhatia said...

Zuzana- Felt so happy to read your post! I too have been bitten by travel bug ... Kindly see my travel blog link given in blog below if you like

Unknown said...

This was a truly courageous move, Zuzana! I was cheering you as I read on. I have learned to love take off's over the years. I have a sense which airport you were referencing as I write part-time for an global aviation magazine. You're right about the airport locales too. Hope flying becomes a totally comfortable adventure for you! lol!!!

Zuzana said...

Elizabeth, Susan, Becky, Cathy, Lilybets, Brian, Kat, Marie (welcome), Betty, Kath, Lady, Jill, Angela, Juan Carlos, adrielle, Mimi, sprinkles, Sandy, Betsy, Julie, ladyfi, Rajesh, Myrna, Donna, Amanda, Becky, Ladycat, Ash, Myriam, Rahul (welcome) and Michael – how interesting to read your own experiences and feelings about flying.;)
I guess for me it is a question of control and I have to realize that I cannot control everything in life. And the idea that I can is an illusion. Ultimately fear is a state of mind and when we are happy, it disappears.;)
It was lovely ten days spend in the company of the people that I love endlessly, making me realize how lucky I am to have them all in my life.

Thank you all for your frequent visits and words that make me smile.;)


Hilary said...

Ahhh good for you, Z. I get that mix of fear and excitement when I fly. I mostly love it but those nasty, fearful thoughts still manage to enter my mind. I haven't flown for a very long time now. Not because of fear.. just circumstance. I'm glad you conquered your fear of flying.

Zuzana said...

Dear Hilary, I know so what you mean about the mixed thoughts.;)
Always happy when you stop by.;)