I’m usually pretty down to avoid getting on a plane. I hate to fly; it freaks me out despite having taken at least over 100 flights in my lifetime. Right in that moment when the wheels break contact with ground, I’m huddled into my (window, duh) seat mimicking fetal position, while the six-year-old kid next to me complains loudly I’m blocking his view.
But even without the glares of a pestilent child, I’m terrible with flights. And over the years, I’ve gone to some pretty extraordinary lengths to avoid getting on a plane. I admire those folks who are loyal to alternative travel. I look up to their example of making this planet greener, keeping the skies clearer and reducing the noise over my mom’s house in Jersey, who happens to live right under the flight path from Newark International Airport. But I’m just not one of those people. I wish I could say that I choose not the fly because I speak for mother earth and her vital protection.
But the truth is, I just hate to fly.
I took an overnight but from Barcelona to Pamplona one time just because I couldn’t bare to fly there. The bus was more expensive, took longer, and landed me next to two dudes who spent the whole ride speculating where I was possibly from, because I was reading a book in Catalan. (I’m American.) Just ask next time, bro. And we started this magical mystery tour in Cataluña, so Catalan shouldn’t exactly be throwing anyone for a loop.
I have no high horse from which to dismount. I just have an irrational fear that my life will end up somehow like Cast Away, and I’ll have to learn to carve my own hunting spear with which to skewer crabs. Or worse, like The Gray. And I’d totally be Liam Neeson in that movie, acting all tough but inevitably leading my friends all to death and myself to a final showdown in the wolfs’ den I was trying so desperately to avoid.
I am painfully aware I possess none of the skills necessary should I become stranded post-crash. Fire from ice? Give me a break, Anthony Hopkins from The Edge! If my plane goes down in the Alaskan wilderness, don’t look to me for help. All I can say is, if it really comes to it, my comrades can totally eat me.
So every time I describe the awe-inspiring view from my train’s window seat, or the colorful characters I met on a bus, I’m really just outlining the relief of having not boarded a plane. If I tell you otherwise, I am lying. Well actually, that’s not true. I can honestly say some of the coolest things I’ve seen while traveling around have been the result of being too scared to fly. So maybe it’s a fear I can live with.
Sure beats having to grow a Tom Hanks beard.
Photo Credit: epSos.de