Did I mention I hate planes?

Two days from now I’ll be sitting in a plane and I’m already freaking out. No matter how lovely the destination, I’m beginning to wish I never had suggested this trip … but at least the worst case scenario would be that I panic on the flight to Ireland and then get stuck in Dublin because I refuse to set foot on the plane back. There are much worse places to be stuck in. I bet I’d even be able to find a capoeira group over there (though it just wouldn’t be the same without the lovely people over here). Or I could shell out some more money to take a ship to France and then hop on the train. I like trains much better than planes. Trains don’t move vertically. But if I want to work in an academic setting I’ll have to get used to planes (because of field work and conferences). How am I supposed to get used to these torture instruments when I feel like I can’t breathe?

At least I have a strategy this time:

– sleep at least 8 hours the night before (and preferably take something to help me sleep … valerian maybe; I’m more likely to panic when I’m really tired)

– take headphones with me to listen to capoeira music (I know, this probably sounds like a weird idea, but it might put me into the right mindset of resilience – and a familiar rhythm should help me to breathe more evenly)

– small spiky massage ball for stress relief (to offer an alternative stimulus and occupy my hands)

– try NOT to use the special chewing gum for preventing travelling sickness (these make my tongue go numb, thus providing another freaky stimulus and making me feel like I’m going to swallow my own tongue any second, yuck … I’ll use a children’s syrup against sickness instead and chew normal chewing gum.)

Any other suggestions are very welcome!

On the bright side, we’ll be travelling with carry-on bags only and don’t have to transfer, so at least we’ll be able to minimize the time spent in queues …

Update: Another suggestion I found somewhere on the internet was looking up to the ceiling … and it really helped with breathing and just going with the flow. Weird but cool.

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2 thoughts on “Did I mention I hate planes?

  1. It’s funny to see travellers who do not like flying (as most others do). The very best hint is to keep cool and try to enjoy the flight. That makes it easier :)

    • Well, it’s NOT funny to be the one panicking, you know? Panicking is much different from not liking flying. I’m not really scared of flying itself, it’s just that the acceleration and the change of height make me feel really light-headed (same happens in fast elevators) so I can’t swallow or breathe or think clearly, thus making my body go into self-preservation mode – when basic instincts take over there is no “trying to enjoy”. This time was much better though than the last trip before that – back then I was tired in addition and became so disoriented I couldn’t feel my body anymore and started clawing at my face while curled up into a ball, the stewardess was really creeped out ^^” Maybe it’s because I have a lot of dizzy spells in everyday life, so my body has learned to associate light-headedness with “oops I’m out of control, better curl up on the floor before I fall and black out”. Throw in some Lariam (malaria prophylactic with psychological side effects) plus too strong medication for motion sickness (resulting in drowsiness and numb mouth/throat) and you end up with the perfect recipe for disaster. Once the plane is flying horizontally I’m fine, I’m even able to nap during turbulences!

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