I am afraid of flying.

the shadow of my plane as we were landing at Fiumicino…

I want to see the world, but I am rather scared of flying. Sometimes I think about other options like driving, or taking a boat to get places so I don’t have to fly. Sometimes I almost let the fear stop me from going and going far. Almost sometimes I am stopped, but then I go anyway. I know it’s irrational, that donkeys are supposedly more dangerous. But still.

Flying is amazing; that squishy, fleshy bits of humans can actually go above the clouds astonishes me. I try to think about that when I’m in the air. When it’s turbulent or there are those strange engine noises; I try to think about how this is the only way to see all the world I want to see. I also try to remember that statistically, flying is hardly dangerous at all. Though I’m loathe to trust the internet on such things, but I read this: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/how-risky-is-flying.html before one of my most recent flights, and it helped. And it’s PBS, so it’s legit, right? There were extremely turbulent bits on my flight to Rome and I kept repeating to myself 1:400 (heart disease), 1:5,000 (car crash), 1:11,000,000 (plane crash/donkey). Those are the average Americans’ statistical chance of dying due to the (cause). It makes me want to eat more vegetables and avoid all donkeys.

the alps from above. look at the shadows in the valleys!

And then when you’re flying, sometimes you can look down and see the wrinkles of the alps, the remnants of snow and glaciers on their peaks, even though it’s the very end of August. And you’re amazed again. I try to remember the amazement.

My most recent flight was to get me to Rome and after a few trains to Florence, where I will begin a year of researching and wandering in Italy. I want to see and eat everything; experience and excavate the diverse strata of Italian life and cities. I begin in Florence, then move back to Rome. I could not be more excited.

clouds and the ligurian sea/coast in the distance. amazement.
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