As long time blog readers may remember (and as I referenced yesterday in my post about Royal Jordanian’s possible new routes to the US), I had a pretty rough Royal Jordanian flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong back in March.
At the end of the day I’m not sure if there was merit to my fear or not (in the sense of whether we were actually in danger or not), but it was the first flight that ever literally brought me to tears, and I’ve logged over three million “butt in seat” miles. When I think back to the flight I still shake a bit and am short on breath.
For the first few months of travel after the incident flying was rough for me. My palms would sweat, I had a hard time sleeping on planes, and when we got into low visibility situations or moderate turbulence I’d have flashbacks to my Royal Jordanian flight. All of those are irrational, of course, but it wasn’t that I was really scared, but rather that I had flashbacks and felt incredibly hopeless.
A lot of you guys provided amazing support and thoughts on the situation, and many of you suggested I was suffering from PTSD and it would never go away.
Anyway, without giving it much thought I’ve noticed for the past several weeks of flying that I’ve finally gotten over my fear. I’m totally comfortable sleeping on planes again, and don’t really have flashbacks. When I do think of my Royal Jordanian flight I’m able to rationally remind myself of just how safe air travel is, and then usually feel at ease again.
On the plus side, the lessons of the Royal Jordanian flight have stuck with me. The thing that made me feel most hopeless about the Royal Jordanian flight was that my parents had no clue which specific flight I was on, and that’s actually what was going through my head more than anything during that flight.
Now that my mom is basically an expert texter (for better or for worse, since she got an iPhone earlier this year and enjoys texting me about every seven minutes – hi mom!) I always send her a picture of my boarding pass so she knows exactly which flight I’m on. And it sure puts me at ease a lot more as well.
But the other major lesson I’ve tried to apply – and it sounds cheesy as hell – is to just enjoy life and not take anything for granted.
Anyway, life is great, be it on the ground or seven miles up.