Thursday, May 21, 2009

Vacation or How I Deal with My Fear of Flying

Theme Thursday yet again and this time it has come a week to soon for us - "Vacation" as we're just about to embark on one!

Well I haven't had one for a while -Vacation folks - keep your minds out of the gutter!

In fact, the last proper vacation was probably a week up the north coast with Thommo and the Merry Widow in the Summer of 2007 but even that was more like a long weekend. The biggest was in 1995 when Clare and I did Disneyland via, England, Jersey, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany . . . I know, we went the long way round.

But this weekend, Clare and I are heading of to . . wait for it . . .don't get too excited . . . hold your breath . . . . MELBOURNE!

Yay, we've purchased our el cheapo tickets and are spending a couple of grand of the redundancy cash and a shit load of Frequent Flyer points to go to Melbourne. Australia's second capital, bastion of finance, the place where Batman doesn't wear a cape, sanctuary for the shopaholic and the city of trams.

Actually, it's not the city that attracts although it's a pretty amazing one, but my beautifully uncommunicative friend Kahlerisms and his much more communicative girlfriend Brethred as well as my Niece who manages a funky little bar down there called Madam Brussels and TheTeacher who now lives there and hopefully a quick meet up with a couple of bloggers (not dobbing until it happens but I'll be blogging if it does).

My only problem . . I am terrified of flying. Well 'terrified' is probably a little too strong a word but I'm very uncomfortable flying. I know it's a means to an end and as an avid and fond traveller, in a country this size, it's the only way to cover long distances. Oddly on long hauls, the more I fly, the less I become afraid but short hauls (Melbourne is only an hour and a bit), you never get quite high enough to escape the weather. It's one of those flights where they often stop serving coffee or drinks due to turbulence and I remain steadfastly battoned into my seat and white knuckled whilst grasping the edge of the seat. If you're unfortunate enough to be sitting next to me, I may grab your forearm and squeeze so tight that your fingers go blue.

I'm the last on and the first off. I have at least three Gin and Tonics (and I never usually drink spirits) before I embark no matter what the time. The last time I went to Melbourne, I happily drank champagne and sat at the wrong departure lounge until I was 'called' and had to run about 15 gates to reach the flight . .

Once on board, I twiddle knobs like a child with a Fisher Price play centre. I check the life jacket under the seat. I never read the safety instructions but I always get a seat close to the doors. I fiddle with the free brochures and magazine in the pouch on the seat in front. Make sure all the recliner buttons work and annoy those sitting behind me.

When it's time to take off, I say a prayer, which is very peculiar because I don't believe in God but whoever's helping to get that damn thing off the ground before it sploshes unceremoniously into Botany Bay had better do it quick.

Once up, I'm fine. It's like relinquishing all control because I know I have none. Then as my ears pop for the descent, I regain my ghostly palour and don't breathe out until the skid at the end and the slow crawl into the airport.

Fortunately, even though Melbourne is not far away, it's a commute for many business people so the planes that fly there are a reasonable size. Anything smaller than an Airbus and I really get the heeby jeebies.

Despite the fear, I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this little vacation . . .so if you see two lost Sydneysiders (you'll know us because we're the only people wearing 'colour' on a business day) with wheely cases looking a little lost around Spencer Street Station, say G'day and point us towards the shops!

Right, there's only one way to get there and that is UP!



Back next week. Have a fantabulous weekend everyone!

44 comments:

Mrsupole said...

Have fun on your vacation, I am glad you are having one. And I think anyone in their right mind should be afraid of flying, at least to a point. My hubby hates to fly. I am okay, but just fine on the ground.

Saw you ask how many weeks for vacation someone gets in the US. I am not sure what everyone gets but I think it depends a lot on how long you have worked for that company. Hubby gets 5 weeks paid and then 2 weeks of paid Personal Time off with his company. And I am not sure how many sick days he gets because he seems to never take any sick days. But I think it is another 2 weeks, maybe longer. But he has worked there 30 years next March, and I think when you first start out you get 2 or 3 weeks. I am not sure. I no longer work, but I usually worked for small companies and only got 2 weeks paid, but I always got off more if I wanted to go on vacations with hubby.

I will say a prayer for you too, and maybe when you come back I will be well again.

God bless.

nick said...

Have a great time! Don't forget the Ian Potter Centre! I don't know why people are afraid of flying, the safety precautions are so strict the chances of coming to harm are miniscule. Far more dangerous going to hospital. I don't remember any turbulence on the Melbourne-Sydney flight, you exaggerate surely?

Ropi said...

Is Melbourne a nice place? I ask because I don't see the point of enthusiasm yet.
I hate flying as well. I needed to take medicine.
If you ever go to Budapest then you should find other reason besides me because I am hyper-super-extra-anti-communicative.

Ropi said...

PS: agression is in the blood of all boy.

River said...

Ooh, I hope you get to meet up with some bloggy friends, in particular, Kath, she's a great person.

subtorp77 said...

Baino, after what you've just gone through you certainly could use one. A vacation that is! I don't fly any-more, myself. 'Tis way too much of a hassle, now. The last time was in 2001, just ere the war started. Security was lax, to say the least.

But no worries on your flight to Melborne...oh wait, Melbourne...sorry I was stuck in FLA for a moment. And you sure did take the long way round, last time! Have loads of fun!

Brian Miller said...

glad to hear you are heading out on a vaca. hope your skies are friendly...have had a few adventures flying but you don't need to hear that now. have a fabulous trip!

Happy TT!

Renee said...

Baino you are hillarious. And if you haven't left yet there is a fear of flying course on the internet that is great. Of course I can't remember the name.

Be safe but have the best time ever.

Love Renee xooo

Marianna said...

Hope you have a great time in Melbourne! I love the name of your niece's bar lol

I had to take 18 (unafraid) flights and in my 18th...I got the fear. No idea how it happened it just did. But I wanna travel to so many places and I think this tops my fears!

Have a great (holi)day:)
xoxo

Terence McDanger said...

Have a great one Baino because you deserve it, and happy landings!

Off to Barcelona meself next week, can't wait! Ooooh! Giddy Giddy Giddy!

Poetikat said...

Can you take dramamine or something to settle you? I know it's for seasickness, but it has a calming effect. I don't like how your ears feel like they're going to burst (I did NOT say that) you're mistaken.

Have a good trip and have a G&T for me!

Kat

Candie Bracci said...

Hi Baino!Yes this is a common fear.I,myself am more afraid of cars than plane,but still I understand.I wish you a fabulous time this weekend!:)

Moon said...

Isn't that interesting, I find flying so boring, and i am often alseep before we even take off ... far safer then the Freeway you know !..

As for Melbourne, I always see it as a soprting capital of the world, so many amazing stadiums, and a passion for Aussie Rules ...

Have fun, raise a birthday beer of my Fav VB, and enjoy x

Grow Up said...

My other half is the same, hates to fly, has had valium for long haul in the past.

Don't Bug Me! said...

Rum and coke is my answer. Have a great holiday!

i beati said...

exactly how long will you be airborne??

You could create several blog posts maybe , you fly like I do. I have to be somewhat happy spirits wise to contend !!sandy

mouse (aka kimy) said...

the theme couldn't have come at a more appropriate time!!

have a great vacation....sorry it's been so long since you had a proper one! you really have to work on that! I find one doesn't really even have to go someplace to vacate....it's the act of vacating that is important and restorative (of course it is preferable if one is going someplace, but pocketbooks do rule more than we'd like)

flying.... it does seem unnatural, but as I'm sure you have heard a million times, it is a safer mode of travel than an automobile!


one of my bestest (college) buds lives in melbourne - she's been there for 22 years she adores it. I'll have to ask her if she's been to madame brussels (or is it madam brussels and the teacher)

anyhow, I hope the blogger convergence happens - they are such delightful affairs!

bon voyage! xx

Wings said...

Hahahah I love it! I wish you all the best on your vacation!

laughingwolf said...

enjoy your wee vac trip, youse guyz... don't forget to buckle up before takeoff, and unbuckle once the indicator sez so ;) lol

Moon said...

Mrsupole : your husband is very lucky .. 10 to 12 days is the norm ... slave labour I can tell you !!

Leah said...

I hate flying too. I always dose up with a tranquilizer, it works absolute wonders.

I hope you have a splendid time!

The Clever Pup said...

Hmm.

I just find the flight so tedious. And claustrophobic.

Glad you're having and eye-stretch.

Ronda Laveen said...

Look forward to hearing about your adventures. My sister is like you are with flying. In fact, you are a lot like my sister in many ways.

I usually deal with flying by saying: Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Have fun.

Sandra Leigh said...

Bon voyage, Baino. I know how you feel about flying - and if I don't have to cross an ocean, I would rather have control of the vehicle, thank you. But given the fact that I get seasick (and that the idea of being on board a boat, out of sight of land, gives me the raging heebie-jeebies) I settle for flying when we go to Europe. I tell myself that the pilot wants to get home safely just as much as I do, and that helps.

Susan said...

Ugh, I HATE flying, and we'll be doing it too in July. I hope you have tons of fun with Clare, and enjoy Melbourne! I'm starting to feel like the only one in the world who hasn't been there now...

Maybe one day!
Safe home again!

Kath Lockett said...

SEE you soon, Baino!

Megan said...

I won't say have fun because of course you will!! Bon voyage and hope you get some good pictures, some good food, some good shopping, etc, etc.

I do like flying.

Oh, and I get 2 weeks vacation per year, until I have been there for 5 years and then it goes up. I've never worked anywhere 5 years, though!

kj said...

girl, your writing skills and sense of humor are on full display with this post. i can SEE your blue knuckles (or were they white?)!

please please have a great grand gritty time. look for men. eat. sleep. talk to strangers. eat. sleep. visit a museum. eat. sleep.

i'll respond to that email when you get back.i'm still thinking of the right words...

love love
kj

The Man at the Pub said...

"Don't get too excited", (gasp)..but its...Melbourne! I resemble that statement.

Make sure you get a jug of Pimms at Madame Brussels, and wear your tennis whites, and ask your neice why they called her Madame Brussels. Have fun yall!

Kate said...

That sound just like me - right down to the G&T's - except I now have Valium for flying and remain scarily calm!!
Enjoy your break!!!

The Silver Fox said...

I've been lucky; I've only flown five or six times (in big jets and small private planes), and never had any real uneasiness during the experiences. Wouldn't have minded downing the drinks, however, just in case... although not gin. That, I'm afraid of, since one bad experience about 30 years ago...

jay said...

Funnily enough, I LOVE flying on small planes! You really feel as if you're up there! Take off and landing, they're the best bits!

Sorry, it's not helping, is it? No worries, she'll be right. Crack open a tinnie when you get there and you'll have a great vacay! ;)

Psst - did I get the 'strine right? :D

*Mutters .. perhaps I should have added something about tossing shrimps on barbies?*

Ribbon said...

Enjoy Melbourne... Oooh how I ove to shop in Melbourne.

You'll be home safe again before you know it.

see ya then

:-) Ribbon

Ribbon said...

ps... oops meant to say Love - blame it on the new keyboard!

Christopher said...

Enjoy that vacation. And you've got me thinking about how, when you live in a place like Australia, you can take a vacation without leaving the country. I think of visiting Australia as a vacation in itself, but, as you say, it's a vast country. That makes it intimidating for those of us who'd like to visit. Where would we go?

Quickroute said...

I love Melbourne - so different to Sydney which I really like too - Enjoy the splurge!

kj said...

baino! are you still having fun?!

xo

Melissa said...

Woohoo! Have fun, Baino! You deserve this getaway big time! :) And I got the biggest laugh out of imagining you drinking your g&t's and being in the wrong lounge and running for your gate. :D I love to fly but have been a little anxious since 9-11, also don't particularly like being in tall buildings. But I love the thrill of take-off! Can't wait to see the photos from Melbourne ....

e said...

Baino and Clare,
I'm late to the party here, but I wish you both a great holiday with lots of snaps and no mishaps!

Gledwood said...

that's a bit of a prob, being in Australia, there's bugger all practical way of getting abroad except by flying ...

... but Melbourne? Surely you can hop on a train..?

anyway, have a fantastic time~!!

Melanie said...

this is my sad face :( A week has gone by and I have missed whats going on and it seems the world kept revolving in my snotty feverish absence. I am so so happy you are having a holiday but very sad I might have missed out on a visit from Baino. As for the plane trip. I felt your pain the whole way through the post as I am terrified of flying too.
Your holiday is probably over by now but I hope you have had a lovely stay here in "THE BEST CITY " LOL i had to do it sorry.

English Mum said...

Erm... hello? When are you coming back? Only I've got my cup of tea...piece of brownie...Bert at my feet and - nothing!

Baino said...

Good morning everyone. 42 comments! Wow should go away more often. Thanks, had a wonderful time and the weather was fab. Unlike Sydney which has been cold, grey and wet now for the entire duration. The flights were good (nice big planes) and catching up with friends was superlative. Melbourne is definitely very different to Sydney in many ways. Stay tuned, there will be posts and pics.

subtorp77 said...

Glad your hols went so well, Baino. Can't wait to see some pics! But hey, no hurries, no worries, righto? Welcome back :)