No, I am not channeling Erica Jong. I literally have a fear of flying. I don't know exactly when it started, but it can be pretty bad sometimes. I admit there are trips I haven't taken because I did not want to get on a plane. One time on a trip home on a small plane (the scariest kind!) I was so frightened that I had to ask a colleague if he would mind holding my hand. Being a gentleman, he did not mind and he did not tease me after.
For a long time I thought I was in the minority, but the more I admit my fear, the more people echo the sentiment back to me. Strangely that has made me feel better. Not feeling like I am the only one gripping the arm rest for dear life during take off or turbulence is oddly reassuring.
I was on a plane just yesterday and for the first time in a long time my fear was less than it has been. I attribute some of that, perhaps a lot, to the fact that I was traveling with Zoe and it was just the two of us. I was the only one in charge and looking out for her safety and I think that bolstered me a bit. Plus the fact that she was so calm seemed to help me to stay calm. I didn't want to panic in front of her or have her see me as anything less than in control so she would keep on feeling safe and happy. Zoe makes a great traveling companion because she is so enthusiastic about going new places and seeing new things. I don't want her to lose that enthusiasm especially not because of me. It really was like magic. I mean I think the vodka tonic I had mid-flight helped too, but overall it was a pretty good experience.