The first time I flew in a prop plane, John and I were on our honeymoon. We caught a jumper flight from San Juan to St. Croix, and I was terrified. In general, flying on any plane was anxiety-ridden for me. Take-offs and landings were white knuckle moments, and flying over the ocean conjured up images of crashing into shark-infested water. I was a nervous wreck and not much fun.
Part of my fear was fueled by motion sickness. I get sick in the back of a car, on most boats, and always on planes, especially when I try to read or watch a movie. It starts with a headache, then dizziness, and finally, nausea. Often, I could not discern if I felt sick because I was anxious or anxious because I felt like throwing up. But, I did want to travel and, that desire forced a concerted effort to overcome not just the sickness part, but the fear.
For years, I took medication, but even half a pill gave me mind fog and tiredness that was overwhelming and ruined the day. Finally, I discovered these wrist bands based on acupuncture called Sea Bands and an aromatherapy roll-on that make travel much more pleasant, even in a smaller plane.
As for the fear part, it weirdly went away when I traveled with my kids. They would be enamored of the clouds, and I remembered feeling the same way the first time I flew with my grandfather at the age of ten. I love watching cloud formations, and flying just allows me to view them from a different perspective. When I realized the fear was probably rooted in some need to control, and that I had not been afraid as a child, the anxiety just disappeared. I opened up the closet labeled “Danger: LION!” only to find a cute kitten.
Some of the pictures that follow are of the spectacular sunsets, taken on one of our trips to Auckland. The pilots on Barrier Air remember us, the views are amazing, and I enjoy picking out familiar landmarks. The remaining photos were taken from our deck.