How I Got Over My Extreme Fear of Flying

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When I was a kid, my dad used to watch airline investigations. As the name suggests, this is a TV series that delves into why a plane crashes. Watching these shows in front of an impressionable child wasn’t the best idea, as my dad quickly came to find out.

As a family, we went on holiday a lot, mainly to the same destinations, such as Mallorca and Lanzarote. However, I would cry uncontrollably throughout the entire flight.

We didn’t fly long haul, so we didn’t get TV screens. Instead, I’d spend the entire flight checking the aisle to see if the plane was level or going down.

I’d squeeze my mum and brother’s hand, cutting off circulation until it went blue. Oh, and my legs would do that thing where you’re uncontrollably running on the spot.

I loved to go abroad. But I didn’t love flying. So, even as a young teen, I’d come to terms with the fact that I would probably only go on cruises or travel by land. As soon as I had control of where or how I travelled, I wouldn’t be flying.

However, when I was 15, I was given the incredible opportunity to speak at the Youth Science and Technology Expo in Shanghai, China.

I was desperate to go. However, a 17-hour flight stood in my way.

At the time, I was 15. As such, I didn’t have the money to invest in courses. Heck, I’m showing my age now and saying I’m not sure if simulator or flight experiences even existed back then. Plus, my parents weren’t thrilled about the idea of medication.

So, I looked for alternative solutions and found the book Fly Without Fear.

Fly Without Fear

In this informative and accessible guide, veteran airline pilot Captain Keith Godfrey and psychologist Dr Alison Smith welcome you aboard and take you through everything from take-off to touchdown, helping you to feel more confident and at ease when journeying by air. 

It sounds pretty cliche, but this book changed my life. Written by Keith Godfry, a pilot with over 55 years of experience, this book answers questions most of us with a fear of flying have, such as;

  • How does a plane stay in the air?
  • What happens if an engine fails?
  • Why do I get more nervous if we’re flying over water?

After reading this book, I was able to fly to China, speak at the conference – and not cry on the plane in front of my friends. That in itself was a huge win. However, that was 16 years ago.

Here I am at the Great Wall of China. Suffice it to say, 2008 wasn’t a great year for me style-wise…

This book and that experience changed my life and ignited a deep-rooted love for travel. A love that wasn’t restricted by a fear of flying.

Now, am I the best at flying? No.

I still get nervous, especially when banking – when the plane turns just after take-off or before landing. However, I’m comfortably and confidently able to fly 30 to 50 times a year and work full-time as a travel content creator.


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Thanks for stopping by! Do you have experience with this trip or want to share some of your own tips? We’d love to hear about it! Comment below and let’s chat!

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