Ask Kim – March 13

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Dear Kim,

My husband and I are newly retired and love to travel.  We love to travel by car, that is.  We would love to travel abroad, but I’m scared of flying.  My husband keeps looking at trips to Europe.  I would love to go, but the thought of getting on a plane makes me queasy.  I hate to be a party pooper, but I just don’t think I can do it.  How do I address my fear?

Pamela

Manhattan

Dear Pamela,

I too, love hitting the open road.  I’ve had the good fortune of seeing most of the U.S. by car.  Nothing beats the ability to stop and enjoy the many sights and delights on the journey.  However, pardon the old joke – I don’t think you’re afraid of flying, you’re afraid of falling!  You are not alone.  I can tell you that’s a universal fear that effects everyone.  Air travel is one of those things you must experience to get comfortable doing.  Did I just say comfortable?  Comfort and flying are usually not synonymous unless you’re lucky enough to travel first class.  Even then, you still must deal with airports, jetways and a ton of people.  You have to think of it like your roadway travels.  It’s an adventure! 

Seriously though, statically you’re much safer on an airplane.  Virtually anything else you do is riskier than air travel.  Take a deep breath and get onboard.  If you can, I would recommend starting with a shorter trip for your first plane ride.  You’ve got a great airport in Manhattan.  Book a short trip to Denver, Chicago or some other fun place.  I think you’ll be amazed at how easy it really is.  It will feel as if you’ve just gotten settled into your seat when the plane will be landing at your destination.  This can help you learn to navigate airports, car rentals, or taxi services without being so overwhelmed in a foreign country. 

Now finally, talk with your doctor.  Perhaps they can offer a medical solution if you think it’s necessary.  Europe is beautiful and I would highly recommend a visit.  Our country is too young.  You can’t see the things Europe has to offer in the U.S.  I’m sure you’ll be like “why didn’t we do this sooner!”  Happy travels.  Remember – send me a postcard.

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