When most people go to the island chain state of Hawai’i, it’s a trip of a lifetime because of the expense and because it’s such a gorgeous, phenomenal vacation spot. I absolutely agree with that. But it was that type of trip for me because I don’t fly.
Airplanes are not my friend and I have no problem owning that fact. (That doesn’t include Disney planes, though.)
It’s not so much a fear of heights (even though the truth is if you stall at 30,000 feet, you can’t just pull over on to the shoulder of the road, know what I’m saying?). The problem is I’m extremely claustrophobic.
I first noticed it when I was 6 years old and trying to crawl through a gym mat, along with my P.E. teacher (thank God she was understanding and didn’t shame me the way people will shame a person with a phobia in a heartbeat). To Me the Claustrophobic, the inside of an airplane is a tight, cylindrical oven that closes in on me and that I can’t walk out of the moment I want to. It’s a small, confined space, and you are trapped.
(The 6 weeks my sweet mother spent semi-comatose and trapped inside her body, unable to get out of it or communicate with us as she lay dying, made that worse.)
I’ve only flown 2 other times in my entire life, times when I couldn’t avoid it, and cowered away from windows: 1) as a teen, when my dad retired from the Air Force and we returned to Georgia for good, and 2) to a writing conference in Reno in my 30s after coming in 3rd of 145 in a national novel contest. My head knows odds are better that I’ll get struck by lightening or win millions in a lottery before being in a plane crash, but my nerves don’t give a damn about statistics. LOL
Hell, I was just hoping I didn’t end up embarrassing myself and getting publicly subdued by the captain or an air marshal like William Shatner or John Lithgow in The Twilight Zone‘s “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” Would I get a Yeti gremlin or sleek, aerodynamic gremlin? Ughhh.
I got a window seat, but no gremlin, ha ha. Though my heart pounded relentlessly and exhausted me for the whole day it took to get to Oahu (I watched a couple of movies but can’t remember them to save my life), gazing out of my window at a sight I never expected to enjoy distracted me and kept me fascinated. Imagine that.
Mankind has built incredible sights, but nothing trumps nature. Talk about feeling blessed to have my eyesight. (These images are unfiltered and shot with my cell phone. Honest!)
Now, as I explained in a previous post, as we were nearing our final approach to Honolulu Airport on Oahu, that gray vog (volcanic smog) you see in some of the above pictures was from one of the volcanoes on Hawaii’s Big Island erupting. Funny thing is, some 4 months ago I had an apocalyptic dream about me and my friend being stuck high up on a blackened mountain crag, surrounded by nothing but heat and flowing lava. At the time, I figured it was just anxiety about the coming trip.
Hahaha… yeah. *sigh* Yeah. *lemmeouttahere*
Long story short: You only live once on this good ol’ Earth and you don’t leave it unless your eternal ticket’s been punched, so you might as well do what it is you’re gonna do. No way was I not going on this trip of a lifetime.
Especially when I had Ativan.
More to come, friends. Thanks for reading!