If the thought of flying makes you feel nervous, then you’re in very good company. Since the age of nine, I have always been a bit panicky about getting on any plane, because I used to get very bad air sickness. It wasn’t until I went backpacking a few years ago that I regained control of my body, and to an extent, my fear.
I got invited to take a flight in a 4-seater Cessna recently. All of the positive thinking in the world didn’t stop my stomach doing a little turn at the thought of it, but the really weird thing is that I really wanted to do it – I thought it might help alleviate some of the fear (especially during turbulence) that I have in a normal-sized plane.
Of course, once some of my colleagues cottoned on to the fact that I was nervous, they were making jokes about it, and the plane – which didn’t really help my mindset, so I chose to go up with two of my colleagues who had tried to change the subject on several occasions, and who were very sympathetic. (Thankyou Petra and Nicole if you are reading this)
The pilot showing us the route:
I sat in the front next to the pilot, and after telling him I was nervous, he was very sweet and made sure that he explained everything. He was a good distraction, but once the plane started to move, I felt a rising panic. I started to think I was going to be sick before we had even left the ground.
The pilot had an Air China sick back that has never been used.
This is a very nervous smile shortly before the pilot got in.
Luckily enough (for everyone involved), I managed to talk myself out of being sick (long breaths, and a silent mantra over and over that everything was going to be ok).
Before takeoff the pilot gave me three really great tips for avoiding air sickness in the first place.
- When the plane turns, don’t resist it – go with it (which is against many people’s instincts, but it seemed to work when I tried it
- Make sure the temperature in the plane is right (so basically, use the air conditioning in the plane). He said that most of the time, the reason that people get sick is because it is too hot.
- Focus on the horizon. This is much harder when you’re in a big plane, and actually I find that looking out of the window on a big plane doesn’t help much.
The view from the plane was beautiful:
He also explained why we get turbulence, and it was interesting. He told me to look at the fields and all of the different colours and then he told me that the air flows differently over each different colour, which is what causes a plane to bounce. While it was interesting to know, by that point I had started to feel sick and the information didn’t really help.
Here I am, very relieved to be back on the ground.
I also figured out that I was a little too short and couldn’t fully see over the dashboard of the plane (which may have also made me feel a bit iffy), but that’s an experiment for another flight.
The flight was taken from Lelystad airport and it 45 mins (though to me it felt pretty long). There were three seats (plus one for the pilot). If you are a braver soul than me, you could book for a longer flight, and maybe even fly to Amsterdam.
Lelystad airport is a 45 minute drive from Amsterdam.
Thankyou to Amsterdam Marketing for providing this flight for free (even though I was nearly sick, I’m still glad I went!)