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Travel Resolutions, Part I: Fear of Flying

Dear Rudy,

My New Year's travel resolution is to conquer my fear of flying.

For years, flying was not something that I worried about. Occasionally, I'd experience that passing angst brought on by a bumpy ride or a noisy landing, but the worry never lingered beyond the beverage trolley or the "please stay seated until we come to a complete stop" admonishment. I'd flown all over the country, as well as twice to Japan and Korea. I was a flying ace -- or so I thought!

A couple years ago, I was flying home to Houston for Christmas with the folks when my uneventful Continental flight decided to take a big roller-coaster dip, thanks to some turbulence.

That moment flipped a switch in my brain -- a really dumb, prehistoric throwback switch suddenly rediscovered. Immediately, I wanted to run screaming down the aisle, yelping, "WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE, DON'T YOU SEE!?" I turned around to look at everyone else, certain that they were equally unnerved. To my chagrin, it seemed that no one else had even batted an eyelash.

Since then, I've only been able to fly once. And that trip was possible due in large part to medication. I didn't want to run screaming down the aisle, but I was still glued to my seat waiting for the slightest inkling of CNN breaking news-style air disaster doom.

This year, I'm even contemplating driving from Minneapolis to Houston for Christmas (a 24-hour trip), just so that I don't have to spend three hours in the air. I really want to conquer my fear of flying. Air travel has opened up some really amazing opportunities for me in the past, and I don't want to miss out any longer. Besides, my work is sending me to Arizona in the spring.

Wish me luck, Rudy!




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