Don’t Let Your Fear Stop You From Crossing Something off Your Bucket List!
By Crystal Myers, Marshall University
I’ve always considered myself lucky to live on the East coast. It’s not that I have anything against West-coasters, but as with most Tourists, one of my bucket list items is world travel – first on that list, the United States.
Living on this side of the country has allowed me to see a good portion of the states from a young age. The states are smaller, making it easier to travel between them.
However, recently, my list of unexplored states within an acceptable driving distance from my home has dwindled rapidly. For the average 20-something, this wouldn’t be a problem. But for a girl horrified of flying, it’s a bit of a buzz kill.
So when my close friend decided she’d like to spend her 21st birthday in Vegas and invited me to tag along, I looked for any excuse to avoid the trip. As badly as I wanted to have my own Hangover experience, Sin City would have to wait. I refused. I absolutely would not be putting myself in a flying, metal coffin.
Months of persuasion and a sleepless night later, I found myself in the Indianapolis airport – on the side of the terminal I had never seen before. It was like I had stepped into Narnia.
The bustle, the crying children, the men in suits zipping through the lines while simultaneously emailing via their Blackberry, it’s all so new to me. I like it. Sadly, this distraction of people-watching from the Starbucks line can’t keep me occupied for nearly long enough. I feel my body trembling while trying to sip my piping-hot hot chocolate and before I know it, I am in line preparing to walk through the metal detector, wondering if it’s too late to turn back. Or worse – what if the gum in my purse sets something off? What if my carry-on is too heavy? Are these thoughts that the flight veterans have? I can’t be alone!
With a quick swish of the detector I make it to no man’s land. There is officially no turning back. For 20 minutes or so, I think I am going to be all right. I have a window seat, there are no crying babies, I tell myself “If Harry can defeat Voldemort, you can do this.”
But then the airplane starts to roll.
Immediately I text my family words of love, I am sure this is the end. And just when I think it couldn’t be any worse, the tears start flowing. Right on time, too, since the flight attendant is telling me to buckle up and prepare for takeoff.
So I’ll wrap up this flashback and cut to the chase, no, I did not flail my arms, jump up and beg to be let off the plane and since I am writing this now, it is quite obvious that I made it out alive. I can’t say I was thrilled with the experience but I can say that I am a new person because of it.
Spending five hours suspended thousands of feet above the world is no small task. It is actually quite extraordinary and I’m not sure people take the time to realize it.
After the tears slowed and the attendant brought me my second ginger ale, I got the chance to take it all in, to see my life from a new perspective. As the mountains quickly shrank my outlook quickly changed. I think this is why travel is so important, seeing the world in a different way than you’re used to. Seeing what other states, regions and countries have to teach you.
My first flight taught me to ignore everyone who says “turbulence isn’t that bad,” it showed me how small I am in a humbling way, it put it to perspective how we are all a part of something grand and reminded me how truly blessed I am to live in a world where flying is an option.
Now that I have earned my wings, I am able to start a new chapter in my book of travel. All it took was conquering a small fear. I encourage you to do the same, get out there and take a risk; don’t let anyone or anything stop you from crossing something off your bucket list.
Crystal Myers, Marshall Univeristy
Latest posts by Crystal Myers, Marshall Univeristy (see all)
- Freshman 15 Be Damned! - May 21, 2013
- 24 Hours in St Louis, Gateway to the West - May 20, 2013
- Affordable Travel - March 4, 2013
- My Trip to Vegas: Part 2. Tips and Tricks - March 4, 2013
- Conquering Fear and Opening Doors: My Trip to Vegas - February 19, 2013