Archive | December 2010

Dread of Flying

Friends are starting to say “you must be so excited about your trip.” With three months to go, excited is not on the menu right now.

I have no fear of flying. I don’t worry about something happening and fatal crashes, although I’ll admit I have an irrational dislike of flying over the ocean for long periods of time.  I’m pretty sure I’d be just as dead if the plane crashed on land, but it just seems like my chances would be better. Hey, I said it was irrational.

The only emotion that comes up is dread:  dread of airport security hassles and being cooped up 16 hours in a sardine can in the sky. Whoever said “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey” sure didn’t have air travel in mind.

Although I’m beginning to have more empathy for those who get sloshed on long flights, I’m looking for other options to make the flight less painful.  Last year I got lucky and sat next to an interesting person whose conversation made the flight from Amsterdam to Accra pass very pleasantly. But that doesn’t happen but once in a blue moon.

I invested in a Kindle so I’d have enough reading material without getting a hernia from carrying several paperbacks in my carry-on bag.  Two months ago I upgraded to the new generation Kindle, which reduced size and weight by a fraction and doubled capacity. I now can bring along more reading material than I could possibly need, and it’s wonderful!

I prefer to travel light, so other than my camera, the Kindle will be the only electronic device I carry with me. Okay, I’ll have a netbook, but it’ll be stowed. I won’t have anything to play games on or watch my own movies with. I just don’t care about those things. I care more about not lugging stuff around.

This will be my first flight since I got the Kindle. I have guidebooks for India on it. I have history, classics, thrillers and dozens of free books by authors I’ve never heard of. It’s hard to keep from reading the ones that really intrigue me. There are over a hundred books on there now but room for plenty more. It may seem a little insane, but you never know what you’ll be in the mood for when you’re cramped up, cranky and really need a mental escape. Not having enough variety on there when there’s more than enough capacity would be really dreadful.