I’m a bit of a scaredy cat. And definitely an “over-thinker”. I’ll look at an ordinary situation and imagine it in its worst possible scenario. I went out to an underground club a few weeks ago and made all my friends dance by the fire exit, as I couldn’t stop thinking about not being able to get out of there in an emergency. Health, too – I’m a huge hypochondriac, I’ll admit it. If I thought about it enough I’d probably never leave the house! If I had to choose something, though, I’d say my biggest fear was probably flying. I can’t stand it. I’ve embarrassed myself on too many flights by descending into a nervous wreck following the slightest change in engine noise, a light flashing, an air hostess answering the phone – don’t even mention turbulence. I know exactly why it is, too. It’s having a complete lack of control and entrusting my life to a giant metal machine hurtling through the sky at 500mph.
In January this year, the chance to visit Kenya with a few of my best girl friends came up. One had been out in Kenya for a few months volunteering at the Colobus Trust, and so the plan was to go and stay with her when she finished her work and travel for a few weeks. I was a bit apprehensive about going at first – it would involve two 8 hour flights (Heathrow to Nairobi) and then two internal flights too (Nairobi to Mombasa).
But then I thought, how amazing would this experience be? And to be able to spend the money on it, before I get a mortgage and a family and a permanent job and all that kind of stuff. My friends would have gone whether I had or not, and I would have been sitting at home in rainy Birmingham wishing I’d been able to face that 8 hour flight. So I decided to man up and get on with it, and go.
(Although before I sound too brave I should admit that my doctor prescribed me some Diazepam for the flights…..)
Anyway, it turned out to be an amazing couple of weeks. We visited Nairobi, had a 2 night safari in Tsavo West and Amboselli, stayed in a cottage by the Indian ocean in Mombasa and went snorkelling – I touched a puffa fish!!
So I guess the moral of the story is that it’s ok (and very normal) to be afraid of something – as long as you don’t give in to the fear and let it stop you from doing what you want to do.
And my next flight? Well, it’s in 3 days time, Birmingham to Paris. Bring it on.