I’ve travelled a fairly decent amount in my 26 years. My father was an engineer for one of the two main Australian airlines, joining the new second-main-Australian-Airline when the first was bought out and smashed to pieces (ie. Ansett and then Virgin Australia).
In our Ansett days, we could fly return to anywhere in Australia for $40 or $70 or so, depending on where, time of year, and how many other flights we’d had that year. With mum’s side of the family in one remote part and dad’s in one of the major cities, we spent most holidays elsewhere. Thanks to his ongoing training, we also went to places like Bali.
Because of all that, I’ve always been fairly comfortable flying. When I got older I took myself to Fiji, Singapore, Tokyo (three times), London and surrounds (three times) and around Australia countless times, whether for a weekend to catch up with friends or longer.
This was all mainly before my anxiety set in though. And before I burst my eardrum thanks to not liking the cabin pressure and having blocked ears thanks to sickness or not even being able to tell. In freaking out over it all once, flailing out to a friend, he said if I take something yellow, I’ll be fine. So now my chocobo flies everywhere with me.
I try not to be an annoying flyer – one who always needs to get up a dozen times yet takes the window seat. Or is constantly going into their bag, whether it be in the overhead compartment or it’s stuff dug into the backseat pocket, because I know you can feel a lot of that.
I wear a jacket/tunic thing that has a lot of pockets, so before I board I have my tissues, drink bottle and eat tablets, sound-cancelling headphones and book all on my person, so I can literally find my seat, drop my bag and sit down. Everything is already set to flight-mode, and so on.
But when all this is already done and second-nature, what is left to do when the anxieties take over? It’s all so much to think and worry about.
Thankfully, I’ve finally found a doctor who believes the depth of my ear troubles. I’ve had a CT scan and will have a hearing test on Monday, then I see him again after that. He thinks I’ll need to have minor surgery. As long as it means I can fly without damaging my ears, then woohoo.
Don’t think it’ll help with the anxiety, though.