Wednesday, May 16, 2012

travel essentials

i love to travel, but hate to fly.  this fear has either kept me from a trip or had me so freaked that i couldn't sleep two weeks before a flight.  it also doesn't help that i live on the other side of the country from family and friends. once i got on and off a plane before it took off (and didn't make it to my friend missy's wedding).  i went back later that day to try again and no matter how much of a pep talk i gave myself, i just couldn't make myself get on the plane.  i felt absolutely horrible as most people don't understand that you physically and mentally can't get on a plane.  it's really debilitating and my poor friend rita stella has had to deal with frantic calls from me, crying hysterically about how i just can't  do it.

my globe-trotting friend eleanor confessed to me one day that she was scared of flying and i was floored.  she would fly from la to london for a weekend and she was scared?  i asked what her secret was and she said lots of flying to understand how normal it is, plus she pampered herself with goodies every time she flew, making the whole experience as comfortable as possible.  in all my years of being so upset, i never actually thought to make it easier on myself.  it took me awhile (lots of therapy again), but now i have to say i am much, much better - although i 100% absolutely self medicate on planes.  i like to think it makes me a better flying companion.

here are a few of my must-haves when flying:

emergency travel spa:  eleanor has made not one, but two for me (because i left the first one on the plane coming back from hawaii, after being pre-occupied from having just gotten engaged).  she made the second one for me just before we left for our honeymoon trip to new zealand and tahiti.  it has all sorts of goodies that are great during and just before landing.  a few of my favorites:
  • bliss eye gel - makes you at least appear less tired after no sleep on a red eye

travel saints:  after the constant phone calls where she had to talk me off a cliff and get me on the plane, rita was super thoughtful and gave me a st. christopher travel pendant.  i have yet to fly without it and not sure if i could. 

jacey's flying mantra:  every time i fly i always call my friend jacey (or listen to a message i have saved on my phone) to hear the following:

"mary, you are not going to die in a plane crash, because people who are scared of flying do not die in plane crashes.  you aren't going to die in a plane crash because it would be the most ridiculous death ever."

i realize to most of you reading this, that sounds completely ridiculous, but for some reason it always comforts me. it makes me laugh and get on the damn plane.

a special shout-out to jace today, as it's her birthday.  happy birthday jacey. i couldn't fly without you!

distracting myself with an obsession:  i have never before been a game person.  well, not since the 80's and pitfall! on atari or super mario bros.  but, when we were flying back from orlando a couple of months ago, jeff put this game tripletown on my ipad and an obsession was born.  i don't even know how many hours i have wasted playing this game, and for those of you who don't know, that score below was not met easily - hours people!  

sweet treat:  i don't know how or why, but everytime i fly i buy a bag of sour patch kids.  i don't eat them any other time, but they are a must-have on flights.

happy pill: but of course, the most magical element of my flying experience is klonopin (taken responsibly and only when flying).  as you can see below, it gets me nice and relaxed and i usually get a couple of hours of sleep out of the deal. not to mention, i have been told i'm fun to have a conversation with -- you just have to be prepared for a lot of nonsense talk and i love you's. fortunately for jeff, he's used to it.


  1. Mary, I love this blog, this story ... and that photo. So proud of you!

  2. Happy JB. I like the last pic. The girls like traveling with you b/c of those sour patches too! :)

  3. Missy - I never would have known you were afraid of flying unless you told me on that first trip to Orlando! You are such a pro!

  4. Mary, I love your post! And I'm so honored that you featured the mantra! You know I'll say it any day for you. Next time, you'll have to add how your fear of flying charmed Jeff on that trip East before you started dating. XXOO Jace

  5. We missed you dearly at the wedding, but you know we all completely understood!! I can just hear Jacey leaving you that message. xoxo