I’ve been traveling pretty frequently probably since my second year of college. I’ve always wanted to travel and go to different states, but I really didn’t have anyone to do it with. At the time I hadn’t flown on a plane since after Hurricane Katrina, which would’ve been 10 years since I’ve flown. Never was it an option to fly alone, so I just didn’t do it. My best friend and I started to take simple trips, about 2 hours. Which eventually led us to longer 6-7 hour trips. Fast forward about 4 years and we’ve been a few places together, always together. I have anxiety issues with airports and public transportation (I have anxiety issues in general) BUT I find it to be worse when traveling. My first time on a plane after that 10-year gap was probably the most traumatic. Right before we took off I literally had this feeling that I wanted to burst into tears. My best friend and I had gotten split up so we didn’t sit together (which made me go into panic mode). Before putting my phone on airplane mode, I remember reading a text from her saying “you’re going to be fine”, and that’s when I lost my sh*t. Luckily I had these blackout sunglasses on (yes on the plane as if I were visually impaired). I cried under my shades and kept it moving. Fast forward to now, I am no longer an active plane crier but I do get jittery.
I knew this day would eventually come, where I would have to fly alone. I’d been pondering on it for a while due to my career path. I knew that this would be an occasional occurrence that I’d have to get used to. In short, I was flying to Denver, Colorado – without my best friend by my side. The week prior I was super confident, hyping myself up, and ready to lug my oversized duffel bag on the plane. It wasn’t until the night before I left that my stomach began hurting and nausea kicked in, it was the jitters. So now I’m debating on even going to the airport or not (didn’t get insurance on the ticket either). Didn’t sleep well but I sucked it up and took an Uber at 3:30 AM to LGA (an airport I’d never flown out of, which made me more anxious). Everything went smooth, almost too smooth to believe. My anxiety disappeared for the most part. I ended up making friends at my gate and boarding my 6 AM flight on time. I think I did pretty damn good, minus struggling to stuff my big a** duffel into the overhead bin. I damn near flew across the country alone, on a 5-hour flight without tears or worry, and it ended up being one of the best trips I’ve taken. Good people, great food, and dope attractions.
I didn’t explore Denver alone, nor have I gotten to the point where I can travel and see the world alone (honestly it doesn’t sound too exhilarating and I don’t think I’d want to do it) but I’m glad that I got to experience flying alone first hand. I used to see people in the airport by themselves constantly and think “how can one travel alone, that’s crazy” and now here I am. Honestly, it was never that serious, however, in my mind, it seemed like a huge deal. From worrying about my luggage, making it through TSA, what if my Uber kidnaps me, what if I get on the wrong flight and end up in a random state with not enough money to buy a flight home, and of course what if something happens to me on the plane. THIS is what goes on in my head. I’m trying to eliminate the “what if’s” and just roll with the punches. My lesson in all of this was to just live, make the most out of life, and get out of my comfort zone.
“Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable”Peter McWilliams
Peace & Blessings