I don't mind traveling. I'm a plan-ahead kind of girl so I don't mind the packing and preparation. Getting up early for a flight doesn't bother me, waiting in security lines is no big deal. I don't love being in close quarters with other people for prolonged periods, but I'm small and my body naturally loves to curl up so the physical part isn't a burden for me.
But. I hate to fly. Oh, how I hate to fly. I'm terrified. I don't even know when it happened. We flew regularly when I was a kid (you have to when you live in AK, no other way to escape!) and during college it was pretty much eight flights a year minimum. Not to mention the travel between here and Europe I did when Chris and I were courting from a (long) distance. But gradually, and even more since we had kids, I tend to stay put for the most part or take road trips. Living in California, people were usually eager to come and see us and we've had plenty of visitors here to MN as well. So for several years there, I didn't fly at all.
My fear has nothing to do with 9/11 either, a point at which I know a lot of other seasoned air-travelers became much more nervous in the air. My rational brain knows how safe air travel is and I can go over and over statistics and science and physics but bottom line, I'm truly terrified that my plane will drop out of the sky. It's worst during take-off, but I really can't relax for the duration of a flight. I try to read, but it's really hard to concentrate with half my brain willing the plane to stay in the sky. My ears listen for any noise they interpret as impending doom, I have to remind myself to unclench my jaw every so often and my heart pounds at the slightest bit of turbulence.
Given all of that? The sweet relief I felt when my second flight landed in Minneapolis today was surpassed only by the excitement at seeing my kids and husband. It was so absolutely lovely to get away, and seeing my sister and nephew was, well, worth getting on a plane(s) for. But there truly is no place like home and I am so happy to be here.