Valley Overseas: How Are You OK with Planes?

Welcome to Valley Overseas. We’ll hear from students exploring new lands full of strange customs, seemingly impenetrable language barriers, and Euro-trash. They’ll dish out the good, bad and the ugly of living in a home-stay, and the tales of discount airlines. From mixed-up vocab to drool-worthy people in fantastic fashions, let us show you the experiences of a lifetime.

Really, it’s a serious question. How are you OK with planes? I’ve been traveling a fair amount my whole life, and I have yet to get used them. “Get used to them” is putting it lightly. I’m terrified.

The minute I enter an airport, my palms sweat. When I board, my stomach does a backflip. When the plane is in the air, I nuzzle my head against whoever is unfortunate enough to be sitting next to me.

And yet, I booked a budget flight to Croatia in August. And I’ve dreaded the flight as much as I’ve looked forward to the actual trip. Here were my concerns:

I booked a budget airline. Does that mean the plane would be falling apart or
something? My flight cost 12 euros—how safe could it be?

Said budget airline, Ryainair, is revered for always being on time. Does that mean they don’t cancel or delay flights in dangerous weather conditions?

Riding on a plane is literally being trapped in a metal capsule going hundreds of
miles per hour high up in the sky. How is anyone OK with that?

I confessed my fears to my friends and unfortunate travel buddies. A couple of them rightfully made fun of me. One friend mostly watched in horror as I transformed from a cool, casual traveler into a certified stress monster. Also, I nuzzled her. You could call me a nervous wreck. But don’t we all have experiences that shove us out of our comfort zone? That’s what study abroad is all about.

And by the way, my flight went smoothly. There was no turbulence and I landed in Zadar, Croatia half an hour early. Soon after, everything was worth it. But more on that later.

Photo by Jill Podhor

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