For the past several weeks, I have vacillated between taking a plane or an Amtrak train down to Florida, when I visit my family at the end of June.
As most of you already know….I HATE FLYING.
I’m a wuss, I know, but I’m scared SHITLESS.
And yet, I think it’s odd that I actually find ‘taking off’ in a plane exhilarating and enjoyable. But once I’m up above the clouds, my mind starts running a mile a minute; paranoid over every little noise I hear coming from the engines.
I’m one of those passengers who studies the emergency manual for the duration of the flight and rehearses the crash position, while clutching my rosary beads and praying to Mother Mary I won’t die by falling from the sky.
I’m also one of those passengers who when the plane experiences any amount of turbulence, I nervously start humming the Judy Garland song, “Happy”, to take my mind off the fact that what I really want to do is grab the person sitting next to me by the collar and scream, "SAVE ME!!!"
Yes, I would do almost anything to avoid flying. To the point, I’ve even considered coating my body with petroleum jelly and just swimming to Florida.
I’m not in any hurry to travel quickly on this trip, so I thought that instead of taking a short 2 ½ hr. flight, I’d I ride the rails for 24 hrs. so I could be on the ground rather than 30,000 feet in the air; enjoying the passing scenery.
I sincerely love train travel, but do I love it enough to sit on a train (in coach) for 24 hrs., not able to bathe, shave, or sleep properly; arriving in Florida and greeting my mother and brother at the train station looking like a cockroach that had just been squashed by a shoe?
I did quite a bit of research online, reading the opinions of people who have traveled Amtrak long distance and it was NOT a pretty picture. Their biggest complaints were long delays, grumpy train employees, noisy, overpriced meals, and unclean bathroom facilities. I thought of forking out the extra money and booking a private compartment, but for the upgrade in price I could have my teeth veneered. Plus, I also read that private train compartments are not all they’re cracked up to be.
And can you believe that Amtrak DOES NOT provide Wi-Fi service on their long distance trips? I mean how the HELL can I possibly sit on a train for 24 hrs. and not be able to get online to BLOG about it?
After mulling all this over in my mind, I remembered that 2012 was going to be a year of change, growth, and facing my fears.
So, I’ve decided to FACE my fear this year, and will be booking a flight to Florida.
Right now I feel calm and confident about my choice because this trip is over a month away. But as the date approaches for me to board that DEADLY aircraft, I know I’ll be FREAKING OUT; contending with sleepless nights and runny bowel movements.
In the meantime, I think I better start practicing my Judy Garland humming of “Happy.”
Oh, and I have a question for those of you who have flown lately….
…do planes now come with a built-in parachute?