Fear of flying (and Florida)

I’ve been invited to my boyfriend’s family reunion in Florida, but I hate the heat and I’m nervous about flying. Should I go?

Absolutely, says our elder. Work on your fears, and have a fabulous time!

Dear EWC

So my lovely boyfriend asked me to accompany him to his family reunion in Florida (we live in Massachusetts). I have a few issues that I’m worried about. Firstly, I am very sensitive to the hot weather and absolutely despise it, and obviously, Florida is a very hot place. Additionally, the reunion is in July so it will be extra uncomfortable. My second issue with this is that I have never traveled that far, and traveling all the way down to Florida worries me. My biggest fear in the world is flying, so taking a plane would present a huge issue for me. I am also very prone to car sickness and vertigo, so driving would also probably end up with me getting sick some way or another. So every method of travel is causing me a great deal of anxiety. I love my boyfriend very much but the whole trip would most likely cause me a lot of anxiety and discomfort. However, I have never been to Florida and think it would be a fun opportunity to travel there, and I don’t want to let him down. I’d also love to be able to meet his extended family because I care about him very much. So basically what I’m asking is, should I sacrifice my comfort and anxiety for a unique experience with this person I care about deeply? Or should I stick to working this summer and not subject myself to something I knew will make me uncomfortable in one way or another?

Hedwig replies

My basic life philosophy is that either you eat life or life eats you. It would be a shame to limit yourself so that you cannot enjoy new experiences. Absolutely, you should go. At age 84, I can honestly tell you that I have never regretted opportunities taken, but I have regretted those I did not take. There is a whole world out there to explore — why should you miss it?

Now, let’s try to solve your problems.

  1. The heat in Florida. I am in that state right now for the winter and can honestly tell you that everything is air conditioned — your car, your hotel, restaurants, movies, and people’s homes. You cannot go anywhere without carrying a sweater. I think I dress more warmly here than up North. You can always turn down invitations to the beach as I am sure the family will be spending much time indoors
  2. Flying. You can take a tranquilizer before the trip. Better yet — You should get professional help to get over this. There are behavioral modifications you can do. And you should do this because in the long life ahead of you there may well be travel. Investigate! You can start with an internet search on fear of flying. Follow this link, seek others, and see what you can do to conquer this.
  3. Car sickness. You can take anti-nausea medicines and stop frequently along the way. Have you looked into the possibility of taking a train
  4. Attitude! Look at the words you chose …  “Should I sacrifice my comfort and anxiety …” This is not going to be a sacrifice, it is going to be an adventure. The shared experience will strengthen the bond you currently enjoy with this boyfriend. It will be great to see Florida — America’s playground — and to meet his family. You must stop dwelling on the negative and look at all the positives. If you do end up marrying this boyfriend you will want to be able to share his life. When you have children you will want to enjoy family vacations. Begin to work on your fears — they are phobias that can be cured with professional help. Do it, go on the trip and have a fabulous time.

Letter #: 434377

Category: Dating/Relationship

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