i must have easily taken a few hundred flights in my life. All in the last 6 years, to be precise. But, even now, i am jittery before a flight. Even a domestic flight. i finish packing up the previous day (most of it at least). Have copious check lists ready, every single time. i cant eat anything before I leave home. If i do, i feel queasy on the way. My cabs are booked for exactly an hour before the reporting time. If the cab arrives, say 10 minutes early, i set off for the airport by the original cab arrival time. And the horrible airplane food after i’ve starved myself doesn’t add any joy to the prospect of traveling.
My husband, on the other hand, must have taken a few thousand flights in his life. Though he has definitely changed now, there were times when he would begin throwing things into his travel bag as the taxi arrived at our doorstep. It was pretty difficult for me to cope with this habit of his considering how seriously i take my traveling. He still doesn’t pack on the previous day (rolling eyes!) but he’s not as last minute as he used to be.
People who know me are surprised at this reaction. i am generally a confident person. And have conquered most of my fears since i have begun running life full time. So after thinking about it for a bit, i have realized that i take after my mom in this trait. She was much less exposed than i am. But the basic nature comes from her. Her reaction to challenges was much stronger where she would get all tensed and would worry too soon. Even though i am not as irrational and keep my cool most of the times. Still, the script at the back of my mind is constantly telling me to avoid trouble - be on time, write things down, run your check lists, weigh your bags etc
i will also attribute this idiosyncrasy to some real life unpleasant adventures while taking flights which tell me that things can wrong and my fear is very real. Thanks to my husband’s earlier habit of testing flight dead lines, there have been several times when we were racing against time while stuck in traffic jams on our way to airports. We would almost give up hope of making it. i think we must have also made a record by being allowed to board an international flight just 20 minutes before take off time!! (Yes, not even 20 min before boarding time!). So, there are genuine reasons to play safe.
In conclusion, it felt nice in my head to be rational about it and know that i am not really paranoid about making it on time. And i wouldn’t want to change this because i think it’s good to be organized and respect times lines. Rest assured, that i enjoy the travel that comes my way - voluntary or necessary.
What kind of a traveler are you? Chilled out or tensed up?