Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
GB
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the United Kingdom version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > National Geographic Traveller (UK) > December 2018 > CAN YOU BEAT A FEAR OF FLYING?

CAN YOU BEAT A FEAR OF FLYING?

IT’S THOUGHT TO AFFECT AROUND ONE IN 10 PEOPLE AND CAN SEVERELY LIMIT LIFE CHOICES, BUT A FEAR OF FLYING IS SOMETHING MANY TRAVELLERS OVERCOME, WITH PATIENCE, GUIDANCE AND PRACTICE. WORDS: JULIA BUCKLEY
ILLUSTRATION: GETTY

Elaine Iljon Foreman was going to Australia when she heard a voice in her head. “I was waiting to board, and it said: ‘Elaine, you’re looking at the last plane you’re going to go on.’”

It’s a scenario those of us who dread flying can well imagine — except for one difference. Iljon Foreman is no phobic; she’s a chartered clinical psychologist who specialises in helping patients conquer fear of flying. “I had to use all the techniques I use in my therapy to deal with that,” she says. “I was thinking: ‘Maybe I should listen to this.’ I wasn’t the happiest bunny getting on that plane.”

Fear of flying is thought to affect around one in 10 people, according to Anxiety UK. Although it’s possible that figure could be growing — a survey conducted by the National Geographic Channel earlier this year reported that more than 21 million Britons currently suffer from it. It’s classified as a phobia, characterised by ‘clinically significant anxiety’, by the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), the severity of which, of course, can vary wildly.

Triggers can be anything from booking a flight to arriving at the airport. Once on board, closing the doors, take-off and turbulence are the most common. “I hate take-off,” says Oliver Gerrish, an architectural historian who flies reluctantly. “I hate the getting ready — seat belts on, juddering down the runway. I start thinking: ‘How the hell will this work?’” Men and women are equally likely to be affected by fear of flying — though research shows that women are more likely to fear being in an accident, while men dislike the loss of control. And just because you don’t suffer from it now, that doesn’t mean you won’t develop it in the future. Aretha Franklin stopped flying after a turbulent flight in 1984. Footballer Dennis Bergkamp had his refusal to fly written into his contract at Arsenal, where he was known as ‘The Non-Flying Dutchman’, after a succession of flights on ‘nasty little planes’ when playing for Inter Milan.

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK) - December 2018
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - December 2018
£2.99
Or 299 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only £ 2.30 per issue
SAVE
23%
£22.99
Or 2299 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only £ 2.60 per issue
SAVE
13%
£12.99
Or 1299 points

View Issues

About National Geographic Traveller (UK)

This month, we ditch the jeep to discover Africa from a different perspective. Whether on foot, by boat or hot air balloon, we’re showcasing the continent’s wild side on an active safari across Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and more. We go north of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland; discover Japan’s Tohoku region; and spend a long weekend in Vilnius. Other highlights this issue include Lima, Fife, Budapest, San Francisco and Turin, while our photo story unearths the tradition of gold panning in Costa Rica.