Most people don’t know this about me, especially when they see my pics on Instagram traveling and looking all brave and stuff. Truth is I am deadly scared of most everything- bugs, heights, fast cars, failure. Surprisingly, of all the things I’m scared of and that bring me uncontrollable anxiety, there’s none bigger and that has been more paralyzingly to me than my fear of flying.

Yep. Every time I think of flying, see a plane and even days before I have to go on a trip, I walk around with a horrible, sick to my stomach feeling. On the cup half full side, sometimes I lose a little weight before a trip cos my stomach is in such knots, I’m not really eating much. 

All kidding aside, it’s no fun. I’ve tried it all, being sensible, reading stats, even prayer which has kept me strong in all aspects of my life somehow can’t stem the irrational feelings I have before and during a flight. My mum so upset with my flying paranoia, asked me to just embrace the fact that the absolute worst thing that could happen was that I died, and so what, we’re all gonna go someday- let that fear not ruin the living of life. That helped for a second and then it didn’t.

My absolute worst anxiety attack was one that prevented me from getting on what would have been a 90min flight. My legs just refused to walk to the terminal, so a car rental, bus, train ride and a day and a half later, I finally made it home. So u must be wondering, but Cynthia, how have you been managing these trips then. First. I would say, this is not a recommendation, just what I have had to do. Fed up with the anxiety and having this deep seated need to travel I went to my doctor and discussed my troubles. I know many people are scared of flying hence all the people drinking before and during their flights, but I knew my anxiety was significantly more than any healthy dose of flight apprehension.  Thankfully, my doctor is a funny, gentle man and he didn’t laugh at me or shake his head at my nonsense. He told me about one of his patients, who had a fear of buildings, even though she was a professional architect. She developed her fear out of thin air, and all of a sudden couldn’t go on site visits.  Crazy enough mine came about just like that too. In my teens, I traveled all over by myself, only ever having minor nerves when there was too much turbulence- but the full blown out fear didn’t happen until my late 20’s.

My doctor told me I had 3 options: first was remember the stats, be bold and distract myself during flight  with movies/mags. The 2nd option was drugs in the Xanax family for the anxiety. 3rd was something to put me to sleep.  The fourth option was a little bit of wine, but since I don’t drink alcohol that wasn’t really an option.

I tried the 2nd option- and either my doctor gave me a placebo (I know he didn’t) or I was wound up just that tight, but it had Zero effect on me. In fact, I think I got even more paranoid, waiting for the pills to kick in, getting even more frustrated when I realized nothing was happening.
On the flight back- I decided on the 3rd option – I would sleep. And this guys is where I have landed.

I can’t wait for the day when I don’t have to rely on a little sleeping pill, when I can say my prayer and steady my little heart.  I used to be so ashamed of this little factoid, made me seem less of a cool jetsetter when I’m actually cowering on the inside. My husband has been most supportive and had to deal with crushed fingers during takeoff and an unresponsive sleeping wife for duration of flight. Bless his heart.  It’s weird but I do feel the more I embrace my weakness, I have become stronger and I do feel the fear subsiding or is that just me being hopeful.  

So what’s the point here, I guess it’s that we are all much more complicated than we seem, that a blog or social media only ever tell half the story  (if even that much). And this is for all those scaredy cats out there, embrace your fear but keep going, get on the plane, ask about the job, speak to that girl or guy. Fear is a horrible thing and if I had let it win, if I had decided to never get on a plane again (which is honestly how I feel when I get on one), then all these amazing travel stories and journeys would never have happened.


More dresses with Stripes here.



  1. Dashing Design Diva

    June 16, 2015 at 4:33 pm Reply

    Simply Cyn, thank you for sharing your story. I'm sure it must not have been so easy to share. You just never know what is going on with a person until they let you in…thanks for allowing us a little peek…

    I have quite a few irrational fears (phobias)…butterflies and moths are at the top of the list. I also suffer from social anxiety as well as general anxiety..in addition to all that I am an introvert ;/

    Hearing other people's story helps me feel less alone….
    P.S. I live vicariously through your travels…as a Sagittarius, travel is such a strong desire of mine..unfortunately my finances aren't in agreement with me right now. 😉

    Save and Fun Travels!!!

  2. stephanie

    June 12, 2015 at 12:09 pm Reply

    I'm afraid of being judged.

  3. jdargon

    June 9, 2015 at 11:29 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing! I love your look! What are details?

  4. bajlb

    June 9, 2015 at 11:13 pm Reply

    Insightful post. I fear heights. And it's so interesting. When I looked at your pictures from Matera, it appears as though you are standing on a wall in one pic and sitting on the same wall in another. Unless it's an optical illusion, it appears the wall is quite tall. It made me nervous just looking at the pictures. As beautiful as you and the surrounding architecture/landscape are, I remember thinking, "I could never pose for a picture like that." It may sound strange, but in my fear of heights, I fear I will jump.
    Love your blog, love your style! Thanks for reminding us all that we are not alone in our "perfect (and not so perfect) imperfections."

  5. Anonymous

    June 9, 2015 at 8:51 pm Reply

    My fear….driving. I have knots in my stomach everytime I have to drive. Just thinking about stresses me out! I rather catch public transportation than drive my kid to school.

  6. Anonymous

    June 9, 2015 at 1:20 pm Reply

    I fear being diagnosed with a terminal illness now or years from now…

  7. Anonymous

    June 9, 2015 at 4:26 am Reply

    OMG – I can't thank you enough for writing about this. It is literally like you are speaking to me.

    I have the same fear – and I am one of those that self medicate via alcohol. That's the only thing that can get me through a short flight. Funny enough, I am ok with long hauls, but anything less than 3 hours and I am a nervous freak.

    I, too am slightly embarrassed about my fear of flying. Also, similar to you it somewhat developed out of nowhere and became exponentially worse as more and more plane crashes kept on occurring.

    I actually read a book called 'Soar: The Breakthrough Treatment For Fear Of Flying' that was pretty helpful. Maybe you should also try reading and see if helps.

    Once again, thanks for sharing.

  8. Sheila Etonga

    June 9, 2015 at 4:00 am Reply

    I fear rejection and the probability of wasting my life (That is wasting the gifts and talents I have been given). Only God gives me the grace to press on in the midst of my fear and despite of it. So thanks Cyn for sharing your weakness…because it is in our weakness that our God is made strong. We are much fragile creatures than we realize.

  9. Ashleigh

    June 9, 2015 at 3:16 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing. As always, youre such an inspiration!

  10. Tammie

    June 8, 2015 at 10:52 pm Reply

    Great post! I too fear flying but it's my #1 choice for traveling. Car rides are too long and boarding a bus is not an option for me. I commend you for doing what you do in the midst of your fears – for that, you are an awesomely brave woman. Keep up the good work!

  11. caitlin

    June 8, 2015 at 8:50 pm Reply

    It's kind of a lowkey fear, but I think fish are really creepy! Something about their unblinking eyes… not that I don't enjoy a good fish & chips, but at that point they're just differently-flavored chicken tenders I guess. Aquariums make me pretty uneasy, and the one time I went snorkeling (in a controlled pool thing) I hugged the edges and got out of there as fast as I could.

    Sidenote, that trench is amazing. Where is it from?

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

  12. The Indie

    June 8, 2015 at 8:25 pm Reply

    It always amazes me at how different but also how connected we are as humans. I have an almost debilitating fear of failure that I have to make a conscious steadfast effort to work against every single day. I am always afraid that the next move I make will lead me to fail or I make a move, end up near a cliff and instead of believing I'll be okay there, I don't trust the process and immediately just run in the other direction. If the world doesn't see you fail, did you ever really fail? I think that thought enters my mind. I think a lot of that keeps me from living, from truly grasping hold of my purpose so I make an effort to work against it. Thank you for the post, for connecting, for your transparency, and you. look. beautiful.

  13. Chioma

    June 8, 2015 at 7:52 pm Reply

    wow…I share the same fear! thanks for being so transparent! <3

    C's Evolution of Style

  14. Genevieve

    June 8, 2015 at 7:18 pm Reply

    Cotton balls (yes, weird I know) and failure.

  15. Lesley X

    June 8, 2015 at 6:36 pm Reply

    You look gorgeous. Lovely post.
    Blogs only really show some of the person behind it. It's good you live regardless of your fear. I really need to do that. I get anxieties about a lot of things and it stops me doing a lot in life x

  16. Divine Miss m

    June 8, 2015 at 5:19 pm Reply

    My parents are from Honduras and in the mid-nineties there were countless plane crashes over the course of one summer. It just so happens that about one month after a crash, we were headed to back. The anxiety struck me like lightning. I was scared my mom would get really angry so I kept my mouth shut as we boarded the aircraft. I tried to make my self go to sleep but I just kept looking around, looking for fires on the wings, nervous as we went through turbulence. Nowadays I take a sleeping pill, and it has gotten me to amazing places and unforgettable memories. I hate that I have to take a pill but until I can calm myself without one, it has become my constant companion.

  17. Anonymous

    June 8, 2015 at 3:59 pm Reply

    same here….Tai – I'm also going to Dubai in October as well – I have no idea how I'm gonna pull this off……every trip overseas I'm absolutely crazed….

  18. Ashley Carter

    June 8, 2015 at 3:46 pm Reply

    I absolutely loved this post! Thank you for your honesty. I know that we are all afraid of something and I commend you on being open with us. I love your travel posts so much! Also, love this outfit. The dress is gorgeous.

  19. Ifere Bliss

    June 8, 2015 at 2:17 pm Reply

    Gorgeous, love the detailed front slit

  20. Rose

    June 8, 2015 at 1:26 pm Reply

    you're so brave,such a great post!
    My fear would be failure but then again success is heard to define.

  21. Aine

    June 8, 2015 at 1:21 pm Reply

    The hair! The dress! The bag! You look so well put together.

  22. Anonymous

    June 8, 2015 at 1:15 pm Reply

    Fear of failure. Yes I have dreams. Well fear creeps in as a result of a tot. Once you meditate longer it bc a stronghold. As a Christian areas I have overcome fear is by focusing on Jesus Christ. Once tot tries to get my attention I rebuke in Jesus Christ or simply call his name. But most especially the word of God is spirit n truth. Play audio Bible books. Sometimes wen we get to the root of our fear we overcome. But I always ask for courage like David.
    Lovely dress and coat…details plz

  23. Tai

    June 8, 2015 at 1:08 pm Reply

    This post really spoke to me. I'll never forget the night before flying off to Italy for a semester abroad 12 years ago, my friends and I decided it was a good idea to see "Final Destination". Yeah. NOT SMART. NOT GOOD. Since then, I have this insane fear of flying. When it comes to booking a trip, I'm ok. However, days/weeks leading up to the trip? Bubble guts, anxiety, panic attacks, tears, you name it. I'll never forget sneaking off to the ER the morning of my trip back to Italy 8 years ago, begging the attending MD for sleeping pills, or having a panic attack in the bathroom on our return flight to the US.

    Or crying from Dominica Republic ALL the way back to the US two summers ago

    Recently, I flew back to Barbados by myself for the first time in almost 8 years, I cried my eyes out waiting to board the plane. A co worker gave me rx for sleeping pills, yeah, BIG MISTAKE. In my hysteria I took more than I should and became sick(arriving AND departing….). I'm traveling to Dubai in October and I'm trying not to think about it. I know for a fact I can't do sleeping pills but I'm at a lost on how to tackle this for a 10+ hr flight.

  24. chicbeatblog

    June 8, 2015 at 12:55 pm Reply

    The fit of that dress is perfection and I'm digging the natural hair. Happy Monday to you!

Leave a comment