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Aerophobia

Visit the full length video on the original site:

www.kallopeter.hu/aerophobia_en.html

 

Aerophobia means fear of flying. For someone who has never experienced it the next few lines may mean nothing - or my words might even sound funny. According to an American survey 80 percent of Americans are anxious after takeoff, and 10 percent of these people simpyl feel terror when up in the air. This means 24 million people only in the States.

If I lived there I would belong to this group.

I tried to explain myself several ways what I really fear. Being so high, closed in the plane, or panicking from a catastrophe? Some people say aerophobics are unable to let someone else tka over control.

Sitting in my comfortable armchair down here it all sounds crazy, but if I am honest with myself, I belong to this group. Being up in the air is just not for me.

When I sit in a plane I cannot forget the fact that there are thousands of meters between the ground and my two feet. It feels like something perverted to sit in a flying tube for hours and eating chicken sandwich which I was served. Every time I board a plane I think about what will cross my mind when this giant piece of metal, weighing tons will take my helpless body down in the ground. It was the hardest thing to accept, but my fate is in the hands of someone else. And it is hard for me to bid farewell to control in such an extreme situation.

I was able to produce all symptoms of a panic attack, separately and all together. Shortness of breath, suffocation, dry mouth, dizziness, numbness, trembling, fast heartbeat. I got to the point that I did not travel or cancelled trips because they would have meant to board a plane. If I had to go all I though of was landing, and during my stay in a foreign country the thought of returning by a plane made me stressed. I planned holidays in the habit of not having to fly more than two hours. And this way I had really limited choices.

In the meantime, I really do love to travel. I think not only arriving, but travelling itself is important. But this type of fear marked even the most exciting adventures. As a photographer I deprive myself from chances, what made me think a lot. I had to do something, because this blocked me from getting further.

Last August flying to Scotland I somehow started to take photos and shoot videos with my phone. I realised that suddenly I am not part of what is happening any more - I became a spectator in my own story, and all that I cared for was to make great photos. Slowly I realized what I had to do is to photograph this fear out of myself. I flew a couple of times ever since, being less and less anxious. The excitement of something new took over - something I feel when I make photos.

It took eighteeen months and a dozen flights to create this short film, which tells you about me overcoming my fears. On my last trip, coming home from Barcelona, I haven't had a single scray thought, I did not feel fear for a moment. It felt like flying for the first time. I was waiting for this trip. I fully enjoyed being ten thousand meters up in the air, the beauty of flying.

And now, I am like a twelve years old little kid, cannot wait to fly somewhere. No matter where, just let it be very far away.

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Taken on November 17, 2010