My wife and I have enjoyed several COPA trips. The announcement of the upcoming Bahamas trip, sounded fun, and I shared this with my wife…
Her initial reaction was NO WAY - not gonna fly over water…Then - she wrote this heart felt document - I asked her permission to share… so, enjoy.
Bahama Trip Fears - Patti Bassett
I sit at the breakfast table alone with my cold coffee
staring at the brochure that my husband had ever so casually left for me to
see. The brochure was touting a trip to
the Bahamas with deluxe accommodations at a resort on a pink sand beach. The pictures of the beach and the resort
property is appealing, of that there is no doubt.
When I said I was alone at the table, that wasn’t entirely
true. I was sitting with my near
constant companions - fear and anxiety.
They’d been with me for years and though I had been in therapy for years
(and I do mean that literally) there they sat.
They were burdens I carried with me day after day, heavy on my shoulders
and burrowed deep in my mind.
It’s not that I didn’t want to go to a fancy resort and
pretend that I was Bo Derek as I lounged near the ocean. It was the plane ride. My husband and I own a plane and before you
get all excited, it’s a small plane. It
has one little whirly-girly blade on the front and if it stops you’re screwed,
more or less.
Over the years I had become more willing and able to fly
over land, probably because it was just that - terra firma. If there was a problem, and there never had
been, at least you were still going to have dry feet. Flying over the ocean was a different deal
all together. The trip, in a small
plane, takes 90 minutes over the deep blue sea and that was the problem. A huge problem for me.
To be sure we’d be wearing life vests, have a raft on board
and be flying pretty much together with other pilots anxious to be rid of
winter, even if just for a few days.
There was just something about being over the ocean, which is way over
my head. I don’t swim and have a fear of
water if it’s above my knees.
While I contemplated my decision to go/not go, I grilled my husband
on proper disaster etiquette. When and
how did you get the raft out of the plane?
As a non-swimmer I wanted to be clear about how I was going to even be
able to get in the raft. Did he expect
me to jump? That hardly seemed
likely. The Nervous Nell in me wanted
I brooded over my decision for a day. The brochure remained in place on the
table. I knew three things for certain:
(1) I could delay my decision until there would be no room at “the inn” for
us. If that happened then I would be
absolved, in my mind, of denying my husband this wonderful trip; (2) declining,
no that’s not the right word, refusing to go altogether based on any number of made
up excuses; but, fear and anxiety not being among them; or (3) pull up my big
girl panties, and decide that I was going to go come hell or high water
I went on the web - whatever did we do before it was
invented? I know we didn’t just drop
everything and run to the library and consult with an encyclopedia. Remember those? I checked out the resort - pricey but
beautiful, read the reviews and knew without a doubt that I/we deserved these
few days in paradise. The cost of the
room was way out of my husband’s comfort zone, not to mention what it was going
to cost us in fuel for the plane, rental of life vests and rafts, etc. You get
In the morning I still hadn’t been able to come up with a
decision. As I was leaving for work, I
penned a note on the brochure, “I’m thinking.”
On my way into the office that day I argued with myself. I knew, as did everyone around me, that we deserved this trip. Everybody needs something to look forward to
and unfortunately we usually only looked forward to work and more work (we work
full time and run two family businesses on the side - can you say drama). I argued about the “what if’s”. What was the worst, the absolute worst, thing
that could happen to us? You already
know the answer - we don’t come back.
And, if that were to happen I sure hoped it was on the return trip!
Once at the office, I polled my co-workers. Would you go? Even in a small plane over the
ocean? The answer was a resounding yes.
Apparently, my co-workers know me almost as well as I know myself. I showed them the website and several of them
said they would be happy to go in my place and would take their chances over
I talked to a close friend who doesn’t even like flying
commercially and he told me to go. He,
as well as my husband and I, have both suffered losses in our family that have
changed our lives and who we are forever.
He understood my fears and said “go for it. Everybody needs some happiness now and then.”
I was convinced. With
the picture of the ocean and the pink sand beach on my computer screen, I
called my husband. All I said was, “Book
it Dan-o before I change my mind.” He
took me at my word and made our reservation that day. As a condition for going, and he would have
done it anyway, I asked that the plane be checked from top to bottom - or
whirly gig to tail more appropriately.
I have nearly two months before it’s “wheels up” but I’m
already on Ebay, which is my all time favorite shopping site, looking for some
kind of lacey cover-up which will allow me to embrace my inner Bo Derek as I
walk along the beach.
For now, I have kicked fear and anxiety to the curb, at
least as far as this trip is concerned.
Will they return? Likely, but I’m
determined to go anyway. I’m going to
drink something that comes with an umbrella on the side and for just a few days
soak my body and soul in the Bahamas sun.