A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
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Fear of Flying


No. It’s not what you think.

But insects – the flying kind that buzz and click and clumsily bump into you – cause a knee-jerk, gut-level, stone-cold panic in me.

Once, driving my Miata on a curvy parkway at night, a huge, loud cicada dropped onto the dash and if it weren’t for Craig grabbing the wheel as I flailed and screamed, I don’t think I’d be here writing this.

The sight of an approaching bee (or sometimes even a large lumbering fly) has had me tossing a full picnic plate in the air, sprinting for safer ground.

At an outdoor coffee shop, I leapt into the lap of our teenage babysitter when a big bug dove toward our table. Another time I tore off my T-shirt at a campsite when, minding my own business, I wandered into a swarm of yellow jackets.

The summer of 2004 was almost the end of me as thousands of cicada larvae in our region pushed through the ground to adulthood and dried out their wings to fly around for a few weeks. I still have nightmares thinking about their enormous orange eyes and the crazy clacking sound they make.

My friend Martha got married outdoors 17 years ago during the previous cicada invasion. She tells a story about the ceremony: Industrial lawn vacuums sucked up the bug corpses that littered the lawn before the wedding. Later, at the reception, ladies’ hats and hairdos were made macabre by the ancient creepy creatures, their legs tangled in tulle and chignons.

I added this image to my ever-growing list of bug horrors.

It has occurred to me that possibly, just maybe, there might be a few flying insects along the way as we travel around the world. Some, perhaps, in the Amazon; a couple more in Australia… could there be any in Southeast Asia?

As I considered how to deal with my “issue”, I found a very helpful post at Women On The Road, a great travel site for women.

The author suggests that maintaining a sense of denial about your fears and assuming that you can work it out in the moment is definitely NOT the best strategy. “The worst thing you can do is keep pushing forward while ignoring your travel phobias or thinking they’ll simply disappear.”

Craig is afraid I’ll jump off a cliff or out of a moving bus if surprised by a buzzing flyer. So, I suppose I’ll call the Ross Center for Anxiety Disorders after all and ask for an intense session sometime before our departure.

But I think I could resolve the whole problem most easily by purchasing one additional item of travel clothing: The Bug Suit. I would look really good in this – and no doubt, it would be the calmest you’ll ever see me in the great outdoors.

bug suit


1 Sujatha { 06.18.08 at 7:27 am }

Neat. Our whole family could use the bug suit! We enjoy hiking in the summer. My only (big) problem is the bugs. We apply the repellants but they are not always effective and they stink. This would be so cool 🙂

2 Nomadic Matt { 06.19.08 at 8:05 am }

I’d skip the desert in australia then lol!! They are EVERYWHERE!!

3 The Asian Traveler { 06.24.08 at 10:06 am }

I love the bug suit, very unique. 🙂

Btw, care to exchange links? Just buzz me if you’re interested.

4 Kara Jane { 08.13.08 at 7:31 am }

Oh Dani – Alice Springs has cicadas every year – at Christmas time. And lets not even talk about the stink beetles!! Cockroaches are a couple inches long – and fly. Don’t forget the bug suit. Love, Kara

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