Let’s use this topic to introduce ourselves to one another, as BumpySkies users, as travelers, and as fellow citizens of this jet-connected and ever-accelerating world.
How did you come across BumpySkies? What’s your history with air travel, and what does travel look and feel like for you, these days? If you’re a nervous flier who needs to travel anyway, how do you manage your airborne anxieties?
Do allow me to start: Hello! I’m Jason McIntosh, the creator of BumpySkies.com.
Today I live in New York City, working for Google as a technical writer. Before that, I worked for many years as a freelance software engineer; it was during this period, in 2016, when I developed and released BumpySkies as a personal side project.
The son of enthusiastic travelers, I spent a fair portion of my childhood at 30,000 feet, all up and down the American east coast. For no narratively interesting reason I started developing a fear of flying in my late teens. By my mid-thirties it had become severe enough to blunt my ability to travel any significant distance. I also found myself partnered up with someone who loved to travel, and had little patience for leaving me at home to stew in my anxieties.
So, I resolved to find a path through my fears. You can see a record of my journey in the hyperlinks on BumpySkies’s FAQ, including the online courses I took and books I read in the 2010s. BumpySkies was sort of a personal “senior thesis”, synthesizing a lot of information and resources I had learned about flight’s scariest aspect for me: the unpredictability of turbulence.
I still don’t love flying, but through knowledge planning tools like BumpySkies, and in-the-moment techniques like meditative breathing exercises, I can usually tolerate it all right.
Hi! I’m Liza. I’ve found BumpySkies a huge help when flying—an activity I used to enjoy but for no clear reason became less and less pleasant after a decade or more of active traveling. (I learned about it from Jason directly since we’ve worked together in a few organizations.)
I understand intellectually that flying is safe, but I find turbulence really anxiety-producing, and being prepared for when it’s likely to occur and how long to expect it is helpful. (BumpySkies is definitely more of a comfort than my partner, who immediately falls asleep on planes.) Flight anxiety is especially annoying for me as I love travel in general and I’m not usually risk-averse, so it feels both inconvenient and out-of-character. For that reason something that just helps me prepare and approach the situation rationally is very effective.