Confronting the Fear of Heights

image

The Burj al Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world, and I once thought it provided the perfect opportunity for me to cure my fear of heights through (outmoded) shock therapy. I was determined to emerge from its balcony waaaaaaay up in the sky—2,722 feet (to the tip) to be exact—a changed and better woman. I have the pictures to prove I did it!

image

image

I was so proud of myself for not freaking out! And until my recent trip to Toronto and Niagara Falls, I thought I had experienced a full breakthrough, or at least turned a corner from debilitating fear.

No, my acrophobia reared its might once again in Toronto’s CN Tower. And then again on a ferris wheel. (Sigh.)

image

image

Well, I approached CN Tower confidently, having already “conquered my fear.”

image

Then we got in the elevator, which had see-through doors. Cool. I’ll look at the floor. When I looked down, I could see the ground through their fancy see-through floor panels. OHN. <— Oh. Hell. No! I panicked.

Then when we exited the elevator, it shifted as people, and their weight, emptied out. I could feel the elevator adjusting position as I leapt over the threshold with the grace of a gazelle on the Serengeti, running for its life. People gaped openly, but I didn't care.

The brave woman living her life with no fear of heights was no longer in the building. I approached the vast, circular wall of windows gingerly, and held onto their framing bulkheads. I glanced nervously at all seams and bolts, and winced visibly when I saw people placing their tiny children on the window ledges, against the windows, for pics.

This is how accidents happen, I thought with eyes wide open.

A lovely attraction in CN Tower is the see-through floor; it was the first of its kind. Although I stood by fearing for the lives of my friends who walked and LAID on it to take selfies, I claim the triumph of sitting close to its edge on the floor, leaning over for a pic of my own. 🙂

image

If that wasn’t bad enough, we decided to have brunch and tour Niagara’s Tower. (What is with Canada and all the towers?)

image

There, a nice woman took a photo of me losing my shit on the outdoor balcony. I was attempting to take a selfie while I held onto one of the tower viewers. Because wind. And because tower blowing over. Totally rational.

image

Finally, I sought the peace of a ride on the ferris wheel. At midnight, alone. At this point, my nerves were shot completely, and I panicked in one of the lovely cabins.

image

image

So, I’m good on towers for awhile. I have come away in need of reevaluating (once again) my life and goals related to this acrophobia. For now, the ground is enough.

image

Set to Sail Lake Atitlan

Thank you for letting me share…my approach to Lake Atitlan. After the two-hour ride from Antigua, I met with Samuel, one of the guides from Los Elementos Spa and Adventures. We boarded a water taxi to begin our kayaking journey on the lake. #TYFLMS

image

From the winding roads, I finally started to see the vast lake and the volcanoes surrounding it.

image

I arrived in Panjachal, met with Sam and boarded a water taxi. Here is the view looking back at the docks of Panjachal

image

image

image

image

We’re on the way to Los Elements in San Jose. #TYFLMS