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One of my greatest desires in life is also one of my greatest fears. Travelling. I would love to explore the world a little more, and even my own country. Being stuck in a little town in the Midlands doesn’t have a huge amount to offer and when you know there is a whole world out there, ready to explore, but what is stopping me? Anxiety. My old friend, and although it’s stuck with me throughout thick and thin, I wish it would leave me alone. As someone who struggles with the idea of getting onto a train and going to the closest city due to what they may encounter another country seems like a whole other playing field. I have spent many hours planning trips that never happened and which involve me leaving my own town on a rare occasion and that has to be with people that I know, well. For me, it’ the fear of the unknown, new place comes with the anxiety that I may get lost or something bad may happen. Travelling abroad comes with the idea of getting stranded in another country or something worse and don’t even get me started on getting on a plane and being ok with it. There are so many other hurdles for me to overcome to allow me to travel as much as I’d like, but a starting point is like most with anxiety, working out the triggers and how to ‘deal’ with them.
Getting stranded abroad this is something that you can never completely rule out of your mind, even people who don’t suffer from anxiety find this one troubling. Whether this is from a cancelled flight, a lost passport or bad weather, it can happen. It’s important to break it down into how to come to ease with each possibility. If your flight happens to get cancelled for whatever it can be scary as you don’t know the next steps and for anyone with anxiety, that is a major trigger. To get in contact with hard to reach airlines CSG is amazing for sharing all of the numbers you may need, how much it will cost to contact them and further numbers for things when you return such as complaints. Also, with most cancelled flights if you will be waiting overnight for another one you can get put up in a hotel which is paid for to allow you to get some rest. I’d like to convince myself this is just an extra day you’re on holiday, you get to visit a place you may not have previously been able to, and breakfast is usually on offer. Yay.
Having home comforts come along for the journey is something that I always find helpful as it allows you to have that comfort blanket. I often find experiencing lots of new things at once makes me have a *bit* of a meltdown. I usually make a bunch of playlists that I feel comforted by, my favourite book and even my favourite teddy, yes I am 23. It’s the little things that remind me of home that make me feel safe, being able to access social media and people I’d usually talk to at home also makes me feel grounded like they’re only a message away. As much as I enjoy having some social media free time whilst away, it is always good to have that resource there when you need it.
Plan out your stay before you go is such a must when you suffer from travel anxiety I hate not knowing what we are going to do so I can plan just about everything for that day, including places to visit, how much money I will need and what to wear. It can sound trivial when written in a list like above but for someone who suffers from anxiety its a make or break deal. I like to pack things way in advance and then double check them and possibly even triple check them as forgetting things sends me into a huge panic. Before leaving to go on holiday I now have to do so many checks for making sure I have my medication and inhalers as there have been far too many trips when I’ve forgotten. I often find a checklist helps to remember your must-haves.
Hopefully, these tips help a little bit with your Travel Anxiety and I would love you to share any of your tips you have for overcoming anxiety whilst travelling in the comments.