I have anxiety. As do a lot of people (something I did not realize until I came to terms with it and started focusing on overcoming it). And as an introvert with anxiety, travel isn’t always easy. I have come a long way but the truth is, I still have a long way to go. And maybe you do to. So I’ve compiled a list of different things that make me anxious, different ways that I deal with being anxious, and overall tips. This is by no means, everything I feel anxious about when traveling. But it is a start. So here we go…
- Fear of airplanes— I hate flying. I mean, I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hate flying. I start having nightmares a week before my flight and until I’m back home from my incredible adventure, the fear never really ends. So what do I do?
- My fear comes from not being in control. You place your life in the hand of a pilot you don’t know, and a machine you can’t control. So I start googling statistics. Everyone knows flying is the safest way to travel. But why? And how? And how safe is it really? Google it. You will find comfort in the statistics.
- Talk about it. If I am traveling with a friend, then I let them know about my fear in advance. Hey, I may have a panic attack mid-flight (it’s rare, but it has happened). I can cope and handle it, and I will come out of it (maybe not until we land, but I will be fine). But just a heads up, let’s not watch Final Destination together anytime soon. K?
- If you are lucky enough to be able to sleep on planes, do it. I sleep on overnight flights most of the time. If I get on the plane, settle in, put on calming music and an eye mask, I can fall asleep. And guess what, I can’t worry when I’m sleeping!
- For some people, you may not have the same beliefs as me, and I understand that. But if you are a Christian, listen up. Prayer can and will help. God will take all of our worries away if we have faith in him and ask. I start praying weeks before a trip, that He will ease my anxieties over the flight. It’s all you can do.
- A traveling Introvert—I am proudly a full-blown introvert. I am a homebody and I don’t do well in social situations or large crowds. So how do I manage?
- Find the perfect travel partner. Find someone who will complement your skills. This could go two ways, either find someone who is an extrovert and will force you out of your comfort zone. Or find someone who is like-minded as you and will allow you to float along on your adventure however you would like. Whatever outcome you want, the person you travel with can make or break that.
- Travel alone. My favorite trips have been solo vacations. I have a whole post about why they rock. But the Cliff Notes version—they allow you the freedom to do what you want, when you want. You can be introverted all day long, and no one is there to push your buttons on the subject. Enough said.
- Fear of the unknown— Anxiety over the unknown is terrible. Especially when that is exactly what travel presents you, if you have never been to a place before. So what helps?
- This goes along with my fear of flying tip, but if you get nervous about the unknown, then don’t wing it. Don’t just show up in a city or country without a clue. Do as much research as possible before leaving.
- Travel blogs, Facebook post, Instagram pictures. Anything you need to get you excited for your trip. Look up all of the cool things you are going to do as often as you can, because excitement will trump fear any day.
So there you have it, just a few tips on how to deal with anxiety when traveling. Let me know below, do you have anxiety when traveling? If so, what is the best way you cope with it?
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