‘wellbeing away from home’ – dealing with travel anxiety

Hey everyone,

Hope you are all well and having a pleasant June. I see a lot of people are going on holiday at the moment. I have just got back from Croatia myself, hence the media silence. I went for twelve days. I did a round trip from Zadar, To split and back up to Zadar whilst stopping in towns along the coast. It was gorgeous.

A few years ago, I travelled to countries such as; France, Italy, Netherlands. I always thought I was a pain to travel with. There were times when I should have been enjoying myself and I was so upset and couldn’t have been enjoying it less. I realised that it may have been something more.

Looking back these moments, it would usually be when trying to catch bus, or not knowing what is going on, or not being able to find accommodation. Once in Amsterdam it took me about 4 hours wandering around to find my accommodation, and by that point I was ready to go home.

I think everyone gets this to a degree when travelling, the unknown in another country can understandably freak a person out. This was different for me. I wanted to see places and meet people, but the more I travelled the less I wanted to. Being twenty-one that idea made me sad, this is my time to go do these things, why did I fear it?

Croatia has been good for me because it helped me feel more comfortable with travelling.I still have to control my fear and anxiety, but the trip was more pleasant because I took measures. I wanted to share with you the methods I used to help me whilst travelling, these are both physical and emotional.

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My physical methods I used for travelling:

1. Research – I found it really useful to conduct research before the trip. We looked at exchange rate, local transport. Knowing this information before hand really helped reduce my anxiety as what to expect. 

 

2. Budget – This was important for me. Being a student there is not masses of money in the bank, so knowing if I could afford it or not reduced my anxiety because I knew what to expect and that I wasn’t going to get into any unexpected pickles abroad.

3. Stick to it! – This was hard for me, there were lots of different cool things to buy and excursions that looks unmissable, I found self-control really important. It reduced my anxiety a lot on holiday to know I was sticking to my budget and make me feel like I was achieving something. 

4. Google maps offline – This SAVED me on my holiday in Croatia. You can download the free google maps app on iPhone, android and other devices. Once you have downloaded the app you can download maps in a certain area and make them available offline, so even if you don’t have internet, you can see where you are and you can see what is around you. 

This helped me with finding accommodation, reassurance of location on bus journeys, and even gave me location of supermarkets and bakery’s, which was really helpful. It is better to have it than not have it and need it.

5. Language – Going to a country where you don’t speak to same language can cause anxiety and be stressful. It can be helpful to learn some simple phrases, or use an app on your phone that can translate phrases, such as itranslate, google translate or SayHi. Luckily for me, a lot of the locals spoke English and if they didn’t then I would use an app.

Communication is key and feeling like you can ask someone for help can go a long way. 

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My emotional methods I used for travelling:

1. Two heads are better than one – Going with a  friend really reduced my anxiety, know I had someone there to reassure me and also enjoy it with.

2. It will all be okay – Everything can be resolved, I had to keep reminding myself of this on holiday. If things don’t go how I intended or expected, I was going to be flexible and still have a good holiday. 

3. Rationalise – While I was coming to the end of my holiday, I got a bit freaked out about things like my exams in August and money.  What did do about it? I got a piece of paper, on one half I wrote down what was making me upset, and on the other half, I wrote down what I was going to do about it.

This plan of action helped to calm me down.

4. Meditation – Sometimes I had to sit myself down and breathe, controlling my breathing helped control my heart beat that was thumping in my chest. I am an over thinker and worrier. Meditation can help re-centre me amongst all these thoughts in my head.

I understand that on the go this can be difficult to implement, when you’re anxious and you feel you can’t sit still let alone think about breathing techniques, but the only way I was going to calm myself down was to have a ‘word with myself’.

Ultimate advice: 

You can’t miss out on seeing the world because of the fear created by your mind. It is not real. it is created by our minds no matter how real it feels. Do not let it hold you back. You’ll regret it. There is much of the world to see and people to meet. I met some of the most amazing people in hostels, whereas before I was scared to stay in a room with multiple strangers. Now the idea thrills me, so many stories, so many paths meeting at this one point. You can learn so much from seeing the sights and meeting new people, it is worth it, be stronger than the little voice in your head called fear.

 

Do you get fear or anxiety whilst travelling? what methods do you use to tackle it?

 

Em x

 

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4 thoughts on “‘wellbeing away from home’ – dealing with travel anxiety

Add yours

  1. What a lovely post. I agree, travelling is fun but also comes with a lot more challenges. But I guess overcoming those challenges has a lesson too. It prepare us for practical life, I guess.

    Like

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