It’s natural to feel a little nervous before travelling. Even some frequent travellers may have to manage some level of anxiety.
Travel anxiety is something that is pretty new to me. Like any type of anxiety, symptoms and triggers differ from person to person. I started to suffer with travel anxiety around 8 years ago, and it only pops by now and again. I could go a year or two, where I hop on and off a plane/train with nothing more than a slight feeling of nervousness.
I was convinced something was going to happen, from a plane crash, to an accident when i was there.
As a Mother i really wasn’t to bothered about me, but my worries were along the lines of:
- What would my son would do without me?
- Who would look after him?
- How would he deal with such tragedy, at such a young age?
Yes, the thoughts can be dark and terrifying.
If you pop by these neck of the woods you will know i am a big advocate of practising mindfulness and self-care.
I thoroughly believe if my mind can get me into this state, then it can get anxiety out of there.
So this is what I do when travel anxiety hits, and spoiler alert, it works, i always get on the damn plane or train.
I start with rationalising my thoughts and focusing on the facts.
- How many planes or trains are travelling on a daily basis?
- The chances of anything happening are one in eleven million, or there about.
- Feeling nervous before travelling is a natural feeling, it’s not strange, weird or odd. The majority of people feel the same, and this is a comforting thought.
- There are two types of worries: The ones we can do something about, and the ones that we can’t.
- The ones out of our control should be forgotten about. Travelling is out of my control. I am not driving the train or piloting the plane. How is me sitting there stressing, worrying and getting upset, going to change anything?
Write down fears:
I am totally honest and write down my fears. I then re-read them. Most of the time i cringe and then laugh. I sound like such a drama queen.
Writing worries or fears down, releases a little from the mind and puts them into context.
To see them in black and white shows me how irrational, extreme and far-fetched I am being.
It’s a real eye opener. For many years I have kept a notebook, specifically where i jot down any worries that pop by. Currently it’s this very stylish *FiloFax Notebook.
I love the pastel rose colour, It’s very hard wearing. You can add or remove page inserts, so the hardwearing cover should last a very long time.
After i have jotted my worries down, i will also re-read any past travel anxieties.
I reflect and i think, i have felt like this before. I still went on the trip, and i had an amazing time.
This is the truth. I was fine.
I try my very hardest to focus on the truth, not the worries floating around my mind.
Focus on the positives:
I will think about the plans i have on said trip. I will think about all the wonderful and positive things I am going to experience. From looking at pictures of the place i am visiting, planning my itinerary, planning outfits, and other holiday related things. I try and engulf my mind with all the wonderful aspects, that travelling brings to my life.
I message my family and friends and i spill my guts, i tell them what I am thinking and how I am feeling. They always give me positive advice and help rationalise my thoughts. When i first started to suffer with travel anxiety i wouldn’t tell a soul. I thought i was being silly, i thought no-one would understand, i battled alone in silence.
Now i know it’s important for my well-being to share my fears, and i depend on my friends and family to offer me reassurance.
Sorry not at all holistic, but it does help. Now i don’t mean getting absolutely bladdered. But for me a glass or two of wine lifts my mood. It relaxes me and helps lift my worries.
It’s a proven fact that alcohol releases the brains feel good chemicals.
I usually have one glass in the airport, and one on the plane. CHILLAXED!
I work hard at all the above, and even though i know that travel anxiety could hit at any time, i travel frequently.
I will not let fear restrict my life. I will not let my fears dictate to me.
I will not get older and wish i would have been braver, travelled more, i want the minimum amount of regrets.
The fear of having any regrets when i am older, outweighs any of my travel fears.
I would rather live a life that makes me happy, than be trapped in a life filled with regrets.
So travel anxiety may pay a visit and it may make me feel like total rubbish, but it will never succeed.
Are you an anxious traveller?
Do you have any of your own tips?
I would really love to hear them.
*Products featured on this post are press samples or gifted items.