Anxiety is something that a huge percentage of the world’s population suffers from. It can come in many forms, and at any time of life. Some people have to learn to deal over their life, whereas some people need to manage it for couple of weeks / months at a time. This is why I have written a post which should give you some confidence if you want to travel with anxiety.
I have a bit of trouble writing this post, as it causes me anxiety but I want to be able to encourage others to pursue their dreams and not let their anxiety hinder them!
- Research thoroughly where you are visiting, it will give you some peace of mind knowing that you have all affairs in order. Read about how to plan your trip here.
2. Have contingency plans! Have a credit card with spare money on or a back-up bank account, print out all of your bookings, have a paper map, make sure you are insured, and so forth. Having this sense of security can help to ease panic if a bad situation arises.
3. Keep in contact with home. If you are worried about feeling home sick, then check out my blog post here. But keeping in contact with home does not just help with homesickness, it can give you a sense of security. It is important to know that you’re not alone.
4. Travel as a group until you feel comfortable doing your own thing, and if you never feel comfortable travelling solo then that’s fine! I’ll be writing a post about the advantages of travelling as a group so keep on the look out for it! Travelling as a group also gives you a sense of security and allows you to ask others when you are struggling.
5. If you have something at home which helps to ease your anxiety, try and bring it with you. If you cannot bring it with you, then try and bring an alternative.
6. Try to think rationally. I really understand that thinking rationally goes against everything anxiety means! You need to be confident in your ability to calm yourself from a panic attack should one happen, and you need to be confident in yourself that you can think rationally. If you have contingency plans in place, then you can fall back on them. Should your luggage go missing, just remember that you’ve got extra money to buy new clothes with; it will all be okay!
7. Leading on from the last point, make sure you know what your triggers are. For me, my anxiety is triggered when a food station is dirty. Why does this make me anxious when I have worked with muddy horses all day? I don’t have a clue but I know that I struggle with it and therefore I can put precautions in place. If you know what your triggers are but don’t know how to avoid them or manage them, then I highly recommend getting in touch with a therapist.
8. Talk to someone about your trip. Talk through your anxieties before leaving, another person might be able to help rationalise your thoughts or find the root of the problem. You can talk to your family, friends, therapist, online services.
9. Keep busy during your trip. Plenty of nice distractions won’t give you the opportunity to think about your anxiety. One time I saw a cobra in South Africa but my group and I were in such a panic about the monitoring cameras getting burnt down, I didn’t have time to think about it until I got back to my accommodation and began writing in my diary, which is then when I had a panic attack.
10. Writing down your feelings is a great way of sorting through them. It also helps as you can read through your entries at a later date to help to determine what triggers your anxiety and what makes your anxiety better.