To Travel Without Anxiety . . . If Only

In less than a couple months, I will be going on my first solo trip. First solo trip. Ever. Of course, I’ve flown by myself before domestically, but I’ve had friends and family waiting for me at my destination. Not so this time. I will be crossing the pond, flying internationally by myself. If you’ve read my other posts, you know that I have traveled internationally before, but I’ve had my husband with me. So this time is really different.
I will be going to a place I’ve always dreamed of since I was a little girl. Italy! I find myself constantly daydreaming about my future adventure and sometimes the excitement is so high it almost makes my chest hurt!

 
But, at the same time, there are days when I start REALLY thinking about this solo journey. I think about all the logistics. The step by step process of getting from my house to the long plane rides to reaching my final destination. I start thinking of everything, all the details, and then all of the “what if’s”. I soon find myself overwhelmed with a thing called anxiety. And there are days when I say out loud, “I can’t do this. What am I thinking?” And then I say to myself, “I’m just going to have to cancel the trip.” And I feel defeated before the adventure has even begun. It’s in those moments that I don’t have the confidence in myself that I CAN do this. Doubt and worry, oh my, they can really mess with us and interfere with our lives…steal our peace and happiness. Oh yeah, and fear. That’s a big one that I feel like I wrestle with a lot.

 
I am being honest here…I am not sugarcoating how travel can be, at least for me sometimes. I love traveling just about more than anything in this world, but I have travel anxiety. General anxiety. So it makes it a little difficult sometimes to enjoy the journey. Maybe some of you out there can relate. We know all the motivational quotes out there about enjoying the journey, but when you have anxiety it can interfere with what you truly want. And what I want IS to not dread the part of making it to my destination and just being happy and relieved when I get there, but I want an overwhelming sense of peace and calm to wash over my entire being ON the journey itself. I want to savor every step of the process that it takes of getting there. I want excitement and adrenaline to rush through my veins on the journey, even while flying (which makes me anxious, like most people!) and not just to have those feelings when I’ve arrived. For some people, it might come easy to do this, but for me it’s not so easy. It is something that has frustrated me and has hindered me at times from fully enjoying a trip. What I find myself doing is being two steps ahead in my mind, instead of being present and fully in the moment.

 
So, what is the point of writing all of this? I know it’s a different, more vulnerable post than I’ve written on this blog.

 
I write this to say that travel is not always pretty and glamorous as we all can make it appear by the pictures we take – the postcard worthy pictures. Those of us who travel know this. All the mishaps that can and do happen along the way. But it’s all part of the adventure right? (I nudge myself to believe it as I say it!) We know travel can be stressful and exhausting, and can bring out a lot of emotions, both positive and negative.

 
BUT…when we or I find myself being overwhelmed with anxiety, I have to remember why I am traveling in the first place.

 
I CHOSE to go on this solo trip, and I’ve been wanting this for myself for a long time. For various reasons, of which I won’t explain all of it now, maybe for another post, but here is one reason why. I want to grow in my self-confidence – to fully believe in myself again, because somewhere along the way after going through some things, I have lost that. I need to believe and know that “I am capable.” And so, stretching myself and getting out of my comfort zone and doing something that I believe is hard and that would be like climbing Mt. Everest – I know that it will be nourishment to my soul. To accomplish this….I can only imagine the overwhelming feeling of how proud I will feel! I know this will be so good for me.

 
And, of course, I am going on this journey because wanderlust is in my veins, too. Life is a gift. This world is filled with wonders, and I want to see and experience it all. Gratitude, contentment and wonder washes over my heart, mind, and soul when I am in a new place. To hear a foreign language and not understand a word that is spoken but being enamored by its sound. To appreciate a different culture and to just sit there and “people watch” and in those moments you just feel so alive. Traveling makes me feel alive. It always has. It awakens me. Fills me with passion for life.

 
So I must remember these things. I am afraid to travel solo, yes, but one of my favorite quotes inspires me to keep on dreaming and to not press the “cancel” button. Oh, the regret I would feel if I did that! “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” (George Addair). I will not let fear have a say; it will not keep me from my dreams.

 

And, I will end with another favorite quote of mine;

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu

What about you? I would love to hear from you guys about your traveling experiences! Ever dealt with travel anxiety? What kept you going and what kept you from canceling the trip?

And I would love to hear about any solo trips you’ve been on and what that was like! Feel free to comment below or send us a message!

Much Love,

Lindsey

5 thoughts on “To Travel Without Anxiety . . . If Only

  1. Oh, this really got to me. I have anxiety myself, not specifically travel anxiety. Mine’s basically every situation that’s out of my own control I try to avoid, which means me getting on a plain is absolutely like a night mare. However, I’ve decided this year to actually DO something about it.
    So on this Thursday I’m going to Germany on like a exchanging trip with my school, which means that I’m going to live with a family which I have never met before. And in the end of this month I’m heading for London.
    So to hear about the challenges you’re facing and how you’re doing something about them is really motivating me. So thank you for writing this post
    Karen W. xx

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    1. Hi Karen!

      Thank you SO much for your comment! I totally understand what you mean, I think that’s a big part of anxiety, is feeling like we don’t have any control. And when it comes to traveling, there is that element and all of the unknowns, which is quite scary! Let me tell you…I am SO proud of you for deciding to go to Germany on the exchange trip. You go girl! Anxiety I feel wants to keep us from living and enjoying the moment, and so when you go ahead and do something brave like that, despite your anxiety, I think that is just so amazing and shows your strength! I look forward to hearing about how this experience turns out for you (I’m following your blog now 😊) and your trip to London, too. I am very happy to hear my post was able to motivate you!

      ❤️ Lindsey

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you SO much for your support! I find it so inspiring to hear about how others are fighting their anxiety, or I guess learning how to deal with it without it controlling your life. And that is THE goal for me, to get a hold of my anxiety. Your comment and support, has just made me almost exited to go to Germany. So thank you so much for that, if I wasn’t for this comment I probably still would have been feeling anxious about going.

        Karen W. <33

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  2. Leigh Struthers

    Hi Lindsay, I also have travel anxiety, so I can totally relate to this, and I’ve gotta admire your courageous spirit! You really are an inspiration! I love reading your blogs!
    I don’t fear the actual flying, but I have a problem with actually going through all The other aspects such as check-in and Customs. I always find the Officials very intimidating. Once I am on the plane, I’m fine, but I’m the one who will get frisked simply because I look nervous. I get overly concerned about whether I’ve filled forms in correctly, whether I’ve declared everything I should, etc.
    My husband does not enjoy travelling with me! I don’t blame him! I don’t enjoy travelling with me either! Once I’m out of the airport, Im fine, as long as there’s no problems!
    I’ve been told by hubby now that if we should travel overseas anywhere again, that I am not to purchase anything that would need to be declared, in order that we can go through customs without any hiccups!
    I had a bad experience with customs officials one time when we came back from Australia to NZ, and I found them so intimidating. I had done nothing wrong, but I was made to feel as if I did!
    I have flown since on my own within NZ and Australia, and stayed with family, but I haven’t been any further.
    The thought of travelling further afield is a daunting thought even if I wasn’t on my own! Well, to be honest, I absolutely don’t feel that I couldn’t go on my own!
    You are amazing Lindsey!
    I love how you feel the fear, you acknowledge it, but you don’t let your anxiety hold you back. You act in faith and with courage, because you fully trust in God’s promises, and that is the mark of a faithful woman of God.💜
    As I said, you are an inspiration! With God, anything is possible! We just have to believe it, and act on it!
    Love you! Have a wonderful trip! Xx
    Maybe one day I WILL follow your example…something to aspire to 👍
    Leigh

    Like

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