Travel anxiety

Personal

Google anxiety and the first thing that comes up is a definition stated in Medical News Today:

“Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave and can cause physical symptoms

I am lucky enough to only feel one kind of anxiety in my life; travel anxiety.

Travel anxiety are feelings that occur in my body before I go on solo trips. It’s caused by different things for different people, but for me it’s the following thoughts that return to my mind every trip I take:

  • “WHY do I have to do this to myself!?” – In this thought, the “this” means leaving my comfort zone. WHY do I have to make myself leave my comfort zone in such extreme ways? I ask myself.
    In reality I love leaving my comfort zone. I love the thrill, excitement and adrenaline rush I get after doing so. But travelling solo is an incredible intense way of playing with my comfort zone, why I always question my travel decisions before I take off. I blame myself for booking the trip, and for not remembering that I get these feelings, and that they could be avoided if I would just travel with other people. And yes, it would be so much easier and safer to travel with friends or just stay at home, but easy and safe is far from how I want to live my life. And that, among many other reasons, is why I have to do this to myself.
  • “What if somethings goes wrong?” – The risk that something goes wrong is definitley more than doubled when you travel solo compared to when you don’t. You only have one brain and one set of hands to get you out of tricky situations and you’re an easier victim to crime when you’re by yourself. This actually isn’t something that worries me at all, because in the big picture the risk that something goes wrong is still pretty small, but it is something that worries other people. And they always bring their worry up, and put it on me.
  • “Did I pack everything?” – This thought always hits me, but over the years I’ve been better at handling it. In reality, if you have your passport (and maybe a visa) and your wallet, you should be able to handle pretty much every situation. Even though I try to feel comfortable knowing this, I am always semi uneasy about forgetting something.

Right now it’s 00:37 and I’m laying on my couch in Copenhagen. My body was filled with anxiety half an hour ago, but writing this post helped. Writing always helps. The little bit of anxiety that’s left I can definitely handle, and once I land in Istanbul tomorrow it’ll all be gone. Oh yes, I’m leaving for a 16 day solo trip to Turkey tomorrow. Which is why the anxiety is once again back in my body. More on the trip coming up!

Earlier today I saw this picture on Facebook, and it made me both sad and happy. Sad for the thousands of people that had commented and tagged their friends, and happy because I am definitely not one of them. It reminded me that I’ll take all the travel anxiety you can possible give me over going no damn where. Any day, over and over again.

Capture

In 24 hours I’ll be sound asleep in my hostel bed in Istanbul (if everything goes right that is), and I cannot wait. Goodbye comfort zone and hello unforgetable experiences, new friendships and memories for life. Under the thin layer of anxiety I am so happy I keep doing this to myself.

// Annika

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