This is a post I have been thinking about doing for ages now, and seeing as its Mental Health Awareness Week I thought what better timing?
Something I don’t broadcast about myself is that I get a lot of Anxiety, which comes at any time and in many forms. It seemed to come on quite suddenly a few years ago, and I still do not know what triggered it. Despite this, a lot of people think I am very confident and outgoing, which I can be for sure, and is how I try and put myself forward.
So, how does anxiety work with travel? Surely that would be a no go, right? I mean, what if something fucks up beyond my control and my anxiety spirals out? Well, thankfully, nothing Earth shattering has happened on my travels for one. Secondly, travel has been a great help to me and my mental health. Travel is something I love, and want to spend my time doing so if thats definitely a motive to push myself and overcome obstacles such as anxiety.
Travelling is the one time my anxieties nearly completely diminish. I am not scared of flying, not scared of other people, going out alone in a new place – the list goes on! Although I meticulously plan and make lists before I go somewhere new and make sure I don’t turn up without somewhere to stay. Never have I had an anxiety fuelled breakdown while travelling, never have I had a panic attack while travelling.
The only time my anxiety can play up bad when travelling is socially. While some people that know me may be reading this and thinking that I am quite a confident loud person, thats not always the case. When I get comfortable with people, yeah you can’t shut me up. And even in some new social experiences meeting new people I can seem quite confident. But that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes get terrified meeting new people. And when travelling – especially solo – this can get a bit too much and make me freeze up or not leave my bed. Although, I am always striving to get over this, whether it being faking that confidence, going at sitting at a communal table and joining in conversation, or walking into a bar alone.
Adventure is good for you, seeing the world new experiences. If I can travel the world alone, then I can achieve whatever I want. Being put on the spot when it comes to anxiety and learning new ways of dealing with stuff is super helpful. And for me, doing what I love and what I want to do for the rest of my life puts me in a permanent happy place, which kicks anxiety to the side a bit.
Of course, anxiety and mental health in general affects people differently, so the prospect of travelling with anxiety may put some people off entirely, and thats okay. This is my personal experience of anxiety and travel, and I can say that the idea of travelling and seeing the world has never terrified me or scared me, even doing it alone. To me, it makes perfect sense, and is a massive help.
My advice if you want to travel but anxiety is holding you back, give it a go with a friend, even if its a short trip somewhere near. Or go away alone for a few days – but plan! Figure out what works for you. I have read so many other blogs where people say that despite all the odds, anxiety has not held them back travelling, and even helped them dealing with it!
I hope this post has been somewhat coherent, and maybe even helpful to some. It is something I have wanted to talk about for a while, but being something I am not vocal on, I was unsure how to go about it, so this is a very brief overview of my experience. If you like it, and want to hear more stuff like this then let me know!