I love traveling. Unintentionally, travel has been a huge part of my life that I am extremely grateful for. I’ve been able to see many parts of the world that people only dream of before the age of 22. While I love traveling and the joyous experiences that come along with it, I am a particularly nervous traveler.
My anxieties heighten the night before traveling. I’m often kept awake, anxious, as I am trying to sleep before a trip. This has happened to me since I was little, partially due to excitement but also to nerves. It isn’t the travel itself that bothers me. I’m not afraid of car crashes or flying in airplanes. It’s simply the environment that I’m in rather than the act of traveling itself.
I think that a lot of my travel anxiety comes from the idea of unfamiliar surroundings. I find comfort in familiarity and planning, knowing exactly what is going to happen, where I am going to be, and how I’m going to feel. I often opt to drive myself somewhere rather than carpooling because I feel far more comfortable knowing that I have a way out if I get a bit anxious. Many forms of travel do not provide that escape hatch for you. When traveling, you are usually stuck in a setting for a certain period of time. My anxiety does not like that too much.
Once I begin the hustle and bustle of a travel day, I find myself far less anxious and well distracted. Like I said, it’s the night, or nights, before I travel where I find my levels of anxiety heightened. I don’t always recognize this as the cause for my anxiety until after the fact. I will find myself far more anxious than normal, confused by the cause, before realizing that I plan to take a trip the following weekend or the next morning.
I’m moving out of my apartment this week and driving myself home for the summer. While I am thoroughly excited by this idea, the travel gives me a bit of anxiety in the evenings prior. However, as I said in my previous blog post about changing my anxiety, being able to recognize the cause for certain spurts of anxiety will allow you to understand and change the feelings that attempt to overwhelm you.