If you have the desire to travel the world and find yourself daydreaming about distant lands and discovering new cultures, then you shouldn’t let anything stop you from turning your dreams into a reality. However, if you suffer from anxiety, then it’s easier said than done.
New and unfamiliar places, potentially stressful situations, travelling alone and being away from the familiarity and comfort of your friends, family and your own home are common triggers of anxiety symptoms and disorders. Believe it or not, just because you suffer from these symptoms it doesn’t mean you can’t travel and see the world, from the floating markets of Thailand to breathtaking performances in the Venice opera, whatever your travel dreams are you can still achieve them.
Read on for 4 ways you can take on your travel anxiety and win!
Plan, plan, plan
Planning your backpacking trip can feel as though you’re spoiling the spontaneity of it all, however if you want to keep in control of your anxiety and stress then planning certain aspects of your trip will guarantee that you’re going to enjoy it more. Make arrangements so you arrive at your destination during daylight hours, which will make it easier to find your accommodation and get your bearings.
Check out some simple routes from your accommodation to places you want to visit; you can use Google maps or even write down directions to give yourself confidence. Decide how you’re going to travel, and where you plan to eat for your first few meals. The more planning you do, the more relaxed and familiar you will feel with your destination. Within a couple of days you’ll feel completely at ease.
Travel with a friend!
If you find your anxiety and stress levels are diminished when you’re with friends or family, then why not invite them along on your travel adventure? There’s no shame in not having the confidence to travel solo. You could even use this initial trip as a confidence builder. Having someone else there to share the responsibility of things and someone who understands your anxiety issues will make your trip even more enjoyable. You’ll make some wonderful memories together too!
Have the tools you need
Suffering with anxiety is common, which means that there are plenty of relaxation and calming strategies out there for sufferers to use as and when they need to. Even the anticipation of suffering an anxiety attack can cause one to begin. So, before you travel make sure you have everything you need to combat it. Practicing your deep breathing, visualisation techniques and even meditation will give you the confidence to control and manage an attack if you have one. Remember that regular practice is key. If you’re travelling with a friend, make them aware of your calming techniques and then they can help you put them into practice.
Speak with your GP
If your anxiety is ultimately, preventing you from enjoying life, then reaching out to your doctor for help is a sensible idea. They may recommend medication or even counselling to help you control your anxiety and stress. Don’t suffer in silence.