Monday, October 14, 2019

ANXIETIES AROUND TRAVELLING

It should come as no surprise, that me, once an incredibly anxious person, used to hate travelling abroad and being far away from home. What should have been relaxing and peaceful periods of time, holidays were filled with quaking fear, sleepless nights and restless behaviour, making two weeks in the sun feel like two weeks in hell. This may sound like a wild exaggeration, but the reality of the matter was that I used to hate a lot of what came with a holiday. For starters, the journeys themselves always filled me with great discomfort. There’s something about airports that used to make me feel so uneasy. The constant waiting for gates to be announced and waiting to finally board the plane always felt like an intense ordeal. And then there was the actual stay in a new and strange place, which, maybe not straight away, would make me feel apprehensive and uncomfortable. All in all, travelling was not my cup of tea! 


I obviously do not suffer with these anxieties anymore. Having to make the journey between London and Chengdu several times this year, I am definitely in my comfort zone now. I didn’t think I would be as comfortable with it as I am. Most of the flying I have done this year has also been solo. In the last 5 months alone, I have taken 21 flights (flights to and from London, Hong Kong, Bali and Thailand), most of them alone. Never thought I would be able to undertake such stressful journeys by myself! I am starting to feel so much more comfortable with it and now feel excitement rather than dread when preparing for a trip abroad. 

I don’t have any tips really for how I have become a more confident traveller. The more I have done it, the more at ease with it I have felt. Whenever I have anxieties about anything, I always find that to overcome them, I need to make them feel more normal. I usually do this by forcing myself to confront my fears, when eventually they don’t frighten me anymore. Obviously with flying this is a lot more difficult to do. Trips anywhere can get pricey so my philosophy might not be best to apply here! I have been lucky in my situation where it is cheap to fly to most places from Chengdu, so I have been taking full advantage of this and flying as much as I can.  

In regard to actually staying in new places, this was a bit harder for me to overcome. I tend to associate calmness with familiar places, like my home in London and now my home in China. In all honesty I have no idea how the once familiar feelings of stress have now subsided. I guess something that helps me a lot is meticulous planning for my trips away. I plan every little detail, from my itinerary, to what I will eat, how much money I will bring, transport to and from everywhere…. Every last thing has order, which makes me calm.  

Travelling used to be a far and distant thought, not something I ever thought would be possible with my anxieties surrounding it. Even though I only have 3 and a half months left in the far east, there are a few trips away that I am planning, and I know these trips will be anxiety free. I can’t wait to continue exploring different parts of Asia!

Thank you for reading, and if you have trips coming up, happy travelling!

B x  
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