I have posted a few e-mails from readers before, under the tag “ask me anything“. I’m going to be doing it more often. I get a lot of very similar e-mails which means there are a lot of people out there thinking the same questions. Why not address them to everyone? That is what inspired my FAQ about India post. You can search more like these under the tag or in the search bar: “ask me anything”.

Scared to Travel

After answering this e-mail, I realized I’ve gotte a lot that are similar. People have fears of travel and I’ll tell you exactly what I told her.

“The second I booked my flight, I just got scared. I am 19 years old, and I really don’t know what I’m doing, even though that’s something I think is the great thing about traveling as well, it also is really scary.  I’ve read all your posts on female traveling, and you have some very good tips. I was just wondering if you could tell me something that helped you get less scared before you travelled? If there is even something to tell of course… I know it will be scary at first no matter what. “

Travel can be scary! Especially the day before and day of. If you are an anxious person at all, you’re bound to get a belly-ache. You’ll start double checking your lists and making sure your flight REALLY leaves when you think it does. That’s okay. I promise, everyone who has any type of anxiety does it. Anxiety always escalated when it comes to travel.

When you’re on the plane all alone.. you may start thinking “what the fuck was I thinking!? OMG.”

Well, I’m here to assure you that I’ve had that feeling and it goes away. It’s how I felt the first time I was on a plane to India. I was all, “I’m going to see tigers and hike to the top of a mountain!” and then once I got on the plane to Bombay along with all these confusing Indian people, I was like, “who cares about tigers, I should have just gone to the zoo, and really I hate hiking, I don’t even want to climb a mountain or even a hill for that matter.”

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It gets better…

When I landed in Bombay, I couldn’t sleep thanks to the time change, so I laid awake until the sun finally rose and I could explore. That’s when all my fears went away. I realized it wasn’t such a scary crazy place and I wasn’t the only person doing it. I met friends right away near the train station.

India is a pretty daunting place to a new traveler and if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. If you are showing up in Paris or Bangkok, you’re going to adjust so much faster than you think.

You’re going to be nervous, maybe even a little scared. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s excitement just getting confused and being misplaced, in my opinion.

Just keep your head up and once you get to your destination you’ll see the worry was for nothing.

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Some Tips on Anxiety & being scared to travel alone:

  • Join couchsurfing, not just to stay with a host but for meet ups. You can even find a travel buddy like I did in India. It’s great to have a “friend” in your new place. Try to do this at your arrival point so you can adjust better, like I did staying with Elise in Bombay.
  • Feeling bored and lonely in a big city? Go to the train station and scout for another tourist arriving. Don’t be creepy though! In India, the forien tourist quota line is bound to have some toursits hanging around that you can sightsee with.
  • Take something comforting from home: maybe it’s your favorite songs on a playlist, photos on your iPhone to scroll though, or a hoodie you love.
  • Embrace traveling alone. Write, learn to take great photos, try taking a language book and practicing talking to locals.
  • If you have severe anxiety, don’t let that stop you from traveling. As a nurse, I have seen first hand how people with anxiety taking their medications appropriately just makes it melt away. Talk to your MD before your trip and get some “just in case”.

feature image photo source flickr

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