Should I Travel??? – How to Deal with Travel Anxiety

Submitted by mumunmumun on 1 February 2011   •  Tips

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As I sit in my office this one particular afternoon playing Zuma and ignoring work for half a day (Don’t hire me!), I thought I’d mention about something that haunts a lot of us. Once you read on, you’d probably think that I’ve used the wrong term by ‘us’ as in you and ME, but believe me I’m using it right.

I just started calculating a trip around a certain area that will not be spoiled here, and I’m excited (muhahaha *evil laugh until awkward silent). As much as I am excited, I’m also anxious. I always get this anxiety to travel, as in ,I don’t want to do it’, queering ‘why I have to’, and ‘what would happen if I do?’. Then comes in when do I have to do it, how much will I have to spend, I’ll be tired and broke by the time I get back, time and energy wasted, and preparation. Oh come on, admit it! You know what I’m talking about?

Travel Indonesia: Wetar

And I, too, have it! With the amount of traveling experience I have so far, you would wonder how can this be? Me, a member of Indohoy, have anxiety to travel? Have you been stooped? But I admit, I do. I have anxiety every time I set out on a journey. At times I think why? Oh why??? While stuffing my swimsuit in my bag. And then I can imagine my mum shaking her head, disappointed I don’t have enough savings, while checking if the battery of my camera if it’s loaded or not. This fits in to my nature as a Cancerian, as ‘home’ is where I truly (should) bloom and shine! (I think I’m a sunflower, Badam-bam-ching!) But I overcome them. For starters I know if I don’t go, let say on one weekend, I’d probably be sitting in front of the TV benefiting my life a whole lot less. It’s OK at times, but I can’t stand it in 2 weekends in a row.  Sometimes I even regret not traveling during a weekend. So, I take my sorry ass and drag that bag out the door.

We humans are blessed with this anxiety in all kinds of matter, not just traveling. It keeps us careful and puts our brain to work at times. Rarely, there are journeys that you shouldn’t go on to. But there’s a bigger force that takes care of fate. Why do we fear so much of the unknown? We shouldn’t especially if it benefits us, as traveling does to my life. You like benefits, right? But I’m getting to philosophical while I’m no expert in the matter anyways. So, I’ll stop here.  But the point is, get over those anxieties and drag your sorry ass somewhere!

If you have it too, here are some of my considerations that spin in my head on how to deal with travel anxiety: 

1.       It’s easier than you think.

People usually dread on traveling since they don’t know where to start. Just start! From anywhere! Pick a destination, or calculate how much you’ve got, or talk to someone about it. Everything rolls on from here. Once you do, you’ll realize it’s the first step that’s hard, but the rest is a piece of cake treated by your best friend! 

2.       You only live once.

So… why waste time doing boring stuff? I have the highest sympathy to those that are working and have children to raise but seriously, you can still travel! It doesn’t have to be far, and you can take the kids with you. Heck! Take your neighbors too! 

3.       But isn’t it dangerous?

Oh dear, everything is! From cutting your nails, to taking the wrong bus, to losing your passport, to hailing a taxi! Everything has that slight chance that it would go wrong, but how would you know? You don’t, unless you try. And most of the time, it won’t. Rather than bitch but haven’t tried doing it, better bitch after you’ve been through it. Which comes to my next point! 

4.       You learn!

Yeah, you go to school for that, I know. But let’s just say you can’t afford the next level of your studies, and you need a refreshed mind. Traveling will provide you with countless new knowledge for your life. I didn’t say it would be related to what you want to study or work, but your brain will be stimulated to learn something new. And that is represing (as the Indonesian would pronounce refreshing)! 

5.       It’ll get you out of you funk, whatever that may be.

Some people travel with a good mood. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. Traveling sometimes helps when you’re in a rut, like boredom, heart break, miserable, etc. If traveling makes people step out of their box, than that includes your collapsing box. 

6.       Get great travel companions.

Vira is a great traveling companion. She likes to have things prepared, hence she likes to organize how to organize our trip (meaning I still have to chip in, darn!), she likes to take pictures and hence I can have some of mine too, she willing to try new things once challenged, and she’s all for a laugh! So it’s fun to travel with her. But her best trait on this, she has itchy feet. So, it’s always a temptation to tag along. And once you’re in, it’s hard to get out hehehe… I have a few other friends like Bondy, Sally, and more that I can also rely to travel with, making the first step of any trip less scary that what I have in my head.

If you don’t have one, join a trip. To the least, you’re with people that have the same interest which means they won’t be as far as the people you purely, utterly, and devilishly hate.

7.       You get the right to BRAG!

Ok, that’s not a good thing, but it’s true! Now use this right wisely! It’s a privilege to be able to see what you saw no matter how insignificant it is. But when you happen to bump in to a downright arrogant smart ass who thinks he’s all that but not, than you can bring the cards out!

8.       Last but definitely not the least, remember that it’ll be worth it!

Remember this upfront. Remember the last trip you had, and the great feeling afterwards. Good or bad, if you survive it, you’ll treasure it! And who wouldn’t want to be rich?

Travel Indonesia: Ujung Kulon

Oh and a note to those that have extreme anxiety to travel, don’t put people down by your own worries! They have their own trouble getting out of theirs. Don’t be a negative person! It really does bad things to your skin. Be a positive one and glow!


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