[NOTE: I wrote this post before leaving for Iceland. I will state here that I am currently in Iceland and the jitters I talk about in the following have now left the building. The building being me.]
So, I lied. My Iceland post wasn’t my next post after all. I’ll probably have one or two others I will try to post while I’m there. In the mean time, let’s talk about travel anxiety . . . Yay!
I wish I wasn’t so . . . weird . . . about traveling. I always have such a longing to go somewhere anywhere at all, especially when I’ve been stuck in one place for far too long. Then, when I finally book something I get so excited and wait in agony for the moment to arrive when I get to leave at last. It’s around the 2-weeks-until-departure time that I start to feel, well, not-so-excited.
I start to think about everything that I need to do. Then, I procrastinate. I tell myself, You’ve got plenty of time, don’t worry about it. So instead, in my classic fashion, I make a list of all the things I will have to complete before leaving. That list sits on my desk, sometimes moving positions as I shove it aside to make room for other work I don’t need to do but decide to do anyway. I never put it away, but it’s always there for me to see whenever I take time to slow down and do some work. Like a physical representation of the anxiety building up at the pit of my stomach that I know will rear its head in the days before departing.
And now I’m here: the day before I leave for Iceland. And I just . . . don’t want to go. What is wrong with me? Why do I always do this to myself?
All I can think of is how tired I am and how maybe we should have planned more and what customs will be like when we get back and how bad rush hour traffic will be on the way to the airport and will we be able to get a cab to our hotel right away and will the hotel let us leave our luggage there until we are allowed to check in and . . . the list just keeps going. Do you see what I mean?
And it all overwhelms me to the point where I can’t stop thinking about how much easier it would be to just stay home.
It’s not rational. I always tell myself that. Not going is not an option. I’ve invested in this trip and it will be flippin’ amazing. I know that.
I know that.
I guess it just wouldn’t be a real trip if I didn’t have a crazy internal freakout beforehand. I’m just going through my own weird, manic routine.
So here’s the advice I’m giving myself and would give to anyone else who feels this type of anxiety before taking a trip:
- Take it one step at a time. Break up the travel day and try to only think about the upcoming hour.
- Focus on the moment you get there. The worst part about travel is the actual traveling part. I always realize that’s the major source of my anxiety. So I just try to focus on how it will feel to be all checked in to your hotel, to be free of your luggage and to finally have the freedom to go exploring. That’s the reason you’re going after all.
So that’s what I’ll be doing tonight. My packing is mostly finished so I don’t really have anything to do to keep me busy. I’ll just have to find other ways to keep myself distracted, or rather, focused on staying calm.
Wish me luck on sleeping tonight.