Let me just preface this by saying that not all vacations are inherently bad and most of the time they actually turn out pretty awesome. However, there is the underlying factor that something can (and probably will) go wrong. It may not be exponentially terrible, but something is bound to happen on vacation. It’s human nature. You can’t escape it. Nevertheless, if you’re having doubts about a holiday or trip you’re thinking of taking, let me help you out- do it!
Before I began traveling again this year, I hadn’t flown on a plane in over 4 years. On my trip to Seattle, back in May, we flew, and I started to feel a little bit sick once we had taken off. Luckily, we landed and I felt fine, and despite getting lost multiple times around the city, our trip went off without a hitch! However, my Europe trip was a little bit different.
I had bought all the necessary things for my Europe trip around February. I managed to pay the travel agency the total amount for the trip by March and from there it was all just saving money to have the time of my life in Europe. My trip was in August. I had made lists upon lists of planning for my trip, outfits I would wear, pictures I would take, etc. That still didn’t prepare me for the trip I was about to have though. Don’t get me wrong, to this day, my trip to Europe is still ad probably will forever be the best thing that ever happened to me. Nonetheless, it was bumpy and partly terrifying.
August 20th rolled around and before I knew it, I was getting ready to board my plane from Boise to Chicago. In the Boise Airport, before I even left my hometown, I had fallen in the middle of the airport and had received a huge gash on my leg because of it. I was in a fair amount of pain for about an hour, even prior to taking off. On my way to Chicago, I slept most of the way, luckily and didn’t have too bad of an airplane experience. However, my layover in Chicago was only about an hour and my connecting flight was on the complete other side of the airport from where I was arriving. I sprinted my way through the airport and got to my terminal with about ten minutes to spare. I charged my phone, ate some cheezits and then boarded the plane. I had been looking forward to sleeping on the flight from Chicago into Rome, but quickly discovered that that was going to be no easy feat. I watched a lot of movies, slept for about four hours, and then woke up due to some pretty heavy turbulence. I started to feel queasy, and so I drank a bit of water and tried to go back to sleep.
We finally arrived in Rome, but our touchdown was so bumpy that I immediately felt sick. I reached for my barf bag in the seat pocket, only to realize, after throwing up, mind you, that it had a hole in it. I was a mess, and had to find a flight attendant to tell her I had my a giant mess. I felt awful and I wanted to quit and just go home. Of course, going home wasn’t an option, and Europe was going to be the time of my life, so I pressed on.
Once off the plane, I was walking around the airport, going through lines, and trying to figure out how to get to my transportation that was waiting for me. I had pulled out my wallet after transferring a whole bunch of money into Euros, and then I set it down next to me to get situated. Next thing I knew, my wallet was gone! I was absolutely frantic. It had my passport, ALL my money, basically everything I needed to survive. Panicking, I ran around the airport, luggage in tow, my heart beating out of my chest as I searched high and low for my wallet. Finally, I found a help desk and they sent me to security where I had to tell them I was missing a wallet and they would help me find it. When I arrived at security, I explained my wallet was missing, and they pulled out my turquoise wallet, trying to ask if it was mine. I excitedly shook my head yes and reached to grab it. As I did so, security took a step toward me, blocking me off from my wallet. I had to go through a screening process and prove that I wasn’t a terrorist, and that the wallet was in fact mine, and it was simply missing, not a bomb or anything like that.
Seriously, I didn’t think things could get any worse. I made it through the rest of my first day there without feeling like I was going to throw up everywhere, or losing my wallet or other important artifacts.
The next day however, was a different story. We had woken up early, I hadn’t eaten much between the time I arrived and by the time we started going out and exploring, mostly because I didn’t want to get sick again. We had plans to go through the Vatican and see the Sistine Chapel. About a third of the way through the Vatican, (which is huge, by the way) I started feeling a mixture of dizziness and ‘I’m going to throw up again-ness’. I couldn’t turn around and leave, they wouldn’t let me back in. There were no windows, and the only way out was through The Sistine Chapel itself. I was doomed. I managed to find some people from a group I was with to help me get a tour guide to take me to a bathroom or something. I managed to not throw up in the Vatican. I got some water and some sprite to make me feel better. Turned out I was just dehydrated. I was able to enjoy the Vatican, and even the rest of my trip in peace, without worrying about getting sick everywhere I went.
My biggest fear when I’m traveling is having everything I worked so hard to plan, fall into pieces. In fact, I’d say I even have a fair amount of travel anxiety because of this, which seems so silly to me because of my deep love for travel, but it’s true. I get very anxious about traveling. The best way to rid yourself of said anxiety is to just let go.
You’re supposed to be vacationing! Worrying about every single little thing seems contradictory to the point of taking a trip. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should just not have a single care in the whole world, that could get you into trouble if you’re too careless. Still, let go and live a little!
That doesn’t always work though, so here are some of my best tips for ridding yourself of travel anxiety.
- Drink LOTS of water. (Trust me, you don’t want to get dehydrated)
- Write down your concerns. Writing things down on paper, or even typing them puts me at ease because it helps me think of the things I’m really worried about, and whether or not it’s really worth worrying about. It just makes you think.
- Take in the world around you. Sometimes just breathing and enjoying the moment can pull you out of that funk of concern.
- Lay off the caffeine. It’s only going to make you feel more anxious.
- Make a plan of action. Sometimes having a plan can help bring some peace to my mind, to know that I’ve got a plan and I feel more in control.
- Remember that you’re on vacation, and you’re probably pretty safe and everything is going to be okay.
The last thing you want is to be worried the whole time you’re on vacation. Remember to breathe and live in the moment. It’s all going to be okay!