How To Get Over Your Anxiety and Start Traveling Solo
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If you want to travel but have anxiety, we’re here for you! You shouldn’t let anxiety delay your travel plans any longer. Haven’t you waited too long already? Now, it’s the time to truly go to the places you have dreamt of!
Travel can be very challenging for people with anxiety, especially if that anxiety turns into a panic attack sometimes. These attacks can lead you to much more anxiety when you’re in a foreign place.
Don’t let anxiety dominate you. On the contrary, your journey can even help you solve your anxiety problems. You can create your ways of coping with anxiety on the journey.
If your anxiety level is very high, you should talk to a specialist before you travel, but we’ve found some methods according to the research we’ve done for you. We hope you’ll be free from anxiety and have a nice journey. Let’s start!
1. Make a Good Plan
Planning is very good. However, it also has a limiting aspect. Don’t be unplanned, okay, but let yourself be adventurous. Sticking to a plan every day and executing it rigorously can be overwhelming. So, also know that you can skip these plans at any time.
Here’s a good method for this: Set yourself a travel task for each day. In this way, after completing that task, you can feel more comfortable and be more ready to go on adventures. Therefore, you’ll use your time better. Moreover, you won’t miss the opportunity to have good experiences.
2. Think Carefully About the Destination
If you’re anxious about going on a vacation, note that the easier the trip, the better. It’s important that the place you go to be safe for socializing as well as being alone and relaxing. For this reason, it would be good to research safety rates while researching your destination. If this is your first time traveling alone, we recommend that you go to a place that has a good safety rate so that your anxiety doesn’t get triggered.
After choosing your destination, it’ll be useful to elaborate on the research a little more. For example, tourist scams. Although some places are safe, they may not be very safe for tourists. Therefore, research the information about the country thoroughly.
3. Safety, First!
Although we think that we’ve found a safe place as a result of research, it’s also useful to stay safe. In this way, you can feel even more confident and this will help reduce your anxiety. Therefore, there are certain essential items that solo travelers should carry with them. These will protect you, especially from petty thefts such as pickpocketing because such misfortunes often find travelers.
For this reason, before you travel, make sure to pack safety precautions including an anti-theft bag, an anti-theft backpack, and a small hidden security scarf. You can think of them as an additional security measure.
4. Accept the Fear
Your anxiety is making you afraid to travel. This is perfectly normal. It’s not a scent that just goes away. Ignoring that will do you nothing. Instead, accept it.
Giving your fear a name may sound strange, but it’ll work. For example, describe your fear as freedom. Think that it’ll give you freedom and you’ll start to fear it less. Admitting this fear will be a big step. You’ll begin to feel fear less and less, and maybe, but gradually you’ll not feel it all. Sounds crazy yes, but maybe your fear will become your freedom!
5. Have Backup Plans
One of the best things about being on a solo vacation is that the decisions are entirely on your own. If the plan you have in mind becomes unworkable, have backup plans in mind. This could be a place to see or something to do.
Everyone’s backup plans vary according to their interests. For example, you can choose to go to a nice restaurant to eat. Or, you may want to go to the sea. You can do whatever you want, as long as you allow yourself that freedom. Don’t give up just because your plans have failed. Always be ready to do new things.
6. Have a List of Places to Visit
If you only know the address of the hotel you’re going to on vacation, it won’t take long to feel overwhelmed. Therefore, it would be wise to make a list of the places you want to see before you go.
As we always say, you don’t have to stick to this plan strictly. But knowing what to do as a sketch in your mind will make you feel better. So, research things like attractions, museums, and tours and decide what you want to see. These will also save you from falling into the tourist trap.
7. Know Your Reason
Everyone has a different reason to go on a solo trip. Some may see this as a chance to embark on an adventure. Others may want to get out of their comfort zone. Others may want to travel alone as they see it as an opportunity for self-discovery.
Ask yourself this question too. Why do you want to travel alone? For example, do you want to discover yourself? And consider that on the trip. Remind yourself how traveling alone can benefit you. This will make your fears disappear and reduce your anxiety.
8. Spend Money!
Don’t worry. What we mean is, don’t be afraid to spend money. For example, if you don’t find the route you’re walking safe, don’t think that you shouldn’t pay for a taxi. Get a taxi. Or, are you dissatisfied with where you’re staying and have increased anxiety? Find a better room. If you’re bored with food, reward yourself and go have a nice meal.
That’s it, it’s good to tighten your budget, but not too tight. If you squeeze yourself too hard on the budget, your anxiety will increase. And, this will have worse consequences for you.
9. Find People Like You
Talking to people like you is perhaps the best way to deal with anxiety. So, don’t be afraid to mingle with people. You may want to take a vacation alone, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, there’s no harm in talking to people like you once in a while.
However, if you don’t want to meet anyone on vacation, we have another suggestion for you. There are online groups on the internet that are full of people willing to give you advice and share tips. These groups include travelers from almost all over the world. Maybe you’ll even find someone traveling to the same place as you.
10. Mingle With the Locals
When traveling alone, mingling with the locals makes you feel safer. This means less anxiety.
Give yourself a chance to get to know local traditions. It’s also good to research before you go, but you can get to know them best when you’re in them. Meet the local people. If they have local clothes, wear them, they’ll love you! And, if you have the opportunity, attend meetings of the locals. There’s no better way to feel like you belong there. This way, you’ll never be alone and you’ll feel it.
11. Discover Your Triggers
There’s something that triggers every anxious person. For example, it may be crowded for you. This will change for everyone. What triggers you is what makes you panic. Discovering this will help you a lot.
Once you discover it, you’ll have the chance to escape from it. However, avoidance isn’t always a healthy option, of course. If you feel ready to face it, confront it. In this way, maybe it won’t trigger you anymore. This is also an accepted situation in psychology. If you expose yourself enough to your fears, over time your nervous system will cease to be aroused. This way, you’ll get rid of it, albeit gradually.
12. Write Your Feelings
What better way to relax than to write? Don’t forget to take a pen and paper with you when you travel.
Write down where you’re going, what you’re doing, and what you need. This way, your anxiety will decrease. It’ll allow you to see more clearly what is worrying you. Then sit down and think about how you’re going to solve this. Normally, it’s best to talk to a psychologist, but just thinking will also help you during the travel.
We’ll have another suggestion in this regard: write only our positive thoughts on the paper. This will force you to see the good in what you’re going through.
The Bottom Line
We’ve come to the end of our list of tips. Of course, doing something unknown is challenging for people. Even travelers you think are very professional may be dealing with anxiety. There’ll always be uncomfortable situations. Just as we cope in life, we’ll have to cope with travel.
However, none of this is a hindrance to travel. Challenge yourself! Speak to a professional if you feel you need to and get prepared for your first solo travel!