Many people develop hodophobia—the fear of travel—over the years because they keep postponing travel plans until it becomes an impossible challenge. First, it’s the trouble of taking days off from college, job restrictions, wedding planning, then having babies, and the list goes on.
If you haven’t seen the world in your youth, you can still do that. There’s no age too old for traveling to destinations that you’d like to explore. With the kids all grown up and life relatively stable, you can use your time to fulfill your dreams!
But, YES, not having done it alone can cause anxiety. You can feel nervous at the prospect of going to a new country without a companion, and that’s understandable. But you’ve got this!
Don’t blame yourself for having panic attacks or breaking into cold sweats right before your flight. Here’s how to manage anxiety during independent travel.
Write Down Things That Cause Anxiety
Make a list of things that constantly make you worry about taking a solo trip.
- Missing your flights
- Getting lost
- Losing money
- Losing your passport and other essential documents
- Fear of flights
- Meeting dangerous strangers
- Getting in trouble alone
- Falling sick
- Losing your valuables
You can keep adding to this list whenever you think of something new. Ideally, start on this a month before you’re supposed to travel. This’ll give you enough time to collect your thoughts and ponder over each point.
Are you Afraid of Traveling or Depending on Yourself?
If you notice, many of these factors are either unpredictable or deterrent to the joy of independent travel. More than causing anxiety because of the trip, they’re making you fear relying on yourself. Independence can be scary, but it shouldn’t stop you from trying to achieve it.
Being independent is a lot of responsibility, and not everyone is naturally cut out for that. It’s something you learn from trial and error, and the process has to start somewhere. It’s all about taking the first step in the right direction and not letting failures deter you.
Note Down Possible Solutions for Your Worry List
This is important. Most people never get to this part because they’re so consumed by worry. It’s okay to feel anxious, but it’s not okay to sulk in it. Take one challenge at a time and prepare yourself for the possible outcomes, negative and positive.
As for fear of missing flights, it’s all about being punctual and organized. Also, if you manage to get to the airport on time, there’s a low chance that you’ll forget to board the plane with other passengers leading by example.
As for losing your wallet, jewelry, passport, and other documents, you have to be more careful. There’s no reason to be paranoid about losing things all the time. But you shouldn’t let your guard down if you’re alone. Be alert, not anxious. And keep the essential things on you, not in your luggage, so make sure to dress appropriately so that you have enough pockets.
As for meeting strangers and getting in trouble, that’s all part of the process. There’s no guarantee that there won’t be any bumps along the way, but it’s on you to buckle up and take them in a stride. And you’re going to a safe country, not a war zone; not every stranger is out to get you! Just do your thing.
As for falling sick, you should always pack a first-aid kit and consult your physician if you have any longstanding medical illnesses. Carry the necessary medicines in sufficient quantity and take your doses on time to avoid any health-related troubles.