‘Travelling: It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.’
I recently returned from a beautiful getaway in Rome where it was 24 degrees and I ate my body-weight in gelato. Travelling for me has always had it’s ups and downs – I love to adventure and explore the world but being in new places, meeting new people and doing new things are all delicious opportunities for anxiety to latch onto.
My trip in numbers: 9 scoops of gelato, 4 pizzas, 5 coffees, 3 glasses of prosecco, 30,000 steps a day, 13 landmarks, 2 proposals, 1 wedding, 7 instagram uploads, 2 markets, 5 stars for the hotel, 4 postcards sent and 232 new pictures now on my camera roll!
Being away from home allowed me to forget about the worries that I associate with day-to-day life. It felt like I had got my metaphorical remote-control and pressed pause on real life, allowing me to escape to another country and enjoy myself, not having to worry about anything back home.
Travel anxiety is extremely common. To avoid feeling anxious on the journey, I ensured that I packed my hand-luggage carefully. I included a book, my headphones and iPhone, a sleeping mask, lavender oil and an adult colouring book in order to shut out the world if need be. I did get anxious on the journey home, suddenly overwhelmingly aware of the inevitability of death (that’s a whole other blog post…!) but other than that, I was perfectly prepared.
Being in Rome, I felt carefree and enjoyed exploring and making memories. However, now that I’m home, I feel like I have a million things to do and almost feel selfish for ‘running away’ and leaving everything behind. This is where anxiety kicks in, leading to guilt, regret, panic, stress, paranoia and all the other lovely symptoms of having a brain that won’t stop talking. This is where I have to give myself some tough love and rationalise the situation: I’m allowed to have fun. I’m allowed to be happy. Maybe if I keep saying it, sometime soon I might start to believe it.
I’ve come home with a nose covered in freckles, stories to tell and pride in my heart knowing that I combatted something which my anxiety didn’t want me to do.
(Image: Trevi Fountain, Rome)