Travel Anxiety Sucks is part of the ANA, Take Me ‘Round the World Trip Report.
TPOL lives a reckless life. I don’t plan anything in advance (see How to Book Trinidad’s Carnival Last Second for Free*), and I live to blog about it. This comes at a cost to my mental health and makes travel unnecessarily stressful. The first problem is not booking hotels if there aren’t points options available (see Travel Planning: Check Prices Or Just Go?). The second is when I change my travel plans midstream (see TPOL’s Best Travel Advice: Stick to the Plan!). The third is overdoing my Travel Philosophy by going to ten different cities for 3 to 4 nights each and thinking I will be able to live to blog about it (see #NoCollusion, No Albania for TPOL Trip Report). The fourth is my compulsion with documenting every part of my trip even though some posts receive little or no attention (see Haircuts Abroad: Marseille Edition or Albania Edition as examples). Add in alcohol, a lack of proper sustenance, no exercise, and you have the perfect formula for travel anxiety, a debilitating ailment that can disrupt any trip.
You would think that work would be stressful and traveling would be relaxing. It’s the exact opposite. I take comfort in dealing with the drama of being a consumer lawyer (visit Bachuwa Law). I find no comfort in sitting on a beach looking at yachts while realizing that travel may be a contributing factor as to why I’m not on one (see Porto Cervo, Sardinia: My Yacht Is Bigger).
But laziness is not the cause of travel anxiety. If I could diagnose myself, I would guess that extreme imbalance of going from a somewhat regimented, relaxed routine of golf, beach, work (see Despacito! TPOL Is Moving to Puerto Rico! Effective Inmediatamente) to a disruptive and destructive routine of bar, club, new hotel, sightseeing, airport, lounge, bar, club, beach, hangover, sightseeing, airport, hangover, new hotel, taxi, sightseeing, language barrier, SSSS boarding pass, no sleep, and repeat in no particular order is as reckless as playing Russian roulette.
Once the anxiety sets in, it’s next to impossible to make it go away. I start to think of how many more cities I have to go to and how many more photos I will have to take to chronicle the adventure. It is not a great feeling.
Curiously, the only solace from travel anxiety is to do work or to workout. These normal activities bring calm while the “fun” activities bring stress. Lately, the stress has become so overwhelming that I contemplate whether it is even worth traveling anymore or – heaven forbid – pay for someone to put my itinerary together so I don’t have to do anything. Crazier than that is thinking that I should scale back the blog posts to cover just the essentials. I quickly dismiss that idea because even if nobody reads a a trip report cover to cover, I do. And anytime I decide to shirk my blogging responsibilities (see Hangover = Blogger Malpractice?), inevitably someone asks me for a Travel Guide and I kick myself for not having one ready to go.
Overall, I don’t think there’s a cure for my travel anxiety as long as I travel the way I do, blog the way I do, and live it up the way I do. My hope is that I can read this post in the future and remind myself that sometimes it’s fine to take a break, even when I’m on vacation. That’s why it’s vacation. Oh, and eating may also be helpful.
Do you get travel anxiety? What do you do to fight it?
TPOL’s TIP: A beer and double espresso first thing in the morning is not the cure for travel anxiety.