Travel Phobia and Jet Lag: Hi, friends... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Travel Phobia and Jet Lag


Hi, friends! So I have this weird paradox: on the one hand, I love to travel and learn new things; however, the first couple days of traveling anywhere are usually rough for me. I'm not even sure exactly what scares me about it. Probably just the unfamiliarity or something. This summer, I am going on a trip with my family to Jerusalem. While this is exciting, I'm also praying that my anxiety will be at bay, especially since jet lag tends to exacerbate this. Does anyone else have travel anxiety? How do you cope when you go somewhere far away? Also, does anyone know of any medicine that helps with jet lag symptoms? Thanks!

10 Replies

Hi there its common to be afraid of flying I myself is! Ask you gp if he can give you something to help diazepam springs to mind and works well for most people! I am afraid of flying to but I went from the UK to USA a flight of 7 1/2 hours and recently Scotland to Rome a total of 4 1/2 hours each way I've learn there is more chance of being knocked down than having a bad flight! Another thing is some airlines run a program for people who are afraid of flying I don't think its to expensive! I hope you trip to Jerusalem go's well all the best david 👍

mvillarreal in reply to Celtic27

I'm not really afraid of flying though. My fear is actually of being far away from home. I get anxious whether I travel by car or by plane. Also, is my profile showing that my name is David? My name is actually Matthew. LOL. I should fix that, if that's what it says.

Celtic27 in reply to mvillarreal

Hi Matthew I always put my name at the end of my post so not to worry take care 👍

wow! awesome traveling trips! I just had to say that real quick. I was wondering, do you think this is more jet lag, and dislike of flying than a phobia? The only reason I suggest this is because you seem to want to travel which seems odd for a person with a phobia. I would think you'd dread the whole trip or something. Maybe a doctor could give you something so you can keep you anxiety in check. Do you think that might help?

mvillarreal in reply to dore13

It's complicated. I enjoy learning new things and having new experiences, but I also have major anxiety the first couple days sometimes. Like, I'll go to the aquarium, but I usually won't eat very much for lunch and might have to stop in the bathroom a couple times to dry-heave. I am not afraid of flying. It does it matter if I travel by car or by plane; I still have this problem. I guess the best analogy to use would be like when a person with social anxiety loves people and wants to make friends but is still anxious around others. I love to travel and learn, but it still makes me anxious.

I love to travel. I start off feeling really anxious, too. I make sure to take a walk in the neighborhood of my hotel first thing. It helps me get my bearings. If I can, I try to "make friends" with someone at the hotel desk or a cafe nearby. That way I feel like I have a local person who is watching out for me. Also, I always bring tea from home and a few Trader Joe's snacks. For me, tastes and smells help me reset when I get anxious.

I used to live in Jerusalem (right in the middle of the city where most of the tourism is), and I go back every year. If it helps to have some local tips, I'm your girl. Let me know if there is something that would help you feel more at home like knowing a shop that is similar to home or what it might smell like or anything like that.

That's really cool! Are there any tourist attractions you recommend?

absolutely! what do you like? history/archaeology? museums? shopping? arts/theater? food? hiking? geo-politics? and how long will you be in town? any kids/physical limitations to think about? what time of year? (I didn't tell you that I go yearly because I put tours together ... did I?)

I'm really into religious studies, so I'm mostly interested in some of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim historical sites. We will be there about a week. My parents are coming with me, but I'm pretty athletic, so I don't think physical limitations will be an issue (unless maybe there's some really high places near 10,000 ft. or something; I am prone to altitude sickness). This will be in July.

Awesome! So, July is super-hot, but Jerusalem is dry because it is in the mountains. It's nowhere near 10K feet, and I've never had altitude problems there. (I get ill in Denver, which is problematic since I've lived there, too.)

The Israel Museum is amazing. Make sure to spend at least a half day there and go to the exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls. The restaurant there is incredible as well.

Head to the Old City: make sure to see King David's Citadel at Jaffa Gate - it's probably a 2-3 hour museum. From there, you can walk to the Armenian quarter of the Old City and see those sites. Keep walking around the perimeter there and it will drop you near the Western Wall. You'll see the Western Wall (Judaism) and the Temple Mount and Al Aksa Mosque (Islam) and just behind there is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Christianity). This is just about my favorite spot. Ever. You'll be super hot, so go to "the Cardo" which is the old Roman street in the Jewish Quarter to grab lunch. I think a great day is to see all 3 of those sites including the Western Wall Tunnels. The guidebook will give you directions. You can also hire a local guide (all Israeli tour guides are trained by the government and will give you a historically based tour. I've pressed them to see if they'll get "political" and they won't, so you'll hear some really important stuff and get a chance to really discuss the challenges of the current situation as well as the reality of 3500 years of civilizations crossing back and forth across the neighborhood.) You'll also want to see The Burnt House which is a fairly well preserved villa from about 1900 years ago. Make sure to see the Arab and Christian Quarters too. Hezekiah's tunnel is also really cool.

Back to West Jerusalem: Haas Promenade will give you a great view of the Old City, the reality of "the Barrier" that separates East and West Jerusalem, and on a clear day you'll be able to see to Jordan. It's lovely to walk along Jaffa Street and around Ben Yehuda Street, Yoel Solomon Street, and Zion Square. It's the central neighborhood - touristy, but some good restaurants and fun people watching. Make sure to go to "the shuk" which is also called "machaneh yehudah." This is the market. It also has the best restaurants in Jerusalem. You'll see ultra-orthodox Jews walking alongside art students with a billion piercings. You may want to try setting up a food tour of machaneh yehudah if you are a foodie. Yad Vashem (the Holocaust memorial and museum) and Har Herzl (their equivalent to Arlington Cemetery) share a mountain and are really interesting and worthwhile.

Look for opportunities to speak with Israeli Arabs about what it's like to be an Israeli citizen. Things are fascinating and complex and difficult right now. Jerusalem is a more conservative city, Tel Aviv is super liberal. If you get a chance to get down to Tel Aviv (it will be humid) make sure to walk along the Med to Old Jaffa (as old as Jerusalem) and explore the Old City there. Have a great seafood meal on the water and make sure to see the artists' studios.

If you can get to the desert - climb Masada (you'll be able to see 2000 year old ruins up there as well as the remans of the Roman fortifications from the siege of Masada in the 70s CE around the base of the mountain) and float in the Dead Sea. It's a thing, and it's worth it.

Must have foods: shwarma, falafel, baraka, fresh squeezed pomegranate juice, fresh baked pita bread with zaatar, date shake, yogurt.


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