Traveling with Anxiety

So I really want to travel to the Netherlands to visit my boyfriend. I'm in the process of saving up for the trip but I'm scared. Being a female and traveling alone terrifies me. Plus with my social anxiety I don't feel like I could handle all the people that come along with airports and the stress of flying. Ive never been in an airport or on a plane in my 25 years. I know that flying is stressful for normal people.

I don't know if what to do. On one hand I really want to visit him and see and experience his country but on the other hand the thought is utterly terrifying to me.

Has anyone else traveled alone with Anxiety and or social anxiety? Was it as bad as you expected? How is flying in general?

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10 Replies

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  • Hey! This post comes at a perfect time for giving advice, because my boyfriend of the same age as you is right now in the air flying to Austria all alone for a study abroad trip. Not his first flight but his first time leaving the country. He too was worried about planes and flying alone and the whole thing. I am too, which I will be posting later about that. But I find that it helps me to remember that there are THOUSANDS of successful flights each and every day, and THOUSANDS of women traveling all alone that are a-ok :) Plus, the pilots are staff are very well trained, and we have many more technology, regulations, and safety procedures now than compared to back then. There are many people, yes. But, there are somewhat spacious areas in some airports that you can go to to get away from being super super close to people.

    You want to see your boyfriend, right? You love him and you want to see him. Don't let anxiety rob you of your happiness with your boyfriend. It might be hard, but you can push through. It is so easy to let anxiety piss on your happiness. I suffer with it twisting my insides and making me unhappy all the time. Would your boyfriend travel for you?

    My boyfriend was getting physically sick last night about having to travel abroad alone, but I checked in with him at the airport via texting and he feels much better about it because it was not nearly as hard as he thought it would be. His anxiety went from completely terrible to mostly gone quite quickly as he went through the procedures.

    Flying is not too bad. If you are in America, the TSA's site gives plenty of helpful information. Flying has rules, but you should be able to get through it. If you have a relative or a friend who has flown, ask them for advice!

    Mine would be to get a passport wallet, and get TSA locks for your luggage (if the TSA needs to get into your luggage for security reasons, they have keys for your TSA lock and will not break it. Regular locks will just be broken by the TSA and they will not care). Also, they sell luggage straps that come in bright colors. They help keep the suitcase closed in case it accidentally opens, and help you to find your luggage more easily when you have to pick it up since the straps are bright colors. I also recommend that on your carry-on luggage (see TSA site for size regulations) you carry a few days clothes (including PJS), shampoo and like necessities (see TSA site for regulations on bringing gels and liquids on a carry-on luggage) money and electronics, and other valuables on the carry-on luggage, for sometimes luggage gets lost and you either receive it a few days after you arrive at your destination, or they never find it. Carrying these items in your carry-on luggage will help you have some time to get replacement items in case your luggage is missing. That way while you get replacements, you still have fresh underwear and clothes to wear! And the electronics are safely with you and way less likely to be stolen.

    Think about it; complete idiots fly every single day and navigate it just fine. If they can do it, then you can too! People that are probably far less equipped than you are fly all the time, and they make it out all right. You can too!

  • Wonderful reply. Practical advice. It would help many. Thanx

  • Thank you! I hope people find it useful :)

  • Thank you so much for all the helpful advice. You have helped put my mind at ease! This is very helpful and I will copy it so whenever I get nervous I can have this to look back to :)

  • I am so happy that it helped! And especially in a long term way :) Have a fun and safe trip to see your boyfriend! Europe is great, just keeps your eyes and ears open and be alert of your surroundings, but that is an every where around the world rule haha.

  • Thank you! Yes that is the truth! Everywhere you have to be alert even at home haha :)

  • I have flown many times, last week being the most recent. It is nothing to worry about, I usually find it relaxing enough to get some sleep during the flight. You can bring an MP3 player or a book and use them during the flight to help you relax. You can have food on board also.

    If find the hardest part of it all is going through security but that is only because you have to queue for it sometimes, but it doesn't last to long and after you get through that you can go browse the shops or go sit and have a cup of tea etc.

    It's pretty straight forward and there isn't anything to worry about at all so just go for it and look forward to seeing your boyfriend who will be waiting for you at the other end.

    Enjoy your time with him in his amazing country.

  • Thank you for your reply. I do enjoy reading greatly so a book sounds like a nice thing to bring. One of my biggest fears is when changing planes. I forget what it's called, the layover, where you have to wait for your next flight. Is that bad?

  • Will be much the same as catching the first plane.

  • Okay thanks!

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