Today I woke up at ten past six with my heart pounding and feeling extremely nauseous and uneasy. Yep, today I had my first anxiety attack in over a year because I think my subconscious has finally realised what I’m about to do.
Every solo trip I ever take I always get a little anxious over. As I’m driving to the airport my heart rate slowly increases and yes I get a bit sweaty, I’m used to the nerves and the excitement that still floats around and I knew that for this trip, leaving for the next eighteen months, I’d go through the same yet I didn’t think I’d wake up with an anxiety attack over it.
I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression for many years (yep, I’m going deep but it’s the frank truth on how travel affects me) but over the last few years I’ve gained not only control over it but also gained my own self confidence and trust in myself that I will be okay. One of my biggest concerns I have held since booking this trip is how will I cope if I have a bad time and begin to struggle again and frankly that scares me every time I think about it so I keep running from the issue saying “I’ll be fine”. After waking up feeling so anxious I’ve realised I need to have a frank chat with myself and as crazy as it seems, I need to be prepared for the possibility even to the point of having a little area on my phone or laptop of all the things I’ve used over time when I begin to struggle so that I can remain focused on what I’m doing.
I think there’s a small part of me that has been kidding myself that I’m not nervous over the last few days even though I’ve been saying goodbye to all my family and been frantically stressed over packing and sorting out all the important stuff before I leave. People keep asking me “are you nervous?” all the time to which I keep replying with “no, not yet! It’ll probably hit me when I’m on the flight” (that’s when I normally get the biggest realisation of the fact I’m back on my own again).
I can’t sit and hear and say I’m not super excited for going because honestly I can’t wait to get onto my flights and begin the next chapter of my life doing, seeing and just experiencing a whole new way of life but I think the enormity of the trip has officially dawned on me. It’s not like I’m moving somewhere that’s a two hour flight away, I’m moving to literally the complete other side of the world where to get home I need two days and about £500.
In a strange way, the further into this post I got whilst writing it the more my nerves began to calm and to some degree it’s also helped clarify a few things for me (hey, who knew this would help!) and allowed me to focus on what is left to sort, how I’m going to sort it but also how I need to actually take some time to relax and just enjoy my final few days in the UK.
I know for a fact that in the end, once I’m settled and I’m out there living a life that I think is the life I need and desire I’ll be absolutely fine. Nerves always accompany any solo trip, no matter what their length in time but it’s about remembering to experience them but then fight them head on. I leave in six days time and I know I’m going to have a few more nerves creep in but I also know that my excitement is building and very very soon I’m about to take a trip of a lifetime.
I’m heading off to London this afternoon for the night to see some friends and have some me time whilst I’m there (away from a world where I keep looking at my bags going “WHY CAN’T EVERYTHING JUST FIT IT!!!”) so hopefully that will also help kill some nerves and bring out even more excitement!
P.S. For those who’ve been affected by anything I’ve mentioned in this post, my messages are always open, whether travel related or not x