I’ve been fortunate in my life to be able to travel around a lot, both in the UK and the World. While growing up our family used to go camping a lot, later on we started to go abroad more. I love traveling, meeting new people and experiencing their cultures is just amazing.
As I grew older things started to change. I think this started around 7 or 8 years ago. I started to become anxious about traveling. I realise now that this was the beginning of a battle with anxiety and depression that would lie under the surface for many years.
I don’t really understand why this happened, traveling is something that is part of my life.
One year I was supposed to be taking a family holiday with my brother and parents. We were going skiing, those who have known me for at least 5 minutes know how much I love it. I couldn’t sleep the night before, I was sweaty and shaking, at the time I didn’t realise that I was having a full blown panic attack. I couldn’t go, the feeling of sickness overwhelmed me to the point of no return. To this day my Dad recalls how upset he felt going skiing without me. This has been something that then started to occur more and more.
I hate my anxiety, it has such a tight hold on me when I travel. It was such a big pain when I was applying to Wunder. I knew I’d have to travel way more than I normally do. On the one hand this is great but on the other it’s tough to deal with the physical and mental side effects (oh yeah they’re fun!).
The physical side effects of anxiety for me are terrible, it can range from not sleeping, panic attacks to nasty bowel movements. It’s pretty horrible but I love traveling so I manage as best as I can.
As part of my thought process for joining Wunder I figured that this was going to be an opportunity that I couldn’t resist, traveling and meeting people is very important to me so I decided to not let that be a factor in my application.
While I’ve come to terms with my depression and overcome it for the most part, anxiety just doesn’t seem to want to go away. I’m slowly learning how to cope with it. I’ve found the following things help quite a lot:
- Planning times for all connections.
- Keeping registration documents handy.
- Using TripIt for regular reminders about traveling.
- Making sure my bag is always packed with useful tools e.g. Power bank for charging usb devices, laptop charger.
- Finding out if someone I know will be around.
All these things help streamline my anxiety, they don’t get rid of it but they help.