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The Voyager. Thursday July 11, 2013

The very cool, chilled sounds of 'The Voyager' by Paul Hardcastle immediately transport me back to BBC 1's 'Holiday' programme. The music would conclude to a sparkling 'Hello and welcome to 'Holiday'. And there would be the enchanting Jill Dando sauntering along white sands in some far away land.

I love to travel but I often find that as the trip draws near any feeling of excitement can be replaced by one of daunting. Ongoing health issues can make the mere packing of a bag seem an insurmountable task. Perfectionist tendencies can mean that I go overboard on leaving everything 'just so' and traversing security and lengthy queues at airports can leave me almost craving the safety and peace of home. Even during my first couple of days away I can feel insecure and less robust than I do at home.

I hope I'm not the only one to feel like this? It does sometimes make me wonder why I attempt any kind of foray away.

Well, here's two reasons why...

1)  A complete change of scenery, even if only for a day, really can recharge the batteries of our soul. It stretches the mind and enables us to see life from a different side of the room.

2)  Going away can put us out of our comfort zone. For example the endeavor of trying to communicate in a different language can be excruciatingly embarrassing. We may feel like a fish out of water. However, having tried new things, learned fresh stuff and seen different sights we have actually grown as a person. So much so, that when we return to our pond, our comfort zone, we actually stand that bit taller. I even walk differently after I've been away!

What was all that anxiety about?

I'd best keep listening to The Voyager. It helps me remember the reasons 'Why'.

The Moodscope Team

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keentwoevolve Thu, Jul 11th 2013 @ 6:27am

Traveling is my favourite thing to do. I left for south africa with a lonely planet book and some ideas of where id like to go and what id like to see but no fixed plans. I booked the first hostel over the internet so i would have somewhere to go on arrival but after that I just followed the wind and my intuition, taking advice on things to do and where to stay from other travellers.. It was exhillarating. just let the universe guide me. And although everyone said i would be a victim of violence or get sick, mortified that I was going alone as a female... the outcome was the furthest thing from the truth. It surpassed my wildest dreams.....I am the opposite. I yearn for new experiences, I would rather not be home.....and it did refresh me and my perspective on engage with other cultures....and new experiences.....yet i became overly attached to the trip and lived in the past after I came home. I just couldnt accept that i had to live here and that I wasnt there anymore.....very hard adjustment.

Anonymous Thu, Jul 11th 2013 @ 8:32am

Quite honestly if all you have got to worry about is what you pack and dealing with a foreign language then you should consider yourself lucky. Like many people I expect I have to work ridiculous 14 hour days and weekends leading up to my holiday to try and ensure that I dont leave too much for collegaues then have to spend the holiday trying to switch off from it and ignore all the nagging worries about work that continue to dog me.

olegzaezdny Thu, Jul 11th 2013 @ 8:38am

Straight to the point, very true. And yes, you are not the only one to feel anxious before going abroad :) I've travelled many times, yet I still feel a bit scared every time I go. But then, luckily, all my fears disappear.

Anonymous Thu, Jul 11th 2013 @ 9:19am

So true, I loathe going away. I often wonder if I'll ever go abroad again in my lifetime, but I know this attitude is seriously amiss. I get incredibly homesick... However, like you, I feel miles better when I return so I obviously have to fight it. Thanks for flagging this up, I think it's all about comfort zone and feeling safe. Also I'm alone, and don't enjoy holidays alone! Have done singles' and all that...

Anonymous Thu, Jul 11th 2013 @ 9:37am

This is a bit harsh I think.

Anonymous Thu, Jul 11th 2013 @ 9:40am

It's good to know that someone feels as I do. Thank you.

It's hard to plan ahead if you don't know how well you will cope. There are times when I feel brave enough to embrace almost anything and others when being away from home is physically and mentally painful. Being bipolar makes planning ahead very uncertain.

Anonymous Thu, Jul 11th 2013 @ 9:43am

Having not been able to afford to go on holiday much, and definitely not abroad, when I was younger and had small children, I discovered the joy of holidays and travel once my kids had left home. Had a lovely time with my partner for about 10 years, but in recent times have had health problems and related depression and anxiety which have blighted my last 2/3 trips. So at the moment I'm taking a holiday from holidays, which is frustrating, because I agree with all the benefits. Hopefully in time I will get my travel legs back. But it does help to know that other people find what "should be" a pleasant experience difficult too.

Anonymous Thu, Jul 11th 2013 @ 9:46am

Yes, me too, I understand and agree. On good days when I'm feeling healthy and optimistic I start making plans for activities, visits or trips, and then when the time arrives I can feel shocking and unable to face it. It's very frustrating.

Anonymous Thu, Jul 11th 2013 @ 10:24am

I'm so glad you wrote this Suzy thank you. I'm off on hols on Saturday and have woken up this morning with dread and foreboding...not only the "can I get everyhing done at work before I go" thing (as some previous posters have written) but just blowing all potential hiccups out of proportion - so a lovely reminder of how fortunate I am to be able to go on holiday in the first place but a great reminder of how the benefits will definitely outweigh any doubts I'm feeling :) thanks again.

Anonymous Thu, Jul 11th 2013 @ 5:57pm

Thanks so much for writing this. I've traveled and lived abroad in the past and hope to do more of that. I don't think I've ever prepared for a longer trip without feeling a great deal of anxiety. There have been times when I've cancelled trips at the last minute because of this, although I always have regrouped and eventually made the trip or accepted the overseas job. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just too anxious to travel. Your message and my own reflections help me to remember all the wonderful gains from leaving the comforts of home to see new places. Thank you again. Your message has given my spirit a real boost!!

keentwoevolve Thu, Jul 11th 2013 @ 6:56pm

Well our anxieties manifest in different ways. I love packing for trips, doing research, plopping down in a new country..having no plans..all have had english speakers abound-south africa, namibia, zimbabwe, greece, belize, london, usa continental, mexico..... except Hungary, that was more of a challenge but i am Hungarian so i could understand a bit and I was with my anxiety manifests in having to stay home. I wake up every day not wanting to be here but when i am on an exotic trip that disappears for me and its such a load off my shoulders to wake up and want to live, want to leave the hostel, want to have a shower, want to go get a few things at the market....where as at home these simple things can present a major anxiety issue for me. Its everyday life that incites a deep depression for me, not world travel. We are all different in how we are affected by mental health. So yes i am lucky that I have no issue with exotic travel...but on the other side of the is a major challenge for me when I am not abroad. Not having the ability to take out a loan and travel now because I am in debt makes me feel like I am in a prison, trapped, wings clipped. Everyone has a different experience with anxiety and depression. Its weird because i have no qualms about flying to a foreign land with no plan but yet i can hardly make it to my own corner store at home at a walking contradiction.....everyone says how much bravery it takes to travel to Africa on your own, I didnt see it as bravery at all...what I need is the bravery to combat every day existence in my home country.

Anonymous Fri, Jul 12th 2013 @ 8:12am

Yes, sometimes the shortest journey (eg to the shops) can feel like the longest if it's fraught with anxiety. And home sometimes seems not like a place of safety but a prison. Our experiences of difficulties are different, but the discomfort we all have around them is what we have in common I guess.
Today I wish I had that magic wand or fairy dust to make these things go away for myself and others. I would certainly use it.

Anonymous Fri, Jul 12th 2013 @ 8:57am

So comforting to hear that others feel anxious before trips, to the point of wanting to cancel. And that feeling of one moment being up for anything, booking something and then completely switching my mind, dreading it and wishing I wasn't going. It is like I am 2 people, the adventurous and the timid, and I don't know which one is going to surface, when. Thanks for your posting Suzy and the comments. Eileen

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