It starts pretty immediately. As soon as we book flights the unease settles into the pit of my stomach. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since we’ve vacationed, how fun the destination is going to be, or how badly we need to get away for a little while. I always develop some kind of travel anxiety any time we go away from home. And it’s only gotten worse year by year.
A good majority of my stress centers around the animals. What if the cats get out of the house? What if their feeders don’t work? What if the dogs get into a fight at the boarding facility? What if anyone gets sick? What if something happens where we can’t get back?
Never mind the fact that we have trustworthy people watching the animals who can contact me any time if something goes wrong. Never mind that the cats never go anywhere near the front door. Never mind that the pups are too busy having the time of their lives at their doggy hotel to even bother getting annoyed with each other.
Then there’s the anxiety of preparing for travel. Did I forget to pack something? Do we have our wallets, passports, tickets, phones, chargers, camera? Am I bringing too many clothes? Not enough? Will the suitcase be too heavy?
Never mind that this is nowhere near the first time I’ve traveled and I’m a seasoned pro. Never mind that and I’m not even traveling alone. The first time I flew completely by myself was to London in 2012 and I didn’t have nearly the same amount of fear. What’s happening to me?
More than once the level of anxiety has reached such a fever pitch that it’s made me not want to go. I’m nearly reduced to a ball on the floor while Sean tries to reason with me. It’s maddening. Especially since it’s all so very temporary.
Oddly, once we actually get started, a lot of this worrying goes away. My brain somehow switches from “what if, what if, what if?!” to “well, whatever happens, happens.”
I’m not sure why this travel anxiety has gotten so much worse over the last few years. Perhaps it has to do with getting older. perhaps it’s because we have so many animals to be responsible for. I can’t quite put my finger on the root cause.
Either way, I’m glad it subsides enough for me to enjoy the actual trip. Let’s hope it stays that way.