Travel Anxiety

I tend to have anxiety at the best of times, but my trip to Maryland has been one for the record books. I haven’t traveled much during the pandemic, and I haven’t flown anywhere without Husband for many years. I think Husband acts as a distraction, and his absence left me lost to my own awful imagination. I had a lot of sleep problems the two weeks before I left. My professional tricks for anxiety reduction were only marginally helpful.

I have fretted about countless small things, like was my hotel reservation ok since the confirmation email never arrived after three attempts by Marriot to send it. Of course, a weather system moved into our area bringing the first snow of the season the day I had to head to the airport. I have to drive 100 miles to the airport. There was slush, but I traveled safely. I spent the night in Bismarck since my flight left so early in the morning. I spent the night worrying whether it would be icy driving to the airport. It wasn’t.

On Tuesday I didn’t realize until after I checked my bag and went through security that the ticket agent forgot to give me a baggage claim check, so I worried all the way to DC how I would find my bag if Delta lost it. To cap the whole experience, the guy sitting next to me on the plane out of Minneapolis watched a movie about two women climbers stuck on top of a cell phone tower. I am really afraid of heights, and I tried to not to peek over at his screen, but I just couldn’t help myself. I could hardly stand it!

Well, I wrote this in my lovely hotel room in National Harbor that was waiting for me with my reservation. . My suitcase arrived when I did. The heroine was rescued from the cellphone tower, but not until she killed a vulture that attacked her and she ate it raw to give her strength to keep going. There is good weather predicted for Bismarck when I fly back. Why on earth was I so worried?

What about travel makes you anxious? What are your strategies for anxiety management?

45 thoughts on “Travel Anxiety”

  1. Worrying that I’ll make a snide remark about passengers being treated like suspicious criminals (and cattle headed for slaughter) as we walk zombie-like through the TSA security line and screening at the airport. Of course, I’d be arrested, grilled in a windowless room under a hot light by a good cop/bad cop tandem, given a strict warning about mouthing off, and either a ticket or a quick trip to jail. 🙂

    Seriously, regarding flying, I always have that small bit of worry that my plane, out of the thousands of planes flying that day, will be the one to crash. I don’t want to die like that. I prefer to have some sort of chance to say goodbye forever to loved ones.

    Other than that, I worry some about weather when on a driving trip, especially in winter in MN. I always worry about inattentive/drunk/distracted drivers and semi drivers who work too long, fall asleep at the wheel, drift across the lane line and run me off the road. At dawn and dusk, I worry about hitting a deer. I guess most of my travel worries are typical.

    Anxiety management? I might have a drink at the airport before flying, but rarely. Otherwise i don’t get anxious to the point of it becoming a problem.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve sworn off air travel. Not because of anxiety, but because there is absolutely nothing pleasurable about it anymore. Well, actually, there is one anxiety producing factor: too many people, and too few bathrooms. Because of a bowel condition caused by radiation treatments in 1995, when I need a loo, I need it right now. Makes me nervous just thinking about it, and that doesn’t help either.

    I consider myself lucky that I’m not generally plagued by worries, at least not excessively so. When I find myself anxious about something, I ask myself what if anything I can do to avert a problem. If there’s nothing I can do, I consider what I’d do in a worst case scenario. Sometimes it helps having thought through possible solutions. I’ll admit to some anxiety about the outcome of the upcoming elections, though I try to limit the amount of time I dwell on it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree about the elections PJ. That is a really concern, given recent events. I have restricted the news lately so I don’t get too wound up about the. I voted. I support certain pols. That is what I can do.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes, you do what you can, and then you have to let it go. There’s little comfort in knowing that most of the issues that I care deeply about won’t affect me personally because I’m old. I did my part, and now have to trust that others will pick up where I left off.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I have taken American trains on three separate occasions, and wasn’t impressed. They were dirty, quality of service was bad, and they were not punctual. On one occasion, there was a significant delay caused by an oil transport. I would prefer to travel by rail, but they need to up their passenger service standards significantly.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel much better this morning having slept for 12 hours. I think that much of my anxiety stems from going somewhere for the first time and not knowing what to expect.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Renée, though we haven’t met, I bet that in that conference you are calm, assured, knowledgeable, and are a good speaker, if speaking is involved. It’s fascinating and endearing to see the anxious side of you.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Rise and Wring Your Hands, Baboons,

    My anxiety about travel is a lot like what Chris described above. First the fictionalized version, then mild anxiety. Air travel has been remarkably safe for years, now, while at the same time being remarkably uncomfortable.

    Contracting COVID is my new anxiety. This last bout, contracted in August at at small gathering of my high school pals and spouses, was unexpected and long lasting. It also seemed to manifest itself very quickly. The early stage of it was not too intense nor long lasting with the paxlovid to help. But the rebound of it combined with the fatigue has taken forever to conquer. That experience will prompt me to be wearing a mask in situations that are suspect, although everyone at this gathering was vaccinated and pretty careful. Next week we are traveling by air to Arizona. I will be masked and sanitized for that. I really don’t want to go through this again.

    Anxiety techniques: Go to YouTube and search for Mammalian Dive technique.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. If you are concerned about cathcing catching something on the plane, try wearing a face shield. If there are people around you breathing virus particles into the air, you can avoid breathing many of them with a mask, but virus particles also get into your eyes. A face shield helps with that.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I had very little anxiety about travel until Covid, and now would be even more inclined to travel by car or rail if possible. Trains are my preference – they took away a lot of the anxiety for me, and now if you got a Roomette, you could stay fairly isolated if you wanted to. Obviously, you need more time, though. I’ve written here about my 50th birthday train trip, 2/20/16 in the Archives .

    Anxiety management as mentioned above – if I’m present enough and not panicky, do everything I can think of now. I lose sleep when I’m still wavering on whether to do some action – if I just do it, I’m usually fine.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Except for the irrational fear that the tail of a plane is going to hit the runway as the plane takes off, which I’ve recounted here before, I don’t have much anxiety about travel. I don’t know if it’s because I just don’t have anxiety or because over three decades of traveling for my job, a lot of things have happened to me. I’ve missed flights, slept overnight in an airport, had my luggage lost for four days into an eight day trip to Africa, had to argue with customs officials about nutmeg in my suitcase after coming home from Malaysia, standing most of a nine hour flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles with a fussing, baby, more lost luggage, more missed flights. I have even shown up in New Jersey at midnight to find that they had given my hotel reservation away, and the hotel was full. And while all of these were a pain in the a** at the time, all these experiences make for a good stories now!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I don’t think I really suffer from travel anxiety, unless it involves finding places. And now I don’t do that professionally, that problem seems to have gone away.

    My anxiet strategy is to carry on and suffer anxiety for as long as it takes.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. OT Gatitos Carrer de la Verge 4.
    (That’s our house)

    I still don’t know how to do accents on this phone. It’s nearly worn out now, anyway.

    You may recall Meep, the kitten donated to us a while ago by Shere, with the promise to help us find her a home. Jane has regularly posted cute pictures of her on Facebook and Whatsapp, but no takers, until a couple of days ago, when Jane said, “Chelo wants a picture of Meep, a friend of her son’s wants a cat. What do you think?” said, “yes, I suppose, if it’s a good home etc.” And I went in the kitchen and thought, “she’ll be somewhere by herself.” Started wiping my eyes. “She’s got all her friends here”. Jane called out, “It’s an apartment.” What, she won’t be able to go out(I forgot that she can’t now). I should have said no. Too late now, Jane will have told Chelo it’s OK.

    So I was a mess now, but I dried my cheeks, so I wouldn’t look silly, went in the lounge and said, “I can’t do it,.” Practically sobbing by this time. “She’ll be by herself. I’m sorry, I should have said.” “Well we could give them Tigger.”
    I said “It’s tough on him, but he’s such a b******(bully, that’s what I said. He’s a bully). But really, we couldn’t do that either.

    So it’s official, we’ve got sixteen cats. We’ve agreed on one thing though, if nothing else: but NO MORE!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, but, we’ve agreed that we’ll pick up the nice black cat at the bottom of the hill. Likes people, isn’t a gang member, we gave him a worming tablet and one other a few months ago. He changed from a fuzzy brownish colour to a sleek black, and will do well with some love and attention. So that’s one off our hands.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Yeah, I probably could have one made, but I don’t think my sister would think it was very funny.


        2. I would have loved to have ordered one each for the “Gatitos” afiliados(for Glad Luncheons) , I’ll bear it in mind for when I’m better off.


  9. I worry too much about finding a parking space. I’ll get somewhere an hour early to be sure I find a space. It’s completely silly, but, there it is. It’s tempered a bit over the years… but not gone by any means.
    Longer travel means worrying the planes will be delayed. Either simply making travel longer and annoying, or missing the next flight. But life goes on.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I flew for the first time at age 51,when we flew to Atlanta from, on honeymoon. I don’t remember if I was nervous, if so, I soon got over it. We worked our way down to New Orleans by car, then flew home, Nawlins, Atlanta,.
    On our first anniversary we went to Jersey from Southampton, a half hour ride on a prop plane. Only we didn’t know they used prop planes, because the plane had a problem, and we were delayed so long that finally a jet came down from up North, to take us, plus the next flight, which would have been the same plane as the first. Of course, I was a seasoned traveller, and took things in my stride.
    Coming back a week later, we looked out the airport window and saw our plane arriving. A prop plane. Jane went to pieces. “I’m not going on that! Buddy Holly was killed in one of them!” Pretty inconvenient really. If she really had refused. Luckily, she got on the thing after all. She sat shaking with fright, almost crying, and gripping my hand the whole way. By the way, she’d been riding jets since the age of six, been a member of something called the Junior Jet Club, been put on planes at age approximately eight, with only her younger brother accompanying her, and had flown on Concord many times. But we prop plane veterans are obviously made of sterner stuff, as apart from my concern for Jane, I sat there without a care in the world.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was going to fill in the name of that airport when I remembered what it was,but I forgot. The one south of London, very near Crawley. It’s on the tip of my tongue.


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  12. Nothing about travel makes me anxious. Last week I did a journey somewhat parallel to yours. I went to Richmond, VA and back. Took the train all the way. Yes, it would have taken you a week longer to make such a journey out of ND, but certain other aspects of a trip that involves airports (though I’ve no problem with flying, I hate airports), would have been taken care of you. And, on the train, the bag is in the same car with you all the way!


  13. You keep showing up in my Social despite me repeatedly reporting you as SPAM for YEARS. TAKE ME OFF YOUR MOTHERFUCKING LIST OR I WILL FIND YOUR SITE AND POST OBSCENITIES ALL OVER IT. GET IT, CUNT?


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