Seven or so years ago, I was at university and severely depressed. I could barely peel myself out of bed in the morning, I didn’t have the energy for anything. Going to the kitchen to make breakfast was like climbing a mountain, so most days I didn’t bother. It was easier to starve. Eventually, the hunger would become too painful and only then would I stumble to make a sandwich. I was completely unmotivated.
Despite this blog having the name Anxious Travelers, you’ve probably noticed that recently there has been a lot more said about travel than anxiety. There’s a reason for this. For me, anxiety isn’t an ever present thing. It comes and goes. One day it’s on my shoulders, dragging me down. Then it’s gone for a while, waiting for the next moment to pounce.
When we arrived in New Zealand eight months ago, I was in one of my positive periods. Nothing in life bothered me, I was happy – or happy enough. Things were going great. We’d arrived in this new beautiful place, we had healthy bank accounts and everybody spoke English. Hallelujah!
As time has gone on, things have started to take a downturn.
As long as tall objects have existed, there have always been people stupid enough to go to the top of them.
Whether it be massive trees, huge pyramids, or gargantuan mountains, throughout history it seems one thing all humans share in common is a zest to reach high places.
My question is: why? Are we as a species completely fucking nuts? It’s built into all of us is an innate sense of curiosity when it comes to heights. In me, that curiosity also seems to lead to fear. It’s only rational though. Tall places mean falling, falling means death. Why I wonder do we constantly put ourselves into positions where falling is more probable? Where death is more likely.
We spend our whole lives with a support group around us. For years our parents look after us, stepping in whenever we have a problem or need help.
Soon we gain friends to take over from our parents. If trouble pops up there’s always somebody to lean on. Somebody to listen, give advice, to help.
Traveling alone means giving up that support network. It means complete reliance on one person–yourself. Once you learn to depend on yourself you gain a deeper sense of who you are. You experience true independence, but taking those first steps can be hard. Continue reading Taking Your First Steps in Traveling Alone→
Hotels. Restaurants. Buses. Planes. Trains. Automobiles. If you’re going to travel long-term you need to make a strict budget and you need to plan ahead. Otherwise one day you’ll wake up, find your bank account empty and you’ll have to do the last thing you want to do: go home.