Anxiety Abroad: Learning to Cope While Travelling Solo

THE LESS YOU PACK, THE LESS YOU WORRY

Baggage carousels suck. Packing light is the only way to avoid the long waits and monotonous groan of that metal conveyor belt. If you can stuff all your things in a carry-on sized backpack or suitcase, you can avoid navigating confusing airports more than you have to. Always having my backpack with me was helpful in avoiding those long waits — and guess what? You don’t have to worry about the airline losing your stuff.

TAKE IT EASY

Sometimes — oftentimes — living with anxiety can be overwhelming. Even the smallest things can cause stress to coil itself around your muscles and try to exhaust you with doubt and worry. It can be hard to stop it from happening, but taking a step back and just breathing can sometimes keep it at bay for just a little while.

Lose yourself in another city. Montmartre, Paris

DON’T MAKE EXCUSES

I am the queen of excuses. That, I’ve discovered, has been a byproduct of my anxiety. Every time I feel brave and want to try something new, the doubt bubbles up and I come up with silly reasons to convince myself that I can’t do it. It’s too much work; I’ll probably fail; what if I have a panic attack? — the list goes on…

The Keukenhof gardens, bursting with colour.

NOT EVERYONE IS OUT TO GET YOU

By nature, I am an extremely cautious person. As a rule, I don’t walk anywhere by myself after dark, I avoid questionable situations, and stay away from abandoned alleyways. Being a 23-year-old female, these are all things I’ve gotten used to doing. Call it excessive, but I’ve always lived by the mantra “better safe than sorry.”

Heidelberg, Germany by day.

IT’S OK REACH OUT

Travelling on your own can get lonely sometimes, especially if you don’t have anything to distract you with.

Don’t let anxiety stop you from really living.

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A curation of great ideas coming out of Ryerson University.

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