It has been awhile since I have last posted…almost 1.5 years to be exact. A lot has happened! I got an awesome job in beautiful Muskoka, moved out of my parents place and managed to challenge the anxious thoughts around travel.
Anxiety about travel? Yes it exists. I know it can sound weird to someone who has grown up flying to new locations every March beak or family holiday, but to someone like me it was a constant worry. My family never traveled growing up, aside from a road trip from Toronto to Florida when I was in grade 2. We spent all of our free time at the cottage year-round, which I am still extremely grateful for.
My anxiety around travel ironically started while traveling during a six week post graduate trip backpacking out west in Alberta and B.C with friends when I was 22. It was my first time on an airplane, and I could not keep still during the hours before takeoff. We crammed non-stop hikes, sight-seeing, little sleep and lots of partying into those six weeks and as a result I experienced my first panic attack. I had no clue at the time that the feeling of dizziness, ringing in my ear, nausea and out of body experience was actually a panic attack and continued pushing myself until we flew back home. My left ear did not pop from the flight home for 3 whole months due to sinus congestion and as a result I experienced severe dizziness/vertigo which in turn continued to fuel my anxiety.
In combination with the stress of finding a job after graduation, my ear not popping and the feeling that an anxiety attack could happen at a moment’s notice I began to associate travel with uncertainty and anxiety. During the next 2 years I worked hard to understand anxiety and sought out natural ways to manage it such as yoga, meditation, essential oils, rescue remedy, avoiding caffeine and talking with friends and family. As I began to find my career path, these natural remedies became a staple in my life allowing me to push forward and manage my anxious thoughts.
I knew if I wanted to get over my fear of travel (especially in an airplane!) I had to literally do the thing I feared most, fly out west again. So with the help of my friend Alana, who was on her way to a yoga retreat in Whistler we planned an epic adventure. And the most frightening part, I would be flying home from Vancouver to Toronto alone!
Read part 2 here.