Tag Archives: wanderlust

Part 2: Feel the Travel Fear and Do it Anyways

To jump start my travel journey, I ended up saying yes to a flight in a float plane around my lake. With the help of a family friend, a trained Air Canada pilot I felt extremely in control of the situation because I was able to go down when I had enough of being up in the air. Armed with the knowledge that I was able to go up in a teeny tiny float plane, I knew that I would be mentally strong enough to handle a 5 hour flight to Vancouver.

Naturally the night before the flight I barely slept. Alana and I had to get to the airport for 5am, which in hindsight was an excellent time because I had no time to dwell on my fear of flying. Surprisingly, I was extremely calm throughout the whole check in process which I credit to my avoidance of caffeine for the entire week prior. Earlier that summer I had learned caffeine amplified my anxiety.

As I boarded the plane I realized that it was a larger plane than I had envisioned with a third row of chairs in the middle. *starts to panic. This wasn’t what I had planned for. OH GOD how will it get in the air? Deep breath, deep breath, just sit down and start talking to Alana. I sat down and started talking to Alana and pulled out my drawing book. The plane eventually began moving. That was it, no time to escape, you are doing it. Up we went and it wasn’t as bad as I had remembered. It certainly was uncomfortable until the plane leveled out but I did not cry or panic, success! I found focusing on drawing mandala prints and colouring them in while also listening to a movie was a great distraction technique. I also pre-booked an aisle seat so I would have additional leg room and not have to look out the window.

When we landed in Vancouver I felt elated, I had made it! I spent 11 unbelievable full days back in Vancouver and Whistler hiking, biking, visiting with family and soaking up the west coast views (see pics). I even traveled alone from Whistler back to Vancouver when Alana went to her yoga retreat. It was extremely empowering to know that I could handle it, I did not crumble into a ball of nerves.

I was still quite nervous to fly back by myself but I knew if I had gotten here, I could get home. During the flight home I joked with the man beside me about how I was a nervous flyer so I may chat with him, he kindly assured me that would be okay. When the time came for takeoff I was once again focused on drawing and did not need to speak to the man as a result of nerves. I can’t even begin to tell you what an incredible feeling it was to manage a fear that I have been thinking about for years.

Now after all this, don’t think I can just easily hop on a plane and jet set across the ocean. The fear is still there. I will always have travel anxiety, I just have a few more tools to deal with it. Luckily the urge to travel and see the world is also there so I will continue to push myself. A quote that helps describe this feeling best is “Feel the fear and do it anyways”. I never want to let fear win.

Have you ever been anxious to travel? How do you cope?

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Part 1: Feel the Travel Fear and Do it Anyways

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.

Top 12 Adventurous Instagrammers

If you read my very first blog post, you will know that I am a big fan of Instagram (my IG laurenmarie_mac). I love how when done right, it is a visual source of imagery that captures exciting and inspirational moments within someone’s life. A photograph has the ability to capture a moment that someone deems to be worth preserving, whether that may be beautifully arranged fresh flowers, a sparkling lake or the local culture of a foreign country. There is a reason we photograph, we may not always be sure why, but in that moment we feel the need to preserve a record of reality.

With that being said, I want to share with you my top Adventurous Instagrammers for 2014. Majority of those listed have some association with board culture (surf and snow), nature, and the overall laid back lifestyle. The reason I find them so intriguing is because their photos capture appreciation of the moment which inspires and motivates me to remain mindful and adventure out of my comfort zone.

1. Flickpalmateer
Felcity Palmateer is a pro surfer from Australia who is incredibly talented at drawing art, especially mandala prints. If you want to see images of the ocean and a laid back surf lifestyle, with an emphasis on creativity than be sure to check her out.

flick palm

2. wandertosea
This IGer is a nature adventurer who wanders from Hawaii to Yellowstone, stopping for a scenic yoga pose as she goes. If you appreciate nature, mountain views and yoga, then you will be sure to enjoy her posts popping up on your feed.

wandertosea

3. misshalimarie
Miss Hali Marie is my most recent IG find that I am currently loving. The majority of her posts feature the true beauty of the West Coast through the eyes of an adventurous hiker. The quality of her photos make nature lovers like myself quite eager to get back outside and enjoy all of the seasons.

miss hali marie

4. natemuskoka
As a seasoned cottager, I had to put a local Muskokan on this list. If you have never heard of Ontario’s cottage country, Muskoka, then you will be in for a treat with this IGer. Get ready for stunning sunsets, peaceful waters and the classic Canadian canoe trip.

natemuskoka

5. izzimeowww
This girl right here lives the life of surf, yoga, board and repeat. Her photos capture her embracing the moment and living life in the now out on the west coast of Canada. Her focus on clean eating might also help with her amazingly fit body.

izzimeowww

6. mountain_adventures
IGer Warren, shares his weekend adventures out in Washington State’s mountains. His summit views are outstanding and make you want to pack up your hiking shoes and head for the nearest trail with a stunning view.

mountain adventures

7. jennabeaann
Canadian Olympic snowboarder Jenna Blasman shares her world travels while training as a professional snowboarder. Her laid back Whistler lifestyle, motivational quotes, healthy eats and insane snowboard jumps, makes for an entertaining Instagram feed.

jennabeaan

8. emilymmasse
Another great adventurer who enjoys hiking to panoramic views of aqua lakes, tall trees and majestic waterfalls.

emily masse

9. xococoho
Professional surfer from Hawaii, Coco Ho is a household name in the surf world. Her laid back surfer life showcases beautiful oceans, beaches, waves and of course her smiley personality.

cocoho

10. instagramwhistler
If you want an depth look at one of the most magical places on Canada’s West Coast, then Instagramwhistler’s IG account will hit the spot. This professional photographer is able to capture the essence of Whistler throughout all four seasons making it hard for you to resist booking the next flight out to Van. If you are like me, waiting for vacation days, then this IG account will help subside your west coast cravings.

ig whistler

11. jamieanderson
USA gold medalist Olympic snowboarder, Jamie Anderson showcases her boarder lifestyle with her stunning photos training around the world, yoga poses and lots of action packed GoPro shots.

JAnderson

12. tayeg
My most recent IG discovery was tayeg’s account. She is a Canadian professional snowboarder who embraces the laid back boarder culture that includes a fondness for surf, yoga, travel and exploring. She also happens to be an incredible artist, often showcasing her commissioned pieces.

Tayeg

 

Please comment with your favourite Instagrammers, I love finding new people to follow!

Wanderlust: A strong desire or urge to travel or wander

Lately I’ve been feeling the call of wanderlust. This prompted me to go through some of my hiking photos to see what I could share with you in a photo gallery on my wanderlust page.

Hiking, cottaging and enjoying nature is an essential component of my life. I find that by getting out and exploring what mother nature has to offer, has the most calming effect on my never ending thoughts. Lately, I have been trying to explore what Ontario has to offer since I do not have the finances or vacation time to explore further. Some of my recent adventures this past summer and fall in Ontario included:

Elora Gorge, Ontario.

Elora Gorge, Elora, Ontario.

Algonquin Park, Ontario.

Track and Tower hike, Algonquin Park, Ontario.

cheltenham badlands

Cheltenham Badlands, Caledon, Ontario.

I already know I will be adventuring in Muskoka and Collingwood this winter, and I can not wait! Bring on the snow because it’s sled and ski time for me! But as soon as I get some vaycay…HELLO WHISTLER!

Where is your wanderlust urging you to go?