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Reisefieber and leaving your comfort zone
Reisefieber! My old, old friend. I am finishing this post sitting near my gate at the airport, so what you’re going to read next has already happened. I’m going to show how my fear of leaving my comfort zone escalates before travelling. Regardless of where and how often I travel, I ALWAYS get the unpleasant reisefieber – this feeling of overwhelming anxiety when staying home, ideally in my bed, seems the like the BEST option.
The evening before my journey begins
I need to leave my cosy room in about an hour. First, I have to get on a coach to Warsaw. Next, sleepy and warm, I have to get out into still dark and cold bus station, wait till they open the tube, take the tube, change at the Warsaw central station and get myself to the airport. Believe me, this is the easiest and most carefully planned part of the whole journey. ;-)
What is travel anxiety – reisefieber?
Reisefieber – a very strong feeling of anxiety mixed with excitement which affects some people before the travel. Changing moods and insecurity included in the package.
It might seem that having travelled quite a bit, reisefieber should no longer affect me. Well, I wish it was like that.
In fact, always before going somewhere, regardless of the destination and company (or its lack), I come down with reisefieber. It means that a week before setting off, I think about the trip almost every minute that I am awake and I’m either very excited and full of good vibes, or uncertain of my own strengths and doubtful in my common sense. Luckily, the excitement always outweighs the anxiety in the end.
Getting out of my comfort zone in a less painful way
How to leave my comfort zone and survive it? The rule number one: plan! I tend to memorise the initial stages of my plan just to make sure I know precisely what to do before the adventure spirit kicks in. Knowing my plan makes me feel confident and relaxed. Having that, I can actually start enjoying the not always pleasant phase of leaving my comfort zone. There are a few things that always put me at ease.
Sufficient time for transport
I make sure I have plenty of time between changing between particular means of transport (plane, train, bus). My sense of orientation is, frankly speaking, non-existent, and therefore I really need extra time to double-check the way and not to panic when I get lost.
What puts me at ease, is doing research about the place I want to visit. I start with basic info about what is there to see. Having drafted my itinerary, I carefully check accommodation possibilities (what, where, what price, opinions) and connections between other places (buses, trains, whatever else is available).
What frightens me the most is not being able to find my hostel or a bus station. Therefore, once I check the logistics, my reisefieber starts to transform itself into excitement. The more I read about the country, the more I imagine how beautiful it is going to be, the smaller my fears become.
Reisefieber climaxes shortly before leaving my flat, but once I am on the bus (train, plane, whatever), I feel adventure in my blood and can’t stop smiling.
Change the unknown into the familiar
Summing up, what’s the most scary, is the unknown. To get rid of the anxiety, I just familiarise myself with the unknown and remind myself once again that there are good people everywhere and even if I get damn lost, I will find my way in the end.
One day later update:
I’ve arrived to Albania – safe and sound, only a bit tired. I’ve pitched my tenet in the Skhodra Lake Resort and am, frankly speaking, lazing about and relaxing. Maybe tomorrow I’ll set off to the mountains, maybe I will not. ;-)