Travelling With Butterflies

Back on home turf and reflecting on an incredible weekend away in Italy spent sticking a middle finger up at all of the thoughts that told me I couldn’t enjoy it.

Travelling feels daunting to most of us regardless of our mental wellness. I think it’s natural.

In advance, I worried about whether things would be awkward between me and the friend I was travelling with. I worried about running out of money or whether the trip would be worth the money I’d already spent. I felt super nervous about not being able to fluently speak the language and about being so far from home. I worried about having an anxiety attack and not being able to get to somewhere where I’d feel safe.

And that’s all no doubt exasperated by the fact it’s been ages since I left the UK. Many of us have spent more time at home during the pandemic than ever before and if you’re anything like me, you’ve gotten used to living in your comfort zone.

As an overthinker, I get a foggy head in high anxiety situations. And this happens more frequently in unknown territory.

Whilst in Italy, I valued time in my hotel room to recharge and I found it hard to ground myself whilst out and about exploring. That first day of travelling was the most stressful. I felt hot and tense and flustered for most of it. When I landed in Verona, just getting the bus into the town centre was nearly too much. The bus conductor got stroppy with me when I approached him for a ticket, having not noticed the ticket machine at the bus stop and that alone had me wanting to board a flight straight back to rainy London.

But at some point when travelling, it’s like my anxiety buggers off all together. It’s like the butterflies flutter so hard that eventually they need a proper rest and so they disappear, only to resurface again when the journey home comes around.

I know I’m getting there when I start to notice the little things. There was a moment at the end of a long day in Venice when I looked up from where I was sat, waiting for a water taxi, took a deep breath and just took in the view.

And I’m so proud. Proud of finding the courage to travel again even when it felt daunting and excited for all of the travels still to come. Bring it on world!

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