Anxiety is my biggest struggle. It can hit me anytime and usually about completely weird things. I once spent a family vacation avoiding leaves, washing my hands like a maniac, and praying in a panic while in the van because I’d been told that there was a thing called “Hantavirus” and we shouldn’t be worried, but be careful not to mess about where mice may have been. Yeah, that sent me into an anxious panic about potentially dying from this thing. Asking over and over what the symptoms were and worrying basically constantly until the moment we drove out of the southwest. It once filled me with total panic in Prague for about 3 hours on a girls trip. It once caused me to fret and worry inside over a completely ridiculous “feeling that something was wrong” on a trip to Paris with friends–a feeling that didn’t let go until the moment we left the city.
Surprisingly, there are times I maybe should have anxiety and don’t: sleeping in my car alone at a rest stop on I-10 in Texas, wandering off into the woods when no one knew where I was after school in North Carolina, driving until exhausted near Kingman, Arizona with only my puppy, George, for company.
When it’s the worst is when I am not with Jordan, my husband… Or maybe I should say that surprisingly it never happens when I’m with him. I think it’s because he’s such a patient, calm, rational person that he can talk me out of anxiety very easily by using logic. It’s not like how some people will try to help by saying things like, “You shouldn’t be worried…” or “That’s silly!” which only adds feeling ashamed of anxiety to the pile. Instead, he treats my clearly out of control worries like they are totally legitimate concerns and addresses them accordingly. This helps a lot. Also distracting me with humor and food. Helpful.
All of the travel bloggers I ever run across or follow champion traveling solo as a female and how empowering it can be. I agree, it really, really can be! But for all those empowering experiences, I’d happily trade them for the simple peace of having my calming, travel buddy with me. I don’t think that shows a lack of independence (something I’ve been accused of once for this very thing). I’m still the person who will willfully ignore everyone’s worries and hop into a car to drive solo from coast to coast, who will do what she wants if the opportunity arises. But I got married for a reason: because this person is my partner. Of course I want to travel with him!
Anxiety has never stopped me from traveling solo. I hope it never will! However, it’s something to factor in all the time and be aware of. I’m never going to love solo travel as much even when I have a blast. Between anxiety and the simple fact that sharing things with Jordan is more fun to me than doing them by myself, I know I’ll always try to go where and when he can too. And that’s ok!