Today I’d like to talk about one of my “character flaws”, if you want to call it that. Every time an opportunity comes up where I would get to travel, my heart races with excitement and then cringes. I’m going to be blatantly honest and say traveling (even for a really cool opportunity) is something I really dislike doing…the being away part. At first I thought it was inexperience that made me feel this way, but time after time, I come home after a trip and say something like…”I’m glad I don’t have to do that for awhile”. I know it’s pretty awful thinking considering I’m lucky enough to get to travel in the first place. I’m a fan of my routine at home and that’s ok too.
I’ve learned a couple things along the way that help with the whole travel anxiety thing…
1. Don’t overextend yourself. If you’re not a fan of traveling, stick to weekend trips or two days trips if possible. This allows for the excitement of the trip to set in, but a quick return is in sight.
2. Step outside your comfort zone… but not too far that you’ll never step out again. For me, an example of this is attending conferences, but not agreeing to any big presentations (for now).
3. Travel with people you enjoy being around. Solo trip can be stressful and can feel more like a chore than an adventure. Grab your team mates or gal pals and turn a learning trip into a mini weekend.
4. Plan ahead. There is nothing more stressful than traveling with last minute reservations. I’ve found my most stressful trips to be the ones I wasn’t expecting to attend and then BAM…I’m on a plane.
5. Stick to your “comfort routine”. If you get up in the morning and the first thing you like to do at home is run…go run! If you eat granola bars for your mid-day snack…don’t forget to pack a few. I’ve found that inserting some of my comfort activities, foods and items really makes the trip run smoother.