Up until now, I have been sharing the adventure that I went on with my best friend, Natalie. Travelling with her was like travelling with a security blanket for my anxiety. I knew that if anything happened to me or if I ever felt uncomfortable or scared, she was there for me. That obviously changes when you are solo. I always enjoyed travelling alone, but that was me pre-depression. I didn’t know what to expect this time. Before leaving for my first destination, Japan, a whole new world of anxieties popped up.
To be honest, I almost chickened out.
We had gotten back to Canada at the end of September, and I already had my flight booked for Nagoya for two weeks later. I had been seriously planning to leave for a few months. By the time we left for Spain and Morocco, I no longer had my own apartment and already gave my notice to my job. It all set in when our trip was over and we got home.
I was staying at Natalie’s house and already living out of my backpack. My job at Clubcard had officially replaced me before I left but were lovely enough to have some work for me to do for those two weeks in order for me to make a bit more money. Still, it felt strange being there because I wasn’t doing the job that I was used to doing and was aware of my impending departure. That sounds ominous, but that’s how it started to feel.
I started to panic. To the point that I began looking for apartments in Vancouver. Maybe I can push this big move a couple months. “I’m not ready!” I thought to myself. What was I actually getting myself into? I’m leaving so much behind. My friends, my job, my comfort zone. When I look back on it now, it was lucky for me that Vancouver is so expensive, or I most likely would’ve never left.
Japan seemed like a great place to start since I was comfortable there. I got to experience some of my “firsts” in a country where I felt at home. I know a bit of the language, I have many friends there, and it was my third time visiting the land of the rising sun. This is what I meant when I said sometimes I need to compromise with myself. My intended destination was Thailand, but I needed to hit a middle ground first.
Anxiety always gives me this really confusing, conflicting feeling inside. I was on the plane toward Manila, my stopover, and all I could think was, “What am I doing?!” I felt sad but excited. Nervous yet adventurous. I already missed my friends and family. I was still considering going home. Most of all, I was scared.
Not scared of what could happen to me abroad. Scared of how my anxiety would affect me. Nervous about the first panic attack that I’m going to have with no abilities to calm myself down. Terrified that I’m going to fall flat on my face, and after giving up so much to come out here to travel the world, that I will have to go home within weeks due to no money or job. Confusing right? I wanted to go home yet I didn’t want to go home.
Welcome to my brain.
This was my mental state at the beginning of my travels. Nervous about letting my family and friends down. Scared to go too far out of my comfort zone. Avoiding situations or activities that would potentially trigger an anxiety attack. Worried about talking to people in hostels; I didn’t even have intentions to make friends while travelling. These things are important to me to note. I was mentally in a better place than the year before, but I still had all these anxieties. Embarking on this adventure, I wanted to break out of this little anxious girl box that I put myself in.
I started this blog to share my story. Wanting to track my own growth as a person. And to share my amazing experiences with my family and friends who aren’t able to just hop on a plan and leave. I try to keep my posts about the destinations that I get to visit really light-hearted. The reality is, travelling and living your dream isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. There are cloudy days, some even typhoon filled.
So there we go! This is how I felt as I was starting my solo adventure. I tried to keep a very excited and positive demeanour throughout the first week of my travels, but I was honestly quite burdened by these thoughts. Did I get through it? You are going to need to keep following me through Japan!
Also, are there any “solo-traveller” centric topics that you would like me to talk about? What about anxiety based? Leave me a comment! Tweet me! Or you can even message me privately through my contact form at the top.
Thanks for joining me on this vulnerable topic. Let’s go on an adventure!!