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How to Overcome Anxiety Through Travel

How to Overcome Anxiety Through Travel

>> Over the years I noticed travelling had an immensely positive impact on me. Especially solo travel can push us out of our comfort zone and teach us many aspects of our personalities. It highlights our strengths and weaknesses and helps us develop tools to live a richer & more fulfilling life. I knew I wasn’t the only one who reaped the benefits of travelling for personal development.

This guest post series introduces you to others who have, in one way or another, travelled for personal development: be it to learn a new language, to mend a broken heart or to overcome an anxiety. Hopefully it will encourage you to travel more yourself and perhaps even help you to overcome barriers. <<

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Meet Sally who decided to tackle her anxiety through travelling solo. She one day decided to leave her comfort zone and confront her fears. She hopes to encourage you to do the same!

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How to Overcome Anxiety Through Travel

Being independent from a young age, anxiety was never something that plagued me. Sure, I was always introverted and shy but I had never suffered from anxiety in a way that it physically affected me. At the youthful age of sixteen, having just had a friend return from Germany, I decided I wanted to go on exchange to Italy. This was quite the transformative, life changing experience as my first solo adventure in a foreign country where I was expected to participate in school and daily Italian life.

How to Overcome Anxiety Through Travel

This two month stint opened my eyes to the world and diversity of culture. I have never had such concentrated learning as I did in that two month period. I learnt to order a coffee or wine in Italian, catch the bus to school and the train to Florence. But more importantly, I learned about myself and where I fit in this world. I learnt to trust my instincts and that I could overcome anything that was put in front of me!

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So you may be thinking, when is she going to talk about how to overcome anxiety? In 2012, a few years later, and a few more international trip since then, I was in university and had put my name down for a six month exchange in Mexico. Having had to apply almost a year in advance, I was initially excited to go but as the time got closer I got more and more anxious. My body and mind were at conflict with one another. I remember leaving Australia being upset and not excited in anticipation of the adventure that was to come.

How to Overcome Anxiety Through Travel - Meet Sally who decided to tackle her anxiety once and for all by leaving her comfort zone to travel solo. Click on the Pin to read more.

When I arrived in Mexico, I immediately felt more alone than I ever have in my life. And for an introvert who doesn’t mind some ‘me’ time this was something new for me. I struggled eating, I had no energy, I felt nauseous, I had panic attacks. After two weeks of struggling with this, I made plans to return home to Australia where I could recuperate in my familiar surroundings.

Things did not immediately get better upon my return like I expected them to. I wondered how to overcome anxiety and I discovered the key was to travel solo once again, to do something that challenged me as a person. I needed to learn how to be independent again, how to overcome anxiety through realizing my strengths and capabilities through solo travel.

How to Overcome Anxiety Through Travel

In February of 2013, I booked a last minute tour with G Adventures from Bangkok, Thailand, through Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Boarding that plane again was nerve-racking but I realized I was excited this time for the adventure to come. My main reason for booking this tour over anywhere else in the world was to see the amazing feat that is Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples. And waking up at 4:30am to see the sunrise over the temple was just incredible and the highlight of my trip!

During this trip, I met some great people from all over the world who I stay in touch with even now and felt more alive with my passion for travel! One of the more harrowing experiences was visiting the Killing Fields in Cambodia and really put into perspective how lucky I am to live such an amazing life and have the freedom to travel wherever I want at any given time.

How to Overcome Anxiety Through Travel - Meet Sally who decided to tackle her anxiety once and for all by leaving her comfort zone to travel solo. Click on the Pin to read more.

Whilst overcoming anxiety is a process and not an immediate result, solo travel certainly helped me on my journey and I am sure it can a lot of other people. Don’t be afraid to get outside of your comfort zone and try new things even though they may be daunting at first. It is through these challenges that we grow as human beings!

How to Overcome Anxiety Through Travel

For more on solo travel to destinations that will show you how to overcome anxiety, click here.

heart-blueWhat about you? Has travelling helped you to alleviate your aniety? I would love to read your thoughts in the comment section below.

About SallyHeart Icon

Sally is a 23-year-old travel consultant, blogger, foodie and lover of all things travel. Head over to her blog to read about her and for your free 5 Day Guide to New York City. Sally has currently travelled to 24 countries on over 4 continents. Among many other experiences, she has skied down the Austrian Alps on Christmas day, gone for a ride in an army tank through the mud in Slovakia, relaxed in the Greek Islands, woken up before dawn to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat and attended university in Mexico. Her goal is to create a community of like-minded travellers and life enthusiasts.

Follow her on Facebook & Pinterest.

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How to Overcome Anxiety Through Travel - Meet Sally who decided to tackle her anxiety once and for all by leaving her comfort zone to travel solo. Click on the Pin to read more.

How to Overcome Anxiety Through Travel - Meet Sally who decided to tackle her anxiety once and for all by leaving her comfort zone to travel solo. Click on the Pin to read more.

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11 Comments

  • Amanda Williams

    16.04.2016 at 04:18 Reply

    This is a really interesting guest post, which totally resonates with me as I have found travel helps with depression (not the same but similar in many ways) and can give you a wonderful sense of freedom from those issues. I love the pictures of you in front of the stones and with all those wonderful Asian foods!

  • Bernard Tan

    16.04.2016 at 04:20 Reply

    I totally agree with you! I enjoy travelling alone, and did my first trip last year where i went to Vietnam and Cambodia. Solo-travelling makes you discover so much about yourself!

  • Vicki

    16.04.2016 at 04:42 Reply

    Good for you Sally! Anxiety can be debilitating so it’s wonderful that travel can give you the tools to help to deal with it. There is no solution or quick fix, but every push you give yourself will be helping! Thanks for sharing your experiences.
    Vicki recently posted…48 Hours in Amsterdam: The HighlightsMy Profile

  • Mindi Hirsch

    16.04.2016 at 11:12 Reply

    It’s so enlightening to read about solo travelers and their literal and personal journeys. I’m glad that Sally has used travel to work through her anxiety issues, and I’m certain that she has many more adventures in her future.
    Mindi Hirsch recently posted…Barbecue Fantasy in Lockhart TexasMy Profile

  • Sara | Belly Rumbles

    16.04.2016 at 22:00 Reply

    Such a fantastic read Sally, I’m so glad you shared your anxiety issues with us. Travel helps overcome all sort of issues, and it can be funny how some things hit us that we don’t expect. Well done on working through everything.
    Sara | Belly Rumbles recently posted…Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour – TurandotMy Profile

  • Amelie

    17.04.2016 at 01:42 Reply

    This is a great post. I too had anxiety prior to becoming a full time traveler 2.5 years ago, and it has helped tremendously. I think for me a lot has to do with not complying with what society is expecting of me and doing my own thing. Very freeing! 🙂

  • Karla | karlaroundtheworld

    17.04.2016 at 10:26 Reply

    Traveling really teaches us a lot about life. One is confidence and also being open and flexible. Love how it helps overcome anxiety and I really believe it does.

  • Lotte

    17.04.2016 at 13:57 Reply

    Inspiring post and good for you Sally! I am happy to hear solo travel made you stronger and overcome your anxiety. Maybe I should take a solo trip myself… I usually travel with my husband but I can totally see how traveling alone pushes you out of your comfort zone and teaches you a lot about yourself…
    Lotte recently posted…Exploring East Cuba: Biran And Salto Del Guayabo WaterfallMy Profile

  • Mar Pages

    17.04.2016 at 22:54 Reply

    Kudos to you for overcoming your fears! Travelling solo definitely helps in independence, I’ve had to solve many problems I never thought I would have to on my own. But I’m glad I overcame them, solo travel is a great teacher.
    Mar Pages recently posted…Guide to the best resorts in Puerto VallartaMy Profile

  • Kate

    18.04.2016 at 17:13 Reply

    This is a very honest and inspiring post. It takes a lot of courage to try again and risk the anxiety coming back. I think we all go through processes of fear and coming out of our comfort zone and hopefully it makes you feel stronger. I wish you all the best in your future travels
    Kate recently posted…Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, North YorkshireMy Profile

  • Trisha Velarmino

    21.04.2016 at 06:50 Reply

    I did experience this a lot of times but survived the battle by learning that stressing myself is super useless. I am happy that you were able to recover. This is really brave of you! May the force be with you always, Sally!
    Trisha Velarmino recently posted…#TravelPALs: Traveling made easy with the new Mabuhay Miles Travel CardMy Profile

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