Scared, stressed and feel out of control!
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Oct 16, 2012 6:12 AM Last Post By: gawkabout
Aug 20, 2012 1:35 PM
Scared, stressed and feel out of control!Hello all.
This is my first time on a site like this, I am going travelling in December for 5 months with my boyfriend. Initially I was so excited but as time passes and December gets closer my nerves and stress levels are through the roof!
Just to explain.... I am 24 and have a job that I love. I have never been away from my family for more than 2 weeks and I am terrified of missing them so much it will hurt! I have nobody that I can financially rely on so am worried about money despite knowing I will have more than enough.
I am full of 'what ifs' and it is driving me crazy. I am a control freak and feel so out of control! We have so much organising to do, money to save, packing up to do, goodbyes to say. All I want is to be excited (this is all I have wanted for years!!) but instead I am just being so negative!!!
Please does anyone have coping strategies/advice for me? :-(
I need to relax and enjoy the build up, but am struggling!
Aug 20, 2012 1:58 PM
1I think its perfectly normal to feel scared ahead of making such a big change in your life....but the thing to remember is many thousands of people have been there and done it and bought the t shirt and had the most fantastic time of their lives....and you would deeply regret it later if you didn't go!
As for coping strategies, the only thing I can think of off the top of my head is write a to do list and stick it on your fridge, and try to cross a couple of things off every week so as the time draws nearer you will see your making good head way tying up all the loose ends....and you will feel more in control of things.
Also make time to read up on your destinations and pick out nice things you want to see and do - as this will help reinvigorate your excitement.
This book might be of help ;-) "feel the fear and do it anyway!"
Good luck and don't let fear prevent you from embarking on what is going to be an amazing experience! :-) xx
Aug 20, 2012 2:03 PM
2Thankyou so much!
The list thing is a good idea. There is SO MUCH information everywhere on everything from insurance to how to take my money to where to stay what to do etc that I have got myself in to a right little muddle. My boyfriend is so relaxed he doesn't understand my worries.
We booked so long ago I think I have had too much time to think it all over - I am so envious of people that go with the flow and who can be spontaneous, I am such a thinker, but I am hoping travelling the world will help with this!
I'll take a look at the book, Thankyou again :-) xxx
Aug 20, 2012 2:24 PM
3You have 112 days, that is oodles of time. Just to reiterate what was said in #1, break all the planning, organising, packing, etc into sections. I've got to save about £5k by next year. Today I made a tenner, if I think of it as £10/£5000 it's obviously a bit depressing, but if I do that every day I'll end up with £3650 which feels much better. Break the big jobs down and organise a list of to-dos for the day. When you beat your list feel damn pleased about it. It's not about getting everything done NOW its about getting less than 1% done now and another per cent tomorrow and so on and so on.
Also remember the world is much more connected than it was 5 or 10 years ago. You are no longer cut off completely with only snail mail to keep you linked to back home. You can call home via Skype for free or get an international phone card and talk to people whenever and where ever you want. Plus you've got your boyfriend to keep you company inbetween skype sessions.
If you've got your budget and you know what you want to spend you'll be fine. If you carry a credit card there will also be that buffer, if everything goes terribly wrong and you need to get home ASAP then stick it on a card and pay it off later.
Aug 20, 2012 2:33 PM
4Aww bless - try and break it down into little chunks, so your not trying to worry about it all at once. For example set aside a couple of hours one evening to look at say the insurance or how best to sort your money then write down in a little notebook what your going to do and when you need to do it.
Then leave a space of a few days to let that sink in and to give you time to think of anything on that subject you have missed, then move on to the next one e.g. looking at what accomodation is on offer and decide how and when your going to do that, and if your going to buy YHA cards or whatever. Alot of people book the first night or two somewhere when they get off the plane but leave things flexible after that. Tick things off on your list as you go, and maybe reward yourself with a glass of wine or something when you've done them!
Keep a little note in a notebook then you've got something to refer back to and if needs be you can cross that out when you come up with a better idea and so forth.
I can understand the completely overwhelmed feeling, I'm just in the planning stage of my trip and your right there is so much information out there it can be hard to know where to begin and what to focus on....and then a tendency to overplan everything instead of going with the flow and keeping things flexible.
Don't worry it is normal to feel nervous and a bit overwhelmed the first time, but after a week or two on the road it will become alot easier and you'll surprise yourself how flexible and spontaenous and adventurous you will become!
Your welcome and you will have a great time ;-) xx
Aug 21, 2012 8:45 AM
5Look at your trip as you would your job.....You have to plan things at work, sometimes situations arise at work which require you to think on the spot, you have colleagues at work who will help you if you are stuck etc....Travelling has all of those requirements, you already have the aptitude for it, you just need to apply it into a different situation.
The way I see it is that the planning stages are the most fun parts, they take up a lot of your time, you scout out what you want to see, how you will get there, how much it will cost, how long you want to stay, those kinds of things should be fun to do! It doesn't take long to go into a Waterstones with a costa coffee adjoined to it, pick out a travel guide sit down with a drink, take some notes etc......I have flow charts on my wall when I plan something and draw myself a little map of the country I'm visiting, then start drawing symbols of the sights and cities i want to see.....I also not down time scales, how much things are etc, but everybody prepares differently.
I agree with the guys though break some of it down, it's best to do it in segments rather than blitz everything at once.
When you are away there will always be people that will help you if you are lost or stuck. It's a travellers code sort of, at some point there will come a time where every traveller gets into a situation where they think "oh feck" but fr every newbie that experiences that there will be 2 or 3 that have already had their "oh feck" moment and will gladly advise you what to do next!!!
As other people have pointed out you are never more than a skype session away with your family.....Most places offer free wifi and so you can chat away for as long as you like! People can email you every day etc
Read up on some places you want to see and do and trust me when you start getting in depth with your planning you'll soon see that spark reignite and you'll be excited all over again! I'm 3 months away from my next trip around China and Australia and I'm as excited as hell I just wish it would hurry up lol!
Aug 21, 2012 1:19 PM
6Such brilliant advice, Thankyou!
I like the idea of going in to a waterstones and sitting with a book - no distractions type thing!
Today I bought a travel notebook/journal and am putting all my planning in this as to hopefully be able to refer back while I am travelling.
Post is going to be sorted tomorrow and then I'm going to start researching a credit card. After that I'll look at insurance and then sort all of our house and belongings out. Then for banking, bills, packing, and everything else.
My boyfriend raised a good point that he did this already when he was 21 (alone) and if he could cope alone with the organisation then, then there is no reason we can't manage it together :-)
Thankyou for your advice and any more is very welcome - I feel calmer and more excited already :-)
Aug 21, 2012 4:40 PM
7You're welcome......I too take a couple of notebooks out with me, I have just finished my pocket book of translation for China where I researched useful phrases and words like foody type things and accommodation and travel type things as well as pleasantries just in case I'm out in the rural areas where they won't understand my poor charade skills lol! Also copying down the hostels I have booked in Mandarin so I can just open the book up and point to it to let the taxi driver know where I want to go.
The second book I take is my journal which I do day by day and then when i get home turn it into a proper book with photos and get it published through a self publishing company, it's a brilliant keepsake and people always look a bit puzzled when you tell them you are an author ;o) mine is now free to download of my last trip My book but this is just to show you that even when you finish travelling the adventure doesn't stop, you can let loads of people know about it!
I believe that everyone has it in them to travel, it's just taking that first step.....I was daunted about choosing which GCSE options to take, then what A-Levels, then what uni, then what about a job etc....But we get over these and it becomes part of you that's exactly how travelling is and once you've done it you're gonna want to keep doing it ;o)
Hope you and your boyfriend enjoy your trip!
Edited by: stoobydoo2002
Aug 21, 2012 7:46 PM
8Set up a separate email address on a free provider that is different to your usual correspondence one and use it to store copies of your passport details, phone and addresses of your contacts, next of kin and special information that can be accessed if you misplace your documentation. It is surprising how easy it is to forget phone numbers now everything is direct dial. Others who have the right visas and are applying for work often sort out their CV's and rework them in various forms along with reference details so that they can be accessed quickly if an opportunity comes up.
Others note the calendar with important dates - eg visa runs out in 20 days etc etc as a reminder.
Another task to do is check on any medical requirements. Do you need innoculations? Sort those out early as some take time to be effective.
Being organised is one of the best methods of removing the dress and out of control and scared feeling.
Aug 22, 2012 2:59 AM
Aug 23, 2012 4:25 AM
Aug 23, 2012 12:41 PM
11Don't disagree with any of the good advice above, but just one thought - you can't always be in control. Events pop up and mess up the best plans and one of the things you might learn from all this is how deal with the unexpected. Particularly as you aren't travelling alone see this as an opportunity to develop a skill you haven't yet had the opportunity of putting to the test - a bit of self reliance is worth having in all walks of life. Good luck!
Aug 23, 2012 2:30 PM
12One good thing about moving-on, sloww pace of travel is; You feel more in control. Not stressed by wanting to see so many places on one trip. Schedules. like train hurry up and wait. Or needing to be in X city before 11 p.m. or something.
So go there the next day. Book train ahead a day, only if you get it cheaper or, are on a popular line.
We also learn things, not in books we'll bother with, from people we have real conversations with. (not just the "Where ya from?" game.) They are worth a 2nd conversation.
If we screw up somehow, we don't panic and say"Maybe I'm not cut out for this."
Rather "Silly inexperienced me. What's the lesson here?"
WE TRAVEL TO LEARN.
AND PARTIALLY MORE ABOUT OURSELVES.
Aug 25, 2012 6:34 PM
13Bring a small lap top to do reservations...air tickets and rooms...
Internet Cafes are not a "sure thing" like they once where...and almost everyplace has WiFi now... Knowing that you can execute forward plans on the 'Net...should help you feel "in control"...
On-line rooms booked at places like Hostelworld...are very reliable...even in the remotest places...but keep your reservation confirmation number just in case...
Don't book everything in advance...go with the flow... Over booking in advance can cause you to miss out or be boxed into something you don't want to do...and that is not "in control!" With a 5 month margin...you have plenty of time for planning... Try to know what you want to do...Before you get there...but not planned to the minute...just in general.
Pre-Trip jitters are normal... but I"m fine once I"m at the airport...and show is on the road...
Don't over pack...you can buy as you go on a long trip... And just doing laundry can be a welcome relief from seeing the next "ruin" to photograph on the tour...! Try just doing nothing for a few days every so often...become a "local"...not a tourist in a hurry...
Use the ATMs for cash...have more than one card just in case...and have a cash cushion too... Use your ATM as soon as you arrive just to reassure yourself that its working OK... Having money is another way of feeling "in control"...
Since you are not going to be "alone"... you'll always have a fall back person with you just in case... But don't let that stop you from experiencing new places fully...
And why say "Good Bye"...just email friends and family daily on your trip... Or set up a blog for everyone to read...
Enjoy the "build up" to a trip...? I never do...! The build up is when you think of a thousand "what ifs"... I survive the build up...I never "enjoy" it... Do I want to do the Malaria Pills...what about the Typhus vaccine...! OMG!
Empty about half of your medicine kit... You won't need it...and if you do there will be better alternatives...at the time...
Once the plane is off the ground...all the "what ifs" are mercifully over...
And you are totally focused on the moment... Travel is very Zen...
Aug 28, 2012 6:32 AM
I always hate the build up.
One thing I've learned though is that there's almost nothing that you can't sort out with a few judicious skype calls. For me, a lot of the worry used to come from thinking that anything I forgot I'd have to do without - something that simply isn't true. I've happily filled out my tax return, student loan documents and numerous other bits of bureaucracy whilst on the road and simply emailed or faxed them through.
On the family front, Skype and Facebook are a godsend. During six months in South East Asia I never failed to make my Sunday evening Skype call home. Just think of all the great stories you're going to have to share!
Money is and always will be an issue but it is far easier to keep costs down than most people realise and a good credit card with a limit that allows you to book an emergency flight home at short notice is all you need. The only time you could really get caught out is if something major goes wrong and that's what travel insurance is for :)
Best of luck, I'm very jealous.
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