New found travel anxiety

I have always loved traveling and never stressed about it in any way. I am the one who would chuckle when grown men would tell be they were scared of flying. I use to roll my eyes when people would tell me they were scared to travel alone or would quote stereo types we all hear a million times of a specific location. I know travel anxiety is very real and I know the fears are huge. I just personally did not get it. Until recently.

Lately there are so many scary things in the news. Both Ottawa and Washington have had security issues that have been in the news. And we have ebola virus causing additional screenings in many airports. So these were fresh in my mind. I knew while preparing fro this recent trip things would be different. I was just not sure how they would be.

I boarded the small plane that was a quick flight, 20 minutes. Crammed in arm to arm with very little room I could feel my anxiety kicking in. I started to watch my breathing as it usually helps. It felt like someone turned up the heat on the plane and we had not even taken off yet. I was sweating and stressed and had a panicky feeling taking over. I look around and a few people were already fast asleep. It was an early flight and many do this route often. I took out a piece of gum and placed it in my mouth while flipping through a magazine. Hoping this feeling would pass quick and nobody would think I was losing my mind.

The plane started to move and the captain spoke over the cabin. The flight attendant did the safety speech with demonstration in both English and french and we started heading down the runway. I take another deep slow breath and try to talk myself out of panicking. Not sure why I am feeling this way. I can feel every bump as the plane moves along preparing to take off. Then the person next to me coughs, the person across from me sneezes and the lady on the other side of us starts to pray. This all added to my anxiety levels just in time for the flight to take off. I closed my eyes and tried to take my mind off of everything. Focused on my destination and my family. The flight attendant walked the aisle to give out water, which seemed to help. Before I knew it, the flight ended and the connection and layover began. 

Heading through security I did not know what to expect. I was going to the USA and thought the security would be beefed up more. It was not. I actually think it was the quickest I ever experienced. No additional questions, no headaches, short lines. This kept me calm and I liked not being rushed. Rushing at the airport is never a fun experience. I grabbed a bottle of water knowing I could take it on the flight and hoping it would help if the anxiety kicked in again.

While on the plane I watched a movie thanks to the in flight entertainment and it helped take my mind of of everything else. Hand sanitizer was also my friend to keep the germs away and I had some granola bars to snack on. I find it helps to not be hungry in these situations. The water bottle was great to have as the airplane often gets so dry. All of these things made the longer flight more relaxing and enjoyable. 

I truly hope this was an isolated incident and I do not experience travel anxiety again. As I love to fly and to travel. I think as long as I prepare and bring things like books, iPod for of music and other distractions I will be fine. 

Heading home my screen was not working and I could not watch a movie. I had to use magazines to keep my mind busy and the window seat was actually a great spot. Looking out over the landscape was better than I would have thought. Going through security in Canada, all the questions I expected earlier were asked. But being ‘home’ I actually found them comforting. The journey home was quick and pleasant. 

Do you have anxiety when traveling? How do you cope with it? I would love to know for next time! 



  1. I am anxious in new/unfamiliar situations. I get hot, nauseated or stomach pains. I am pretty good while travelling as long as we are not rushed. I get nervous going through security (even though I am following all rules and no I have nothing contraband or anything like that) but once I am passed that part things are normally good for me
    My recent post Tales of Mommyhood 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

  2. CanadianMomEh says

    Eek that sounds really stressful! I used to have a lot of travel anxiety because of which I held off on travelling for almost 10 years. I find it helps if I take my time and not scrambling to get on my flight. Once I'm onboard I pop in a piece of gum, flip through magazines and look out the window. It may sound strange but looking out of a window really helps keep me calm. The moment it gets to foggy or I can no longer see where we're flying, I get nervous!
    My recent post Creamy Pumpkin Soup #recipe

  3. I feel anxiety travelling now that I have kids

  4. I used to be fine with flying. I flew a few times from AB to BC to visit my family and friends. After a Hawaii trip with my husband (who is scared of flying) I was ruined. I am terrified of it now. Then on another Hawaii trip our plane caught fire and we had to land (this was just outside of Calgary). I'm the person where every bump makes me want to cry.

    It's sad haha.
    My recent post 6 Ways To Save This Black Friday Online

  5. Reese Speaks says

    Ever since I had a not-so smooth landing when returning from a family vacation one year, I am not the best flyer. I am always thinking about turbulence and different sounds I hear while on the plane. I love looking out the window, but if you don't have a window seat, there goes all of the enjoyment of a flight! 🙁

Speak Your Mind