I contract other people’s worries, as though they were chicken pox. That’s why I plug my ears and hum at the mere mention of, for example, sleeplessness.
My friend Joe suffers from travel anxiety. Joe’s a guy who moves around Washington with the ease of a gifted politician, but who–weeks in advance of traveling to a new city–worries whether someone will show up at the airport to take him to his hotel. He lines up people to have dinner with the way other travelers schedule a day of whale watching or a tour of Alcatraz.
Naturally, fear of flying was an active participant in my basket of travel worries way before I knew Joe; whenever I unclasp my seatbelt, I turn on my cell phone and thank God four times, shaking my head in astonishment that we landed safely. But having listened to Joe recount his anxieties every time he prepares to go somewhere, I now experience a whole new feeling of dread when I set out for uncharted territory. I used to love traveling alone, but ever since I’ve known Joe, as a shield against loneliness, I take along a friend, ideally not Joe.
How do you deal with your travel anxiety (nothing too scary please or I’m worried I’ll catch it)?
It helps distract me from worrisome pre-travel imaginings when I make a game out of packing. Read my new post “Packing List and Tips before Trips” on NBC’s awesome new Website, Home Goes Strong.