Travel Anxiety

I suffer from anxiety. I’m not sure where it has come from but as I get older it has got progressively worse. One specific problem is what I call travel anxiety. For my 30th Birthday I went to South Africa which involved long flights, internal flights, car journeys and even a safari truck journey. It was an amazing trip and I didn’t worry once about travel or anything else.

Fast forward five years to the next holiday to Spain. I was so excited as it was my first proper holiday in five years and my first with my partner. I wake up in the morning feeling sick. So sick we almost didn’t make the flight. I don’t feel anxious about travelling in particular but I do feel anxious about feeling o sick. As soon as we landed I started to feel better. It was strange. I tried to forget about it and get on with the holiday, and we did have a great time, but I wasn’t fully relaxed. We’d organised a mid-holiday flight to another part of Spain and the night before I started to feel ill again. I’ve never thought of myself as having a fear of flying, I don’t particularly enjoy it as some people do but after take off I’m happy enough, so I just couldn’t understand why I was getting worked up over travelling. Only when I was back home did I really start feeling like myself again. More relaxed. Looking back it was anxiety. I was so anxious I was making myself feel sick.

Knowing I get anxious when I travel doesn’t really help. I often get anxious about the fact that I’m going to get anxious. We’ve travelled since then to Italy and Croatia before we had The Boy. Neither of those times have been as bad as the Spain trip but they weren’t easy. I feel like I had to mentally prepare to go on holiday which is so sad because holidays should be something to look forward to, and then I get annoyed with myself.

Last year we went to Jersey with The Boy. It is the first time we’ve taken him anywhere other than to visit family. I managed to get there no problems and I was so pleased and then on the last day when the flight was booked for the afternoon, I started feeling sick in the morning. It really was out of nowhere. It doesn’t feel like I’m panicking about something, I just feel ill.

At Easter this year we went to Kent for a few days, I managed to get there and back without an issue so that is something to be pleased about.

It is not just big trips though, it can be small ones to visit family. There are the normal concerns of ‘I hope I don’t miss my train’, ‘I hope the boy isn’t ill’. But there is something else, and I’m not quite sure what to be honest. I guess it is all part of being an anxious person. Anything out of my routine can take me by surprise with a panic attack.

Why am I telling you all this? Because we’ve organised a trip to the Isle of Wight and a week in Sheffield solo parenting and I’m excited about holidays but already I’m worried about being anxious. The Boy helps, having a distraction and someone else to look after keeps my over active mind occupied, but sometimes it isn’t enough.

Needless to say I’ll be taking plenty of Imodium, Rennies, Pepto-Bismol and Rescue Remedy everywhere I go. I’m also trying some self-help techniques such as self-hypnosis and mindfulness. I’ll let you know how it all goes.

The good thing is, I’m not letting it stop me.

Bob Voyage!


School’s Out for Summer

The Boy has just finished his first year at school, not only am I pleased as punch that he has had such a good year but I’m preparing myself for a full-on 6 weeks holiday.

As I find myself unemployed, it falls to me to do the bulk of the childcare over the coming weeks.  Part of me is really looking forward to spending such a huge amount of quality time with The Boy. Part of me is worried. How am I going to fill 42 days straight?! The Boy is not one for playing on his own yet, everything needs my input even if it is just sitting next to him when he builds his Lego Bat cave. Will I go gaga if I have to play Snakes and Ladders 20 times in a row or watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs for the 100th time? How many banana cakes can we make? What if it rains? Where does all the K-nex go?

We’re hoping to go away for a week as a family, he’s also got cousins and grand parents to visit. Apart from that we’re on our own. We’ve a few people to call upon for play dates but not as many as I was expecting after a year of school. We have a library and parks near by which I imagine will get quite a few visits.

I like to plan. Plan and organise. The Boy is very head strong though and he certainly has his own ideas. He wants to start with lunch out at Nandos!

I guess for this first long holiday I’ll have to take each day as it comes. I’ll try and get out and about each day, even if it is just to the shops for an ice lolly. For house activities there is baking which he enjoys and building with recycling. Very rarely does any cardboard or yoghurt pot make it to the recycling bin as The Boy takes it for his craft table which to most people just looks like someone has emptied a bin on a table but to The Boy it is robot/weapon/fort in the making.

I might set him some challenges perhaps building something big with the recycling, drawing his own map to the shops or writing a story. And of course there is always homework to do. We’ve been given lots of work to prepare him for year one. I don’t think we had homework at five year’s old so it is unlikely I’ll be pushing that too much. I do want him to have a really fun, memorable, six weeks as it might not happen again for a long time. But for now I have joined the ranks of the stay at home mums so I better get my act together quickly and throw myself into the next six weeks with the gusto of a five year old.


Open House

open door

This is the weekend that London throws open the doors of its hidden and mysterious buildings and welcomes you in. I’m wondering what people would make if they came round our flat without giving me the chance to stuff the cupboards full of the debris that covers the floor on an average day. Unannounced guests would certainly think that we’d been burgled. It looks like a child is in charge which is not far from the truth.
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