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Diary of an anxious traveler

"The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page"


I've always been told to travel. By friends, by family, by goddamn Pinterest quotes. It's everywhere! You're robbing yourself of the wonders of the world they say, you won't know who you really are until you travel.

Spending a portion of my early 20s living in a backpacker town, I got a taste of the wonders of traveling. My closest friends at the time were all nomads, bouncing from one country to another with endless stories of their ventures. Once you catch the travel bug, they said, there will be no turning back.

But those debortourous years of my 20s took me in another direction, and I'm so glad they did. Looking back on my younger years, I wasn't in a state mentally or financially to travel. The years went by and my 30s began to creep up on me.

So during the pandemic, over a serious game of frisbee, Anna and I began discussing the T word.... Traveling!! After 3 hours of throwing a piece of plastic back and forth, we had planned our first overseas trip together... SOUTH EAST ASIA!

But there was one small problem... my anxiety. But traveling cures all, right? Every traveler, every backpacker, and every nomad I had ever met had one thing in common; they were outgoing and had the confidence I had been searching for. So with optimism in one hand and my anxiety in the other, Anna and I booked a one-way ticket to Asia.

In the months leading up to our big trip, I embarked on a pretty big self-healing journey. It began by quitting my full-time job followed by countless hours of cognitive behavioral therapy. But something no one tells you is that when working on your mental health, it's going to get a hell of a lot worse before it gets better.

Here I was, juggling my depression and past trauma while trying to plan a 4-month backpacking trip. Just one day at a time was literally my morning mantra in the months leading up to leaving the country. But as the days passed and each therapy session I attended, I slowly learned the tools required to recognize the th