The Anxiety That Comes with Not Traveling

No matter how much you do or do not travel, there’s a certain level of anxiety that naturally comes with not traveling and wishing you were. Here’s a list of the common fears and anxieties that accompany that antsy feeling of wanting to wander, and what to do about it.

Self-doubt and failure
Feeling like you aren’t good enough unless you’re somewhere else. When friends and family ask where you’ve been and where you’re off to next and you have nothing planned, they look surprised. As in, surely you’ve got decades of endless travel planned. Then they might launch into understanding statements about “needing downtime” or “having to work to regain the money spent while traveling” when, in reality, perhaps you’re not traveling because of myriad other reasons. You needed stable internet to write your book. Your parents are sick. You wanted to take glassblowing classes. You needed a physical. You wanted to be home for the holidays and hadn’t gotten around to planning anything else. Whatever the reason, no one is ever a failure for staying in one place. Don’t let it eat away at you…you know that next journey is around the bend.

Being that Instagram and Twitter/blog troll who is constantly plagued by jealousy or letting yourself down by not being in the right place at the right time. You’re not in Iceland watching northern lights? Not in Japan seeing the cherry blossoms bloom?! Why would you deny yourself such an experience?! Those places and events will still be here, year after year. It’s ok that you’re not there. The world moves on.

Worry about “traveling while you’re young”
First of all, the idea of “young” has been hugely broadened to basically include anyone who feels “young”. Secondly, in so many travels, whether you’re 25, 35, or 45, you’ll see you might be the youngest person there by far. Travel isn’t a timer that’ll go off at age 30. There is always time.

Coming to terms with the myth of “settling”
Lack of movement isn’t settling down, it’s simply waiting for the next wave to take you somewhere. Maybe you want to start a family/get married/buy a house with a mortgage and are worried about your idea of freedom. “But…I won’t be able to fly to Sarajevo at a moment’s notice! What if I find an amazing deal to hike the Pyrenees for two weeks!?”
Stop panicking. 1) Kids are mobile 2) your partner will either come with you or be ok with you going. If not, then there are likely other issues going on there 3) See above statement at the world still being there whether you’re flying around it or not. You can still make it happen. Shorter chunks of adventure. Trips closer to home (because who of us have totally explored our ‘home’ area before venturing abroad?).

Worrying that your wanderlust means there’s something wrong with you
After a while of coming and going, or just going, you may start to wonder if something is driving you forward. Are you running away? Are you avoiding something or someone? Are you just not cut out for a ‘regular life’?
The good news is that there’s nothing wrong with you. Enjoying the beauty, adventure and pull of the great beyond isn’t a sort of mental illness. Neither is NOT wanting to travel. Figuring out “what you want to do with your life” isn’t a question. You’re already doing it. Maybe you’ll travel forever (like some Y Travel Blog ) and maybe you’ll decide to hunker down in one amazing place (like others (Hippie in Heels ). There’s no one right way to go through the world.

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