I am about to head off to South America as a lone traveler, and having never traveled alone before…I am freaking out!
This decision came about because sometimes life throws curve balls at you and you need to either take the bull by the horns or give up… in this case I am chasing the bull and reaching for him! I will get there 🙂
I was diagnosed with depression/severe anxiety 8 months ago and it threw my safe knitted planned out life into turmoil.
I left a steady career behind, walked away from all my friends and colleagues, moved back to Ireland to live with my mother and have been doing everything I can to kick this illness’s ass since (on my good days of course). A big worry I have is that I’ll dip once I’m left on my own and out of my comfort zone but if I don’t try to overcome it and keep my anxiety at bay, I probably never will….so this is why I am going to write this blog and why I’ve decided to call the blog The Antsy Traveller!!
I decided on this expedition to throw myself out of my comfort zone and see what Latin America has to offer! I’ve always been dependent on others for some reason – being a “sheep” I guess. I never realized this until it was too late and I lost all self-belief! For me it’s always been easier to let others take charge which made me feel protected and safe but you have to ask yourself… is that really living?? How is doubting your ability to make decisions really embracing life? I was asked a few months back and honestly I was stumped… I couldn’t answer!
Since being asked that question, I wanted to prove to myself that I am in control of my own life… that I’ve the power to take on a trip like this… that I don’t need anyone to hold my hand and basically regain confidence in myself.
This is all well and good in theory but I am on the countdown…. in less than a month I will have landed in Buenos Aires and although I have a few things in the pipeline, I have no set plans and this kills me!! I have always been an over-planner – this tends to leave less time to be on your own with your thoughts which is a great fear for me. I crave structure and to be busy but ‘living in the now’, ‘going with the flow’, and in general just ‘being’ is what I aim/want to be able to do.
I want to share with people who are thinking of undertaking something like this that if I can do it, then anyone can! I will be honest with my feelings – good & bad – and I will share all the tips that help me along the way.
I have to admit – I have struggled in the last few weeks, debating whether to go at all! The constant questions/looks of disapproval from some people when they hear you have not only given up your job, but now you are off to a ‘dangerous’ place putting your life at risk and worrying your family etc. can really chip away at your courage! Luckily in my case I have a very supportive family who are vouching for me and what I would say to those people now who I allowed to bring me down is f*** right off! People don’t understand the power their words have over someone vulnerable, so be strong! My one piece of advice is if you have any older relatives or certain types of people asking you are you going alone…. make your life that bit easier and say you have connections over there! Protect yourself against negativity because it very nearly made me cancel my trip altogether and perhaps revert back into that dark place I dread so much!
In my next post, I want to share the sites/bloggers that have helped me so far to prepare not just physically but mentally for this trip too because doing it alone really isn’t easy! You have no one to make any of the decisions for you and believe me, for someone who hasn’t done this before it is SCARY!!
So lastly, I hope you enjoy it and even if it helps just one person it will have all been worth while 🙂