Traveling can cause so much anxiety and tense situations that people do breakdown. I know because I’ve been stressed on my travels and have felt like everything was falling apart. A canceled flight, terrible weather, and sketchy situations… yes you must travel mentally tough! And it can very hard to focus when you need to the most. How do you overcome adversity and travel mentally tough?
Travel Mentally Tough
First it’s very easy to say that you will experience many unpleasant situations on your travels. Let that sink in. Because there will eventually be something that doesn’t go the way you thought it would and you need to mentally prepared. And after years of experiencing stressful situations and downright unpleasant moment, here is some helpful advice.
Whatever you do, stay calm. Not being calm is one of the worst decisions anybody could make when traveling. Other people react very negatively to anybody who is causing a scene or seriously stressing. Nobody will want to help if you can’t stay calm and then it becomes impossible to find a solution to your problems. Your main goal is solve whatever problem arise and travel mentally tough and you can only do that by staying calm.
A wandering mind can lead to many mistakes while traveling. And sometimes not being present can be very costly. Like forgetting your passport or showing up at the wrong airport (sounds strange but I know people it has happened to). Staying focus means you must be mentally and consciously present throughout your travels, especially when going through security checkpoints, busy cities and when arranging your travel needs. How present you are will decide how stressful your trip will be and whether you will be able to travel mentally tough.
Drink Water, Eat Food and Sleep
Going with the “Be Present” theme, you also need to remember that to stay focus you must drink water and eat food. Nothing throws people off their “A” game more, than not being hydrated and getting the nutrients to their body. Not eating or drinking will result in fatigue, grumpiness, and some costly mistakes. And speaking of fatigue make sure you have a chance to get proper sleep. You make some of the worst decisions when you’re tired and untrustworthy people may take advantage of that. When I travel I make sure I drink tea (because it helps me focus, digest and helps me relax), and I make sure I eat healthy, non-greasy food. Food and sleep are big components to help me travel mentally tough.
Always Have a Cash Backup
There is nothing better than knowing that you have enough money for you entire travels, especially if you happen to make a blunder. In the past I would travel without a cash security net and sometimes it was costly. Luckily I had someone back at home that could help me out but many times you won’t have access to that sort of help. Always research before you travel and make sure that you have a credit card on hand as well as some cash. It’s mental security and helps you to travel mentally tough.
There Better be a Plan B
What if your flight is cancelled? What if there is a natural disaster? There is a lot of what if’s and you don’t have to think of a plan b for every scenario but it is necessary to have a general plan b in case something goes wrong with your plan a. Personally I have experienced many setbacks and had to change my plans very quickly on my travels. Fortunately I was able to stay calm and take action, but I didn’t have a plan b before hand to travel mentally tough. I’m sure if I did it would have saved me time and emotional energy.
Situations Change Quickly
Knowing that situations always change and that a horrible situation won’t last forever will save you worry and stress. I’ve seen it many times before, drama and events always change and sometimes the best strategy is to be patient. When I got stuck in Madrid for 5 days due to the Iceland Volcano erupting all I could do was wait, be patient and it did work out. When the opportunity presents itself to fix a problem do not hesitate to take action! You must be proactive but know when to be patient at the same time. In a dicey situation always try to get the most information possible and then make a decision. Take the first opportunity and travel mentally tough. Horrible doesn’t last forever; it will pass.
Know the Facts
Danger can happen and they’re always inherent risks while traveling but we fear the world way too much. Yes people die in plane crashes and yes they’re are freak accident like trains crashing and they’re some risky parts to travel in the world. But this is far from the norm. You probably have a better shot of dying on your way to the airport than dying in a plane crash or on a train. And traveling to risky parts of a country should be taken into account and planned really well. Look up the facts about whatever adventures you’re going on, make the decision you feel comfortable with and travel mentally tough. Knowing the facts should help ease you into your travels.
Confidence is Key
Sometimes you will have to make an educated guess and won’t know what the clear decision is. Best thing you can do is be confident and follow your gut. And truly follow your gut. If your intuition is telling you something, follow it!! Always follow it, because most of the time you will be right. I can attest to this many times, especially when I’m lost. I trust my instincts and most of the time everything works out but even if it doesn’t, there is usually some kind stranger to pick you up when you’re at your worst. Also exude confidence towards locals and for yourself. People will trust you more and you are less likely to be taken advantage of. Confidence is key so you can travel mentally tough.
images by: federico, robert, shawnvoyage