How I Handle Travel Anxiety

I am terrified of flying. In fact, typing those words just gave me butterflies because I am traveling interstate later today, and the pre-flight anxiety is already kicking in. This is something that has been an issue for me my whole life. The first time I ever went on a plane I was BY MYSELF, which as it turns out can be surprisingly less anxiety-ridden than flying with company. I think it’s because I can just escape into my own mind and not feel like I am burdening someone else with my anxiety. I also travelled from New York back to Perth flying solo, and I will always remember something very simple my dad said to me before that flight – ‘courage is being afraid to do something, and doing it anyway‘. I try to remember this every time I step onto a plane. I think a lot of people don’t understand travel anxiety, so they brush it off as being a trivial little quirk that people have, but if you have it you know that it is awful. You can be the most rational person on the planet and realise that flying is safer than driving, but still be crippled with fear and anxiety throughout the entirety of a flight. The only thing that gets me through it is knowing I either have a fun holiday on the other side of the flight, or I am heading home to my family and friends (and Pep). There are a few other things that have helped me with my anxiety throughout the years, and I thought I’d share them with you. If you also suffer from travel anxiety and have any tips or tricks of your own, please let me know!

1. Be organized. As the underlying travel anxiety is already there, making an effort to remove all other sources of anxiety (ie: disorganization and running late) helps keep all other stress to a minimum before the flight. I always write a packing list prior to loading up my suitcase, check into our flight ahead of time (making sure I have a window seat and that we are definitely sitting together – this reduces my anxiety a lot), and make sure we know exactly what time to leave the house to get to the airport with time to spare before the flight.

2. Establish routines. This goes hand in hand with the above point that reducing all other stress will help manage The Big One. We always get to the airport with time to spare prior to the flight, and that way we are able to sit down for 20 minutes or so before having to board. I take this opportunity to have a drink (I find champagne the most effective), go to the bathroom, and get everything in order before boarding. I am in the habit of either picking an album or making a playlist that is my travel anthem for that particular holiday. Something soothing is usually best. For my last trip it was Troye Sivan’s ‘Blue Neighbourhood‘ – now when I hear any of the songs from that album I am transported back to that holiday. I also like to have an in-flight routine, because there is nothing worse than (what feels like) an endless stretch of time sitting on a plane without any purpose and plenty of free mental space to stress out.

3. Treat yourself. It can be helpful to look at the time spent on the plane as “me time” (if you’re traveling with kids this is somewhat impossible). I have a few podcasts that I love, so I try to save up any new episodes that they release in the week before my flight so I have those to look forward to listening to on the plane. I do the same with television episodes, and any books that I am excited to read. For my flight this afternoon I have a new episode of Welcome To Deadcast to listen to, and a new episode of Hotel Hell to watch – I feel like having little things to look forward to on the flight can make it somewhat more bearable.

4. Meditate or medicate. Now that you’re allowed to use small technology during take off and landing, it’s possible to listen to something soothing during these stressful times during the flight. Unfortunately for me, taking off and landing aren’t my stress trigger points – it’s the time spent up in the air that gives me the most anxiety. However, I do like to listen to short mediations throughout the flight and highly recommend the ‘Meditation Oasis‘ podcast for this purpose. My flight anxiety is at the stage where I now also medicate during flights, so it’s worth speaking to your doctor if you find it’s becoming a bit too much for you to handle. They may have some options available.

5. Let go. This is the hardest one of all because it’s basically fighting all of your natural instincts and forcing yourself to live with the anxiety. It also relies on you having some sort of trust in a higher power or the universe in general. If my anxiety starts creeping back in mid-flight I try to tell myself to just ‘let go’, because at that point everything is completely out of my control. Perhaps that is where this anxiety stems from, as a self-confessed control freak? Who can say.

Product Review: Jergens Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Moisturiser

I love Jergens, and apparently so does America as it’s their number one selling bodycare brand. *cue trivia music* I’ve been a fan of the fragrance free daily moisture from Jergensfor quite a while now, so I was really excited to try a new product from their body moisturiser range. I’ve been using the Shea Butter conditioning moisturiser for a couple of weeks now, and I’m happy to say that it was love at first try. It is quite a bit thicker than my usual go-to fragrance free moisturiser, and it’s perfectly suited for the colder weather. I also love the scent, I was trying for ages to figure out what it reminded me of and I settled on shortbread biscuits (delicious). The moisturiser feels thick and luxurious but applies easily to the skin and sinks in nice and quickly. It’s as gentle on my sensitive skin as the fragrance free moisturiser, which I am ecstatic about as ‘gentle’ is often not the case with a lot of other fragranced lotions. The Jergens Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Moisturiser retails for $7.99 AUD and is available for purchase from Priceline. (please note: product was sent for consideration for review)

Fremantle “Ghostly” Tour

For our anniversary last year, I bought two tickets for Sebastian and I to go on a “ghostly tour” of Fremantle. We decided to wait until the cold weather rolled around to book an evening to go on the tour, because it seemed like more of a dead-of-winter sort of activity. The tour begins in Fremantle near the town hall where you board an old tram car and settle in for the ride. I was surprised at how full the tram was, it was nearly packed to the brim with only a handful of seats left by the time everyone had boarded. To be honest I really didn’t think it would be such a popular event, but there was a great turn out and it seemed like people of all ages had come along for the fun.

We headed down to Cicerellos to pick up dinner (a generous serving of delicious fish and chips), that we then ate in the tram as we slowly made our way through Fremantle. We were advised that the stops vary from tour to tour, depending on the requirements of sites like the Fremantle Art Centre that often holds events on a Friday night. On our tour night we visited the Fremantle Cemetary, the Arts Centre, and finished it off with a walking tour of Fremantle Prison. My favourite part of the night was definitely the prison, I hadn’t been there since high school and it’s such a fascinating (and spooky) place.

The tour guides did a really great job of making it interesting and interactive, and although we didn’t see any ghosts in the flesh there was still a spooky enough vibe to make it a creepy night. I’d recommend the tour to anyone looking for something different to do on a Friday night in Perth. I bought out tickets from Red Balloon and it cost $170 for 2 people with dinner and a drink included on the night.

July TBR List

My method of reading has changed slightly over the past six months, and I now have 6 books on the go at all times. One new book, one re-read, one kindle book, one library book, one audio book, and one ‘nostalgic’ read. It sounds like it would be complicated and confusing, but it’s really not. I’ve found that it’s actually made it a lot easier for me to stay motivated and make progress in my book challenge for the year, because I have so many options of what to read at any given time. Here are four of the books I’m hoping to read this month –

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix – Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favourite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

Vivian Apple At The End Of The World by Katie Coyle – Seventeen year old Vivian Apple never believed in the evangelical Church of America, unlike her recently devout parents. But when Vivian returns home the night after the supposed “Rapture,” all that’s left of her parents are two holes in the roof. Suddenly, she doesn’t know who or what to believe. With her best friend Harp and a mysterious ally, Peter, Vivian embarks on a desperat ecross-country roadtrip through a paranoid and panic-stricken America to find answers. Because at the end of the world, Vivan Apple isn’t looking for a savior. She’s looking for the truth.

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter – With a missing girl in the news, Claire Scott can’t help but be reminded of her sister, who disappeared twenty years ago in a mystery that was never solved. But when Claire begins to learn the truth about her sister, nothing will ever be the same.

Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre – Cole Masten. Abandoned by his superstar wife, Hollywood’s Perfect Husband is now Hollywood’s Sexiest Bachelor: partying hard and screwing even harder. Watch out Los Angeles, there’s a new bad boy in town. Summer Jenkins. That’s me, a small town girl stuck in Quincy, Georgia. I cook some mean chicken and dumplins, can bluff a grown man out of his savings in poker, and was voted Most Friendly my senior year. We were from different worlds. Our lives shouldn’t have collided. But then Cole Masten read a book about my small town. And six months later, his jet landed on our dusty airstrip, and he brought Hollywood with him. From the start, I knew he was trouble. For our town. And for me. Sometimes, opposites just aren’t meant to attract.

Thoughts of the week…

01) There is a new Welcome To Deadcast episode out, and I haven’t had time to read the book yet! It’s been so upsetting knowing an episode of my favourite podcasts exists but I can’t listen to it yet! I’m nearly done with the book, and I’m hoping to watch the episode today and then we’ll be all systems go.
02) Australia held a federal election yesterday, and we still don’t have a clear decision on who or what the government will be. This is certainly an interesting time for political junkies (like Sebastian).
03) My One True Love Gordon Ramsay did an AMA this week.
04) He also released a mobile game called Gordon Ramsay Dash, which I am becoming obsessed with. Move over Kim Kardashian Hollywood!
05) Liane Moriarty has a new book coming out this month… I can’t wait!
06) Has anyone been on a walking dumpling tour of Melbourne? We’re popping over later this month and that’s one of the things we’re considering doing while we’re in town.
07) I’m one of those weird people who loves conspiracy theories (not that I believe all – or any – of them), and I’ve been enjoying this podcast recently.
08) Althought I don’t normally like stand up, a friend of mine recommended the 2 Dope Queens podcast to me this week, and I LOVE IT. I had to stop listening to it at work because I was trying to hard to stay silent while laughing that I ended up with tears running down my face. Worth a listen.
09) I had to “DNF” (did not finish) the audio book for The Wrath and The Dawn. People absolutely RAVE about this book, but I hated it. Maybe I’ll try again with it later on down the track but I felt like it was holding me back, so I’ve given up for now. I’ve moved on to ‘My Best Friend’s Exorcism’ instead.