Travel anxiety

Travel anxiety – Airports, stations and buses

After all, I’m sentimental.

I easily become attached to places, people and things. I don’t need much to get comfortable, I’ve always been like this, chameleonic.
And perhaps this attitude allowed me to travel around the world without suffering too much from melancholy or even loneliness.
I feel at home wherever I go, I have learned to call hostels home, I relate to people as if we have always been good friends, I use public transport because this is what I would do if I really lived there, it seems almost normal to me to move every 3/4 days, I do everything almost mechanically.
But when I travel if there are two things I hate they are: prepare the luggages (I never liked him and I never will) e airports.
I don’t like airports. An airport makes me feel the distance like perhaps no other means of transport.
Most of the times when I leave a country by flying away I always have the feeling that I will never see that place or the people I met again and this makes me sad.
If I took a trip to trans-Siberian probably the sensation wouldn’t be the same, although the result would be.
Yet although train stations do not have a happy role in my travel imagination, they still have something romantic and sad.
The station makes me imagine and build stories that perhaps don’t exist. Willy-nilly a tear always falls, even when there is no one to say goodbye or farewell or who ironically waves a tissue in their hand to greet me.

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I suffer empathically with couples who tearfully say goodbye to each other as if they will never see each other again, and she cries (well yes, usually it’s her, tradition dictates that men don’t cry, right?), with friends who say goodbye, parents who say goodbye the son realizing that that piece of heart is about to embark on its own path. Friends, relatives, boyfriends, everyone standing on the platform waiting for the train to leave with us looking out the window giving us the latest recommendations, including the classic one: call as soon as you arrive!
Thus they see us slowly moving away towards new destinations. Sometimes for a few days, sometimes for a little longer.

So although “dramatic” the station at least gives me some emotions, if we want to call it that.
My idea of ​​the airport, however, is decidedly less poetic, it mainly brings to mind three things: noia, long times e insurmountable distances.
I have to be there two hours before, I have time to process the departure, time to think and thinking too much is not always good. I hate waiting at the gate, then sitting back on the plane for hours where the only way I can stretch my legs is to go to the bathroom and come back.

a person sitting on a bench next to a body of water

I’m at Gate 6 all’Auckland airport. The flight leaves in 30 minutes Santiago, Chile. I’m about to literally cross the world, going from one hemisphere to the other. I look around. The people sitting next to me speak Spanish, they are almost all small, short, with dark hair and eyes. The world has already changed as far as I’m concerned.
They call my flight and one after the other in single file we sit on the double-decker plane, we fasten our seat belts and I say goodbye from above to a country that in some way has been my home for a few weeks and I’m sorry to say goodbye. I have been traveling for a long time now but I experience every departure with melancholy and I have the classic “lump in the stomach“.

I have 12 hours to think about what will change soon, how I will adapt to the new language, culture, new habits and new climate. I have to revolutionize myself, sometimes dramatically.
The idea of ​​now flying to the other side of the world, speaking another language, getting to know different cultures is exciting on the one hand but also makes me anxious. It’s always like this when I fly, I start getting nervous a day before. From the fear of missing the plane, even worse, getting the day wrong would be unforgivable, to checking 100 times that everything is in your suitcase with the certainty of having forgotten something anyway.
The bus instead, even if they let me cross the borders, they don’t make me nervous. Once I sit down even if the journey lasts more than 10 hours it doesn’t make me think that I’m leaving the country, my feet are on the ground. We stop every 2 or 3 hours. My eyes gradually get used to the change. On the plane now you are here and in a few hours you land in a place that has little in common with the one you left.

It doesn’t matter how much she’s travelled, it doesn’t matter how long she’s been on the road, how many planes she’s flown on or how many stamps she has in her passport. The mystery of discovery moves my mind and my guts, it makes my imagination travel, it scares me a little and I admit that sometimes it makes me say: Who the hell made me do it again?
Yet then all it takes is time to get my bags, go through security and…here I am at home.

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