Author Topic: Travel Anxiety  (Read 1977 times)


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Travel Anxiety
« on: June 01, 2015, 07:17:23 PM »
Thursday, June 4, marks 11 months since Catherine died.  During this time, I have spent every evening at home - just myself and my cat.  June is going to be different.  I'll be taking two trips:
  • A 5-day conference in a city that's a few hours away by plane, coming very soon.
  • A "5-day weekend" in a city that's a few hours away by car, coming soon after the first trip.
It's been my plan all along to take these trips.  I've done them both many times in the past.  I also know that Catherine would have wanted me to do these things.  Despite all of that, I'm really bothered by the prospect of going away.  I don't like thinking about it, which is the reason I procrastinate over it.

These are the things that bother me about traveling:
  • I worry about the cat's welfare.  I hired a very reliable cat sitter to come by the house twice a day.
  • I won't be able to visit my wife's grave, which is the first thing I do each morning.
  • I won't be able to spend as much time alone as I have since Catherine died. That didn't occur to me until today, but it might be what bothers me the most.
Fundamentally, I worry about disrupting my daily routine.  Has anyone else had an experience like this in the first year after losing their spouse?

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Re: Travel Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2015, 07:35:02 PM »
I remember avoiding a few trips and was anxious about going to florida for a week to visit my sister
'there was going to be a bunch of us and I was very anxious about being overloaded with all the talking etc
and no down time
plus I was going to miss my home that brought me comfort and still fell my husband everywhere
I will let you know I planned times to be alone (like swimming in the pool )or brought a book so I could just sit and not have to talk , it really helped I will say I did have a good time and it was a great distraction from the sadness
I wish you luck and I am sure your cat will be ok , very independent animals and will miss you
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Re: Travel Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2015, 07:45:32 PM »
I've been a traveler all of my life, not really having a permanent fixed address or anything significant in the way of possessions until I agreed to this house, marriage and kid scenario in my 30s.   My trips since Scott died - both big and small - have saved me time and again in the past 2.5 years.  They've reminded me that I am resilient and independent, that in another environment I am not defined by what happened, and I am reminded of all of the diversity and beauty in this life and to be grateful for it.  I have never once regretted going, whether an hour away or an ocean away, though I will warn you that I got slammed with grief when we came home from our first big trip to our same old, silent house and I just got slammed with some of the crazies when we got back from a trip last week.  Why this was a surprise to me I have no idea but I was blindsided.  Now I know to be prepared for some fallout after every return, hoping one day it won't happen anymore.  Oh and your cat will be fine - more quiet and time for napping and eating.  It is a mutually agreeable arrangement for a few days.   :)  Happy trails!


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Re: Travel Anxiety
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2015, 08:53:12 PM »
I, too, am a traveler.  When there isn't enough to keep me deadlines...I get very antsy.  My experience of returning home is much like that of TooSoon.  Coming back home is very hard...every single time I go away.  I got quite anxious last summer before I even made it home from my road trip.

Guaruj?, I wish you peace as you travel.

Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

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Re: Travel Anxiety
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2015, 10:21:49 PM »
My main concern with travelling was due to the fact that my dh died in an accident. I'm better about travelling now.
I get the routine thing though.. I started college less than two months after he died, so I was very much established in a routine and had other things to occupy my mind and thoughts. Not that I didn't think about him but I had other things to think about.
I was dreading the end of the second semester knowing that I would have so much time off until I started school again in the fall. I thought that all the grief would come crashing down now that I had nothing else to focus on. In some ways it has been hard to not be in that routine anymore, in other ways it has been good to have some time off and establish new routines and I have actually been productive in getting things done around the house.
Maybe the time spent with others will actually be healing rather than a negative thing.. I'm actually the type of person who is quite happy with just my own company, but I find I gravitate towards others more now and spend less time alone than I used to.
Wishing you safe travels!


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Re: Travel Anxiety
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2015, 10:26:25 PM »
At 5 months I needed to travel for work.  I had traveled several times previously for work but this time I just didn't want to go.  However, it was a conference that a select few were asked to attend and so I had no good reason to back out except my own nervousness and fear.  And  it wasn't the traveling part (again, I had traveled alone on business before), but it was leaving my home base and venturing out that scared me.  I did it though.  It was important for me though that I had someone to check in let know when I landed, when I settled into my hotel, etc., so I utilized family or friends for that.  The business trip itself was busy so that kept me occupied while away.  And I personally felt good that I did myself....on my own.  Another one of those steps forward we need to take.

I know the change in daily habits is unnerving and although time alone and the routine is comforting, I have not yet regretted when I took some risks to broaden my horizons.  And, besides...we're all here if you need to reach out to us during your travel.

Wishing you luck and enjoyment!
I miss how happy I was with you.


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Re: Travel Anxiety
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2015, 10:41:37 AM »
Fundamentally, I worry about disrupting my daily routine.  Has anyone else had an experience like this in the first year after losing their spouse?

Popping in from four plus years out to say yes, I had worries and experiences like this in the first year too.  I lived in NYC, and aside from leaving the City to visit DH's grave on Long Island once a month, I didn't leave the City for a very long time.  I clung to routine for survival.  My suggestion: decide ahead of time pieces of routines/rituals that you can "bring with you," or do while you're away, even if it's simple and minor.  And yes, I needed a ton of alone time, time with no stimulation, a lot of calm around me because I felt so disquiet inside. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that traveling wasn't as upsetting to me as I thought it would be.  It showed me that I was stronger and more capable than I'd come to feel, and made me want to get back to being more mobile.  (And so, at two years, I traveled to the Middle East by myself!)  And like others have said, you bring all these "pocket people" with you wherever you go.  Lean on your widows! 
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Re: Travel Anxiety
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2015, 05:53:16 PM »
Thank you all for your replies and encouragement. I had no idea so many people would read this thread.

I took some positive steps to prepare for the first trip today: Made a key for the cat sitter, took some clothes to the cleaners and updated my itinerary.  I still have a lot to do.  Because the thought of traveling makes me uncomfortable, I seek distraction elsewhere.  I no longer have time to procrastinate. I find it helpful to put reminders in my phone's calendar.

I'm going to have someone clean the house, if possible, before I leave. I also hate this. These house cleaners are nice people, but they're not friends or family. And, even though I trust them, it bugs me to have anyone move all my stuff (and Catherine's) around to get it clean. I just have to tell myself that I want the house to be clean when I come home. Right now, it's filthy.

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Re: Travel Anxiety
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2015, 08:44:15 PM »
I think it is really healthy to acknowledge and identify your fears and discomfort.  I don't have any magical words. Just want to wish you well and suggest you be gentle with yourself.
"All the waves must reach the shore before the water calms"-Ray ♡