When I was a kid, packing wasn't such a big deal. I had both of my parents with me, so if I forgot something, they'd just take me to the store and it'd all be okay. Now, I'm more or less on my own. Lucky for me, I have my fiance who calms my nerves, but he also insists on packing early when I'd rather put it off. If I'm going to be living out of a suitcase for long enough, why would I make it even longer?
I admit that I also procrastinate packing because it makes me anxious. Remembering everything I need for a weekend, week, or longer is so stressful to me, but I'm 99% sure I'm not alone in this feeling. Traveling is an anxiety-provoking experience that can be extremely draining. Every time I travel, even if it's simply a three-hour drive to Chicago or St. Louis, I come home exhausted! Maybe I'm a wimp, or maybe I'm onto something.
Getting out of our comfort zone is really difficult.
I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way. It's a huge leap of faith to do things that are outside of our normal, everyday activities. If you struggle with anxiety as I do, it's even harder to manage abnormal environments.
Don't get me wrong — I absolutely love vacationing. I can't wait to go on my honeymoon this summer! It's not the vacation that stresses me out but the preparation and travel. There's so much to get ready (especially for us women — am I right, ladies?), and I'm always scared I'll leave something behind I can't easily buy away from home, like my prescription medications.
Alongside the anxiety of my forgetfulness, I also am never calm in stress-provoking environments like airports. Everyone is rushing around everywhere, so even if I know that I'm on time, I get stressed out just being in a place where other people are stressed. I know airports have this whole "she got off the plane!" vibe thanks to Friends, but to me, there's nothing romantic about them...at all.
So, is traveling really worth the stress of it all?
If you asked me the night before I leave to go somewhere, I'd probably tell you no. But if you asked me when I got to my destination, I would say YES — traveling is so worth it! You get to go to a new place and try new things and stay at a hotel or condo that's not your house. Everything about it is strange yet exciting at the same time.
Take it from the most introverted introvert out there: traveling is worth the stress. The airports, cars, packing, and any other challenges are all worth it because you get to create memories that will last a lifetime — sorry, not sorry, for the terrible cliche. In the end, you're not going to remember the stress. You're going to remember the moment when you climbed to the top of that mountain or felt the sand between your toes. You're going to remember the people you were with, the memories, and the love and friendship you share.
Trust me, explore the world — it's worth the stress.