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by jeanne

Welcome to The Anxious Travelers! Our goal is to inspire you to live a full life and see the wonders of the world — even if anxiety is a constant travel companion. You can do this! We’re excited to have you, even though the idea of being so open and vulnerable about anxiety (especially our travel anxiety and travel OCD!) makes us… well… anxious!

Still, we’ve each had our separate journeys — me with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and Josh with general anxiety — and now we’re on this path together. Anxiety is a constant travel companion for both of us, but we do our best to support each other.

Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America? More than 40 million adults live with anxiety, which is roughly 18.1% of the population — yet many of us don’t even talk about it. Whether it’s in your every day life or manifests as travel anxiety, the associated symptoms can be difficult to navigate.

The Anxious Travelers

As a psychology professor, I could talk about the theories and treatment strategies for travel anxiety, general anxiety and OCD at great length, but on our blog, we’re just going to talk about how anxiety impacts our regular lives. So many people see us dancing, traveling, and doing fun things, but they have no idea how hard some of those moments have been. They don’t see the tears or the pep talks we give each other — they just see our smiling faces.

Who Are The Anxious Travelers?

Well, we’re pulling off the masks (unless I’m on a plane and someone is coughing — then the mask stays on!) and we’ll be sharing how we support each other through the tough moments as we work together to conquer fears. We’ve been lucky too — where one of us struggles, the other is strong, so it’s helped us find balance. To give you an idea, here are some of the ways anxiety, travel anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder manifests for us:

How Jeanne’s Travel OCD Manifests:

  • Fear of contamination
  • Severe aversion to specific textures
  • Need for cleanliness/tidiness
  • Social anxiety
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Paranoia in public spaces
  • Avoidance of travel during cold and flu season
  • Shame and embarrassment
  • Avoidance of saying things that could “jinx” us

How Josh’s Travel Anxiety Manifests:

  • Fear of missing out
  • Stress when ordering food at restaurants or drive-thru
  • Strong need to arrive earlier than necessary
  • Significant stress while standing in line anywhere
  • Fear of disappointing others
  • Social anxiety

On our blog, we’ll share how we manage difficult situations in our daily lives and in our travels. We’ve come a long way in the last few years and we’re eager to share what we’ve learned along the way. We hope you’ll join us on this journey! 

To get started, here are some links to some of our favorite posts about travel anxiety!