How To Travel When You Suffer From Social Anxiety (Guest Post)

Objective: Travelling with Social Anxiety

You scroll down your Instagram feed and watch people travelling to every corner of the world. Looking anxiously at your screen you might think “Damn If it wasn’t for my anxiety, I’d travel all the time”.

Well, today is your lucky day. I will tell you how to travel the world from the comfort of your social anxiety.

Should I travel alone?

Short Answer, yes. Long Answer depends on the situation. There are certain places that travelling alone might not work. These would be places that are crowded such as Cancun Mexico, London UK, Las Vegas USA.

In these places you might feel like you stand out like a sore thumb. Because they’re centered around public events like: concerts, sports stadiums, nightclub raves. Which most people that have social anxiety would not be too fond about anyways.

Many people with social anxiety tend to realize that travelling alone is the best way to travel. What does this mean? It means that when they’re in large groups, they tend to get overloaded.

What if I don’t want to go alone?

More people? No problem, this is the safest way to go travelling. A major bonus to go with a few people means that you don’t need to do most of the talking.

Some people feel social in spurts, but always do not feel like talking. Travelling with outgoing friends, works well for when you just want to go along for the ride.

The best strategy is to go with 2-4 friends. This means you have enough people to entertain each other; yet, not enough to get left-out/ignored the whole trip.

Who should I go with then?

Outgoing socially active friends.

Life-long friends

Friends that share your same interests: Hiking, nature etc.

People that are not exhausting for you to be around

Choosing a Country to Vacation to?

I can’t choose a specific country you should go to. What I can do is telling you specific ideas.

Go to Countries That are From Different Cultures

Being in a foreign country makes it easier to interact with locals. This is because you’re not as worried about following the norms. Why? because you don’t even know they exist.

When I visited Ghana, Africa. Greeting people was easy as 1-2-3!

I did not mind just saying what’s up to different people or sounding weird. Why? Because I had no idea how normal people acted in their culture.

On top of that locals are more lenient and receptive to tourists. Firstly, because its always refreshing to meet new people. We always want to make a great first impression to visitors.

Secondly, the stereotypes of all tourists being loaded with cash might not hurt either

Countries Where People Don’t Speak Your Language

Many claims that being in a foreign country and not speaking the language is awesome. This is because the focus of your conversation is more on communicating your point.

Compared to being in a country where they speak the exact same language. Now your worried about how they think of what you said, and if they found your jokes funny etc.

Find Object/Event Focused Activity

Social anxiety gives people the “don’t know what to say syndrome“. Sometimes you feel like you know what to say, other times you don’t to learn more about speaking publicly with anxiety, check out my guide on public speaking with social anxiety.

Event Focused Activities

Museum
Opera
Napping on the beach
Take Pictures
Explore Nature: Hiking, scuba diving etc.

Pick a Tour Guide:
A tour guide makes travelling with social anxiety a breeze. Their job is to guide you through fun experiences and do the talking and schmoozing for you. You can learn more about choosing the perfect tour guide here.

What if I can’t find a professional tour guide?

No problem. You can always choose activities at a resort with instructors. Having an instructor is the simplest way to enjoy a new place without knowing the ins-n-outs. Plus, I’m sure they would not mind giving you some tips on local places to explore. Especially if you ask nicely (give a nice tip!).

What If I don’t want to give a tip?

Never enough for you huh? Alright then, why not catch up with an old friend? The best tour guides are people that have been living in that city for years, and that you know personally. Not only will they know the city well, they will know what you prefer!

Conclusion

Just take your travelling plans one wave at a time. Remember, your “job” as a tourist is to have fun. The standards are set low for you, to be honest. Being respectful and polite already puts you ahead of the pack. Safe travels, … and wait. Don’t forget to bring me a souvenir.

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29 comments

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  1. Xen

    I actually love to travel but I hate crowds. I don’t know if I have anxiety, I think I probably suffer from it mildly, I don’t like being around lots of people, I don’t feel safe. But I will do things if I motivate myself enough such as travel to countries that are a lot more populated than my small country of 6 million people. I know I don’t like drawing attention to myself, I used to be painfully shy but over the years, I have learned to be less so. My love of Martial Arts actually helped me to deal with my shyness but every now and then, it becomes my master once more. I still can’t talk in public or in meetings. I just don’t like the thought of people looking at me and judging me. I think this is one quirk of my personality that will never leave me. Thank you for this post, it was a great read! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. kiki | soyvirgo.com

    I love this! Usually I get scared for other people who travel places ALONE especially where they don’t speak the language. So..I love that this post mentions traveling with at least 4 people cause that’s a pretty good amount of people to keep you first of all safe and then entertained lol
    thanks for sharing ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  3. stardustnomad

    Loved your post Pooja, it was so insightful especially to people like me with anxiety! I have a new blog up – posted today it’s a good read but getting better as I go. Thank you for inspiring me and many others Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kitty Jade

    Great advice, I cannot relate with the social anxiety situation but I would like to travel more. Still being young creates a problem because we have to have one holiday a year, and it’s usually not abroad. Anyways, to the future! X

    Liked by 2 people

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