Well it’s not easy that’s for sure, thoughts and feelings regarding every single situation arise out of nowhere, especially difficult to deal with when you’re outside of your comfort zone. I’m never sure what to expect, and I feel like I have to prepare myself for every eventuality whilst out here. Two months now me and my fiance Sam have been away from England for and my anxieties have been ever present each day, but some things pass within a matter of minutes, some stay in my head for weeks.
I’ve always found it difficult to talk about my anxieties, some seem so petty that I’m embarrassed to admit that I let these things affect me. Locking things away has always made it difficult for people close to me to understand why I refrain from doing certain things, or why today I might be quieter than usual. One of the main reasons I began my Anxiety and Adventure blog page was to finally speak up and talk about the things that I suffer from, no matter how small. Hopefully then I can be understood a little better.
If you’d have told me a few years ago that right now I would be in Vietnam trying to kick start a writing career I would have laughed at you.The shy, self-loathing, unconfident person I was back then was happy just plodding along with no real dreams or aspirations. My anxieties destroyed my chances of really making a career and some much needed money out of my one passion, photography. So I settled for the normal life, never truly believing I would make anything of myself. However after two years of working in a windowless office job I then met an amazing and outgoing girl who I then made my fiance, things began to change quite dramatically after that. Most importantly I realised I needed help and begun taking medication for the depression and anxiety, something which in hindsight I should have done a lot sooner than just 9 months ago. I began to realise there was much more to my life, and so much more of the incredible planet we live on to explore and photograph.
My mental health issues have stopped me on numerous occasions from doing anything fun, interesting or out of my comfort zone. So a few months ago we decided upon a fresh start, a new beginning. We left our jobs and began to sell nearly everything we owned, anything from TV’s to Games Consoles went. Those things in life you cannot live without, but secretly you know you just use them as distractions from the mundanity of everyday life. Selling these possessions that I once deemed to make me happy was not at all difficult, which is how I knew that leaving English life behind to travel was the right decision.I couldn’t sell my anxiety and depression to someone else, it’s party of me now, so I thought I may as well suffer from my issues whilst discovering new places, rather than letting those demons consume me in the shell I built around me back home.
As I write this we have travelled through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, and am currently in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) plotting our next movements. Along the way we have endured stresses and difficult times, flooded hostels, bed bugs, sleepless nights, bus crashes, the list goes on. However those moments are easily eclipsed by the glorious landscapes, incredible colours, amazing temples and all of the wonderfully kind, generous, hospitable and charismatic people we have met along the way. We have only been away for the short time of two months, but already I personally believe that some of the most unforgettable memories, that I never dreamed of creating, have been created on this trip.
Anxieties will always remain, and they will undoubtedly still affect your day to day lives, but if you’re reading this wanting to travel then I urge you to just get up and go. You won’t regret it! Do not let the monsters in your head stop you any longer from fulfilling your dreams and completing that bucket list.
So is anxiety and adventure possible? Of course it is! Just realise and make yourself aware that when you go anxieties may still follow you, and surround yourself with the right people who can support you if needed then anything is possible. I have no idea how long, or if ever, my own anxiety and depression will stay with me, but I am so glad that I did not wait until I had overcome my issues before embarking on an adventure. Who knows how long I would have been waiting?