Starting exchange, and my anxiety

I am very proud of myself, this week I stayed in a hostel by myself and spent 2 days exploring the town of Ballarat all alone. Staying overnight alone was something that scared me but something I wanted to do to push myself out of my comfort zone. The evening was not super fun as I got lonely and due to the time change could not connect with anyone back home. However, the rest of the short trip which included exploring the small city and going horseback riding I thoroughly enjoyed.

I was a little bit anxious the majority of the time I was there, but this feeling I think stemmed from the impending arrival in Adelaide. That arrival went better than I could have imagined. And really only the little things that I think cause everyone anxiety affected me. Like I wondered if I’d said anything stupid in front of my new friends that night as I was falling asleep.

I’ve already faced a few things I was nervous for coming on this exchange and they all have gone well. But just because I am very happy right now does not mean my anxiety has hidden itself away. To just explain my anxiety more, I obviously get anxious like anyone else but with general anxiety disorder sometimes I can’t stop thinking about things that are far away or long term stresses. This fluctuates and sometimes get incredibly overwhelming.

The best example that has popped up in the last few days, was this morning I started thinking a lot about how I am going to sell the stuff like bedding and other stuff for my room I have bought when I leave. I’m leaving in 5 months, why was I thinking about this I can’t explain it. Yet it was causing me just enough stress that I was aware of it and had to take a moment to work through my thoughts.

My anxiety is something that is always with me and that is completely ok, I strongly believe I can be the best version of myself with manageable anxiety.

For anyone else who overthinks the little things and has some trouble being spontaneous I would reccomend if you want to solo travel start with something really small and see how much you enjoy it. Yes some people make backpacking for 5 months alone look amazing but its not for everyone.

I have already realized that I like traveling with a partner, as I have had the opportunity to do this before. When I backpacked with a friend I was still able to push myself out of my comfort zone, but I had someone to enjoy it with. I am excited as I think making new friends as we live and travel together here in Australia is going to be the perfect combination.


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