What Prevents You From Traveling?

Aug 28

What Prevents You From Traveling?

This post was originally published on May 30, 2014

Thanks to Bounding Over Our Steps for inspiration for this post. Mindy’s post “Things I Don’t Let Prevent Me From Traveling” was an eye opener for me. 

For the past few years I’ve had a fear of traveling on the interstate. I don’t know where it came from or what happened. Over time I just became more and more afraid of the traffic, the speed, the way cars weave in and out of lanes. This wasn’t a good thing when we lived in Alabama since getting from one side of town to the other sometimes required a trip down I-85. Even a trip to visit my mother-in-law in Montgomery or a trip to Georgia to visit my family required a partial trip on the freeway. This was especially harrowing for me when we decided to move to Texas. We were looking at a three or four day trip, all interstate, going through cities I’d never been to before.

I’ve come up with some coping mechanisms, like I need to drive or I’ll be a passenger if Scott is driving. My son doesn’t like that, but he drives a manual shift car. That’s a whole other fear to write about one day! But if Scott is driving in our van, I’m okay.

We weren’t always okay. When this started I had serious panic attacks. These attacks caused a lot of arguments and didn’t make any sense – to me or to Scott. We had to learn to communicate through them. If I feel he’s going too fast I’ll tell him so. He may not feel that way, but to help my fear he’ll slow down. He’ll also go a certain route or keep some extra distance between cars if I tell him I’m feeling panicky.

The interstates here in Texas are different. They have a great thing called a turnaround. The only thing is they’re on the left side, so if you need to turn and you miss the turnaround, you may or may not be able to take another exit and get back on the right road. There are also access roads, but these go only one way. This is what happened to me in Houston when our cat got sick. I found a vet nearby and used my phone’s GPS to get there. But getting back was different because I couldn’t just turn around and come back the way I came. All the roads were one way, so I had to go under the bridge to the other side of the road and travel backward that way. That caused some anxiety as I like to know where I’m going.

While I don’t know what caused this fear, I am coping with it and not letting it keep me from getting out and exploring. I know that as long as I communicate with Scott and we work together that we will arrive safely wherever we need to be.  This will be especially important as we explore further away from our new home and eventually begin traveling in our RV.

Does a fear prevent you from traveling? How do you cope with your fears? How does communication play a role? Leave a comment or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.



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