I am pleased to say that since taking Prozac in 2010, I’ve managed to travel quite a bit. I travel for work so I had to get over my plane and flying anxieties pretty quick. And my want to travel is so great that I just refuse to let this bloody phobia stop me from achieving things. Having said that, it is hard and it can mean going a week or so on not a lot of food. But I’ve always tried to push myself to do things, to step out of my comfort zone and to challenge myself. Which I know makes me a stronger person because of it. So travelling was a big thing for me and I wanted to make sure I did it. I still do! It just doesn’t suit also having a toddler haha! The one trip we did do with little b ended up with him on antibiotics. Yay. Not.
Pre-b, we travelled quite a bit, J and I. We went to Iceland, New York, Italy, Japan, China and Cuba. We had some amazing holidays. Our longest trip was 3 weeks around China. This involved a lot of flying and a number of bus rides, of which I couldn’t sit at the front, sigh. That trip taught me a lot. How did I manage all this and emetophobia?
- I was in a good place emet wise. Having said that, our trip in 2009 (at my lowest point really) was marred by emet. Japan and China were when I was on Prozac and feeling good about it.
- I didn’t eat any local food. I know this is what attracts most people to travel, experiencing this part of a new culture. But for me, no interest whatsoever. We stuck to Western-type food outlets and places where it was obvious what we would get. So pizza and pasta type places. And I’d always go for something hot or bread or potato based. I know it’s stupid but they feel like my “safe” foods. I’m pleased to say with this strategy, J and I were fine on both trips. Haha I have this photo of me sat at the top of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong giving a thumbs up as we found somewhere that did jacket potatoes!
- We packed things like mini cheddars and cereal bars to take with us. We probably didn’t need to but I just felt better having something familiar in case I wasn’t able to eat for a few days.
- We stayed in nice hotels. Travel was never something I fancied doing for months and months, slumming it in youth hostels with loads of other people. We saved for our trips and were lucky to stay in 3-4 star hotels that were clean, spacious and generally felt good and safe!
- We never drank the water and avoided all ice. I know this sounds ridiculous but we didn’t let any water cross our lips in China. We brushed our teeth using mineral water and showered without getting our faces wet. When I washed my hair, I’d be sure to just keep my head tipped back and then wrap it up in a towel. We also kept a bit of paper that said “no ice” in Mandarin handy. We would whip it out each time we ordered a drink! Bonkers I know!
- Take any medication you need with you. For me this was Imodium and anti-emetic drugs. Just having them with me made me feel calmer.
I know all these things make for a pretty “restricted” trip in some people’s minds. But for me and J it worked out just great and we had some amazing trips. I refuse to let emet stop me from seeing the world and as soon as b is old enough, and I have enough money to fly us business (see the plane post haha), I want to show him the world too!