Late Night Blogging with Mary: Part 10

I was going to try not and do one of these this week but it seems like as soon as I sit down to blog all of my ideas are gone. I think I’ve done at least one of these every week since I started it. That would be an okay thing if that was the intention, but it wasn’t. I really need to get a blogging calendar (that’s a stupid excuse, I know) so I can get my life in order. When I tried it before the problem was I had too many ideas, but I think it would be helpful now since I don’t seem to have enough. My brain is barren when it comes to practical blog post ideas. Maybe I should start doing my not practical ones and actually be proud of what I’m posting. Obviously, I’m frustrated with myself right now, my blog just isn’t where I want it to be, so of course I’m having the open conversation because that’s just what I do.

Everyone is back at school now, I’m alone. I mean, I’ve been alone most of the summer as it is, but it’s weirder now because it’s almost like I’m missing out, even though I know I’m not. Like everyone is back at my college and I don’t go down to visit until next weekend and I just feel like I’m missing something. I have this fear that everyone is going to forget about me/ not want to hang out/ be too busy to hang out when I go down, because they’re all in class. I also hate to be that person who asks people to hang out with them. I know, that’s stupid, but I would much rather people ask me to hang out because whenever I ask, I always feel so annoying. But really all I want to do is seem my friends and talk to them in person, not over the phone or text, I just want to look at their faces and talk to them, while we’re all together and I’m not in another state.  That sounds whiny and bratty I know, especially since I’m about to go on a journey of a lifetime, you don’t need to tell me, I get it. I just feel like I’m missing out, even though in a few weeks I’ll be making some new friends and having my own adventure and FINALLY going to classes.

Speaking of leaving, I’m beyond ready to go. I leave in two and a half weeks, find out who my roommates are on Monday (maybe tomorrow if I’m lucky!), and I will hopefully finish packing next week. My last day of work is not until the 10th so hopefully I’ll be able to get some more hours and make the time go faster since people left, but I doubt it. I don’t like that I’m wishing away time, so I’m trying to fill it up. I watch a lot of travel videos. Some of those people I think are actually crazy. They come up with the weirdest stuff to pick out and go against. Some are helpful, but some of them, I just say “What????” to because it just doesn’t make logical sense. Pick and choose what you listen to, no need to get caught up in every detail.

I want to do another post about my travel tips. Also, what I noticed, is that there are a million what’s in my suitcase videos for the beach and whatnot, but not very many for studying abroad, if I made a video would anyone watch? Should I vlog any of my trip? Every time I put videos up I end up making the private. Any opinions? Let me know.

I’m suffering from severe bloggers block. I don’t know why. Leave me tips to beat it please.

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Anxiety and Traveling.

travel and anxiety

Anxiety and traveling for some people aren’t a good mix. For some people who don’t suffer from general anxiety like myself, they can suffer from travel anxiety. The act of traveling alone can cause anxious feelings and can even result in panic attacks which can seriously make a vacation turn sour.

One of my biggest fears since I deal with anxiety is letting it ruin things I want to do, and one of the main things I want to do in life is travel. Because of this I do try to take my traveling as relaxed, simple, and as smooth as possible. So here are some tips so that you can do the same!

  1. Keep mental list of where all of your important documents are. If you’re going international be sure to keep your passport and boarding pass together, as well as any other documents you might be. For example in the fall when I get off the plane I’ll make sure to have my passport and entry note in my hand.
  2. Have a plan for the travels. If it’s a new airport, look up where your terminal is online. Know where you’re supposed to go and be. Have print out directions and use your phone or GPS to travel. It often helps if you have various sources to ensure you’re traveling to the right place.
  3. Have a plan for the arrival. If you have something to look forward to it can make the traveling process seem more worth it. If you have anxiety about being away from home, you can do a countdown of day until you get to leave, just don’t forget to enjoy your time away. If the journey makes you anxious looking forward to what the reward is can really help to relax your mind.
  4. Bring comforts. For some the unfamiliarity of traveling can cause anxiety, if you have something that comforts you and you have the ability to bring it along, do it. It’ll definitely make the journey easier.
  5. Know things can go wrong. I honestly go into everything expecting the worst. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you travel, if you’re prepared for them it won’t make them seem as bad.
  6. Be early. I know this is like my life motto, if you aren’t early you’re late, but when it comes to travelling it’s true. I would rather sit in an airport for three hours and people watch than trying to rush through security and running to my terminal. Same goes for driving, you can’t always plan for traffic. Leave early. Always be early. Rushing can cause anxiety, so the less of it you can do the better.
  7. Plan ahead. When you set an agenda and plans months in advance you can start to prepare your mind for the travels. If you have your mind prepared you will be prepared and less anxious. This really helps for just keeping a sound mind.
  8. Be ready for panic attacks. Be ready to calm yourself down. If you can have exit strategies, if you can’t try to have someone with you who understands. If you can’t do that either, make sure if anyone notices they understand what is going on. The last thing you want is a lot of attention because it will only fuel the anxiety. If you’re on the plane take a little walk through the aisles so you feel less claustrophobic. If you are in a car, pull over. Know how to slow down the panic or stop it, or know techniques that work for other people. It really is the worse case scenario that this would happen, but it does, and helps if you are prepared.
  9. Create a happy place. Make a distraction from whatever is stressing you out. Try to focus on something that doesn’t fuel the anxiety. Make a happy place in your mind where you can go when you close your eyes.
  10. Take a break. When you feel anxious sometimes you need a break. You just need to take a step back and breathe. Walk away, refresh your mind, don’t forget to drink lots of water. Take care of yourself. If you have to remove yourself, do it. You know your limits, don’t forget them.

Don’t let anxiety ruin adventure and travel for you. There’s so much to see and do in the world, and if you don’t want to see it that’s okay, but if you do, don’t let anxiety take that away. I am so afraid of that, but it also helps me be aware. You can travel with anxiety, it doesn’t have to stop you, I refuse to let it stop me.

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Preparing to Study Abroad

study abroad prep

Since I’m currently unemployed I’ve been trying to get ahead on some study abroad listing and even some shopping (by shopping I mean adding things to my Amazon Wishlist while I save money) so that way by the time I hopefully get a job I won’t stress about not being able to have the time to do it later.

In order to do this I have been clinging to my Pinterest (feel free to follow me there) and making lists upon lists of things to pack, things to keep in mind, places to see, and things to see, even throwing in a recipe here and there since I’ll be living in an apartment making my own food.

It’s weird to me that I’m prepping for trip that’s not for another 113 days but I know that those days are going to fly by, so if you’re studying abroad here are my tips for preparing.

  • Collect sources. You will not learn everything you need to know from a single site, or even three sites. I like to collect information from a variety, not only to know what could be missing from a list but it’s helpful to see what’s repeated over and over so that you don’t miss anything.
  • Make physical lists. I don’t know why this is so important to me, but I do packing lists and buying lists almost always hand written. For something like this the physical aspect of crossing something out helps to emphasize that it was taken care of, but also you can lay it out the way you want it, maybe that’s just a Mary thing but I’m obsessed with the layout of a list itself, almost as much as the content of the list.
  • Don’t forget to research everything, what you need, the place itself, the language if need be, your classes, living situations, literally everything. I’ve been zooming in on the pictures of apartments I’ll be staying in trying to figure out the layout and everything. I’m also searching places within Ireland I want to go and even other countries and things I want to do once there (like the Harry Potter studio tours in England).
  • Ask questions! I’m sure I’ve been the most annoying student at my regular school and for the program I’m going through because I ask so many questions, but I don’t want to be that person that misses something important that causes me to miss the trip or puts me back. I don’t want the added stress from doing something last minute.

So what are you guys doing to prepare? Or am I the crazy one trying to get this way early head start?

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Travel Tips

I’ve noticed that for my blog that was intended to revolve around travel, I’ve never really done a post on travel tips or anything of the sorts so I thought maybe I should do that.

  1. Always make lots of lists. In case you haven’t noticed I’m queen of lists and I use them for about everything, this includes travel. Make a list of places you want to see in each location, a list of things you need to pack, a list for your carry-on, and a list for the smallest details of any food you want to try while venturing a new land.
  2. Be prepared. Always expect the worst. Even if the forecast says no rain for  your entire two week trip, bring an umbrella. Have emergency contact numbers with you just incase you break your arm and end up in the hospital. Have a method of transportation waiting for you when you get off the plane/train/bus. This can vary from a taxi, friend or rental car. For example, a service like Turo is perfect for an airport car rental. There are no lines and you have direct contact with the owner of the car. They’ll bring the car to the airport, you exchange pleasantries and after noting and previous damage on the car you leave with the perfect car for you and your travels.
  3. Be early. Travel time take TIME. Air travel recommends you be two hours early, I recommend three just incase. If you are taking a train, be early. If you are taking a bus, be early. The only time you have room to be late is for a road trip. The last thing you want is to miss a mode of transportation and have to delay your trip.
  4. Don’t overpack. This is my downfall, I think that I need everything and I don’t. While it’s good to be prepared you don’t need to bring a jacket with you to the beach in July, if it’s cold at night a sweatshirt is a great souvenir. If you don’t need to do work you probably don’t need your laptop. Think about your lists before you act on them, really think so  you don’t bring something stupid that takes up a lot of space. If you are going somewhere for an extended amount of time also consider packing lighter and buying things like shampoo, conditioner, soap, and other things like that while there.
  5. Don’t underpack. While it’s important to skip out on the nonessentials don’t think you can get by on a pair of shorts and three shirts for a week. Don’t forget things like socks, a nicer pair of shoes, maybe a pair of flip flops if you’re going somewhere warm. You can always get stuff while you’re away but that’s not the best way to try and think of packing, you don’t want to forget anything vital to your personal travel needs.
  6. Plan. Know where you’re staying and how you’re getting from place to place. This information is important to share with someone at home too, that way incase anything happens someone knows where you should be at all times. This is especially important when you travel alone that way incase you lose your itinerary someone else has it too. Also it’s good to know what you’re doing at all times so you know where you’re going and what exactly you’re supposed to be doing. Booking ahead is also cheaper (typically) then waiting until you get somewhere like early bird discounts and such.
  7. Utilize your carry-ons. Most airlines allow two carry-ons, use them. Make sure you bring clothes in at least one of them in case your luggage is lost or sent to the wrong place, especially if you have a connecting flight somewhere. They’re also great for flight entertainment if you have a long domestic flight without any inflight entertainment. These are of huge importance for long car rides too. You never know when you might need to get a charger out or book just incase everyone else falls asleep and you’re bored, it’s better to keep them with you than with your suitcase that’s inaccessible in the trunk.

These are just a few of my travel tips. Please leave your own favorites in the comments because I want to travel soon and maybe I’ll need them one day!

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