I’ve not written about my fears of travelling before, mainly because I’ve never really had any until the first time I was supposed to jet off to Poland (except being absolutely terrified of flying as a kid).
But I feel like I should have done.
When I Purposely missed my flight to Warsaw a couple of years ago I made it out to be a temporary bout of anxiety and job/life related mental health issues that meant putting in the effort of navigating my way around a totally different country and shared dorm rooms was definitely not something I had the mental energy for. And that was true to a point; I was mentally exhausted having just lost my job and faced with the prospect of moving back to a town I despise with my mum and her boyfriend who I despise even more than the town. But there was something else too.
I’d always been a confident solo traveller. People have been in awe of how i’ll just get on public transport, be where I need to be, do what I want to do completely on my own. They’ve said they wished they had that confidence.
And I just lost that confidence.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not a very confident person. I’m sitting in the airport right now but it’s taken a lot for me to get here. I’m still nervous as hell, I’m still trying to talk myself out of it (even though I’m through security already so I’d rather not have the aggro that comes with trying to get back out!). But I’m here, and, underneath it all, I’m excited.
I’ve tried to plan out my three days already. I’ve been advised to go on a walking tour of the city so that’s what I’m going to do tomorrow. And maybe I’ll go to the castle and cathedral tomorrow too. Tuesday I’m going to Auschwitz which I’m expecting to be heartbreaking. Wednesday I’ll have to go to bed early to be at the airport in the early hours so I’ve not fully planned my day yet. Maybe I’ll have a chilled day, maybe I’ll go to a museum, maybe the salt mines? Who knows?
What I do know is I’m going to feel incredibly proud of myself when I land back on British soil on Thursday and hopefully I’ll never have a barrier to winter solo travel again.