I really hate myself for cancelling my trip to Warsaw, especially since the best version of myself is the one when I’m solo travelling and exploring new places, but I just knew that going wouldn’t be the right thing for me to do.
I booked the flights back in December when Ryanair had a sale on. The trip was for March 10th and it seemed so far away at the time, but when it was getting very close last week I started to dread it. I pushed it to the back of my mind, I ignored all the emails telling me to check in, and I put off booking accommodation, as I just couldn’t face it. I’ve recently quit my job so I’ve got the worry of not finding another one looming over me, I’m trying to sort out volunteering that will really help my future career, I’m in the middle of applying for a master’s with a deadline fast approaching. And the big one – my mental health is seriously failing me right now.
Now, if I manage to walk into town and back or fall asleep less than two hours after I’ve turned my light off, I consider it a victory. I’m not going to go into detail but I’m struggling.
Last Friday, the day before I was due to fly, I woke up feeling like I could take on the World, so I decided I was taking the flight. I booked accommodation (very cheap so I haven’t lost much money there), changed £60 into Zloty (hopefully the exchange rate isn’t too poor when I change this back) and packed my bag. I had some renewed energy and I thought it would last.
That night I knew something was wrong with me. I wasn’t hungry, I couldn’t sleep, and I just felt restless. When my alarm went off the morning of the flight I just cried – and couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to go. I knew I couldn’t go. I knew I had to think about cancelling my trip.
It wasn’t Warsaw that I didn’t want to go to. In fact, I was so looking forward to exploring this lovely looking city. It was everything else that goes with solo travelling that I just didn’t have the energy for. The thought of staying in a hostel with 5 strangers filled me with dread even though I’ve done it plenty of times before. The thought of having to put in the work to find someone to go out with at night was something I just couldn’t do. And, what if I didn’t find people to hang out with? What would I eat (as I don’t have the confidence to take myself out for dinner)? What would I do if I couldn’t figure out what to do in the daytime? If I lost all confidence during my trip to Croatia I would just go and lie on the beach all day and boost myself back up, but I couldn’t do that on a Winter trip. I knew if loneliness kicked in on what was supposed to be a fun weekend away I would sink further into this state that I’m in.
Typing it all out makes it sound so silly, but I just knew that all my deeply hidden fears and all the things I secretly hate about solo travel had come to the forefront. I knew my already fragile state couldn’t cope and I wouldn’t have the resilience I have during summer trips. I knew that, even though I think I would have really liked the city of Warsaw itself, I would have come back home feeling far worse than I already do.
It’s taken me a while to realise but sometimes you just must put yourself and your mental health first, no matter how hard that seems at the time. I quit my job because it was making me miserable, I ended up cancelling my trip because I didn’t have the energy for it. Trips are supposed to be fun and relaxing; they’re not worth making yourself feel bad over. I love travelling – and I still do – and I usually love the confident, (almost) fearless person I become when I am travelling, but sometimes the things you love just aren’t right for you at the time, and there is absolutely no shame in admitting that. I probably would have loved the trip once I was there but, then again, all my fears and anxieties could have come true. I’ll never know which it would have been, but I do know that, at the moment when I burst into tears at the sound of my alarm, cancelling my trip was the best decision I could have made for me and my mental health.
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Have you ever had to cancel a trip before? Let me know in the comments!
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