“When Will We Invent Teleportation?” Dealing with Pre-Travel Anxiety

Ashley Neumeister
June 3, 2014

It’s when you know you’re excited about your upcoming trip, but for some reason you’re still dragging your heels and wanting to be left alone while you pack. When someone says “getting there is half of the journey” with the best of intentions, but the thought of thirty total hours of travel there and back still makes you want to punch a pillow and scream at the top of your lungs. When you seriously wonder when scientists will invent teleportation so you can just be there without all the hassle, or larger-on-the-inside bags like in Harry Potter and Doctor Who so you can be absolutely sure you’ve brought everything you need. When deciding whether you really need to make four copies of all your documents makes you burst into tears (okay, maybe that’s just me). If that’s you, then you likely have pre-travel anxiety.

I get nervous very, very easily (to give you an idea, if you want me to be your friend, please don’t make me watch Paranormal Activity or any other horror film), so this is normal for me. Problem is, I’ve never been out of the country for more than two weeks, and I don’t personally know anyone that I’m going to be in China with. So naturally, this is making something that’s already stressful really, really intimidating. These are some things that I’ve used to help with the stress:

  • — Realize that this has to do with the trip, and admit that you’re nervous. If you need to get emotional, do so. Knowing that this is normal for me helps me keep it in perspective.
  • — Try to stay calm and logical. For a more caricature example, even if you fear you’re going to get mugged, you know you don’t need to pack nunchucks.
  • — Try to take your mind off the stress. Go out for a run, take a yoga or kickboxing class, or do some laps in a pool. If athletic activities don’t calm you, do some art or writing.
  • — Think about what you’re nervous about, and plan accordingly. If you worry that the flight is going to be bad (for instance, it’s very hard for me to sleep on a plane), load up your e-reader or tablet with books, music, and movies to occupy your time. If you worry that you’ll get sick abroad, wash your hands all the time and bring hand sanitizer and some tried-and-true medicine.
  • — Obviously, try not to let it dictate your behavior. In other words, don’t throw a tantrum and don’t lash out. If someone is bothering you, tell him/her politely that what (s)he’s doing isn’t making you feel better. Being a jerk isn’t going to make people want to help you.

For me, it gets worse in the days leading up to when I leave, and generally dissipates after I get there. So, hopefully, this will pass sooner than later. Good luck, and I’ll see you in Beijing!


Ashley Neumeister

<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I am a rising senior at Tulane University, studying Anthropology and Asian Studies with a Russian minor. In my spare time, I enjoy writing dark supernatural fantasy novels as well as science fiction. I am also a hopeless geek, so if you&#39;re into LORD OF THE RINGS, FIREFLY, STAR WARS, or RATCHET &amp; CLANK, feel free to talk with me about it!</span></div>

2014 Summer 1, 2014 Summer 2
Home University:
Tulane University of Louisiana
Asian Studies
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