It’s been a minute, a week exactly.
I am clacking away on the keys of my laptop from a nearly empty hostel room in Krabi City, Thailand. I am cozied up in my little pod-bed, still adjusting the completely flipped time zone. It’s currently 7:31 AM here in Krabi, while in Tampa (where I spent the last two weeks) it is 7:31 PM. Talk about transition.
Anyway, many of you might believe this transition is a piece of cake for me. After all, I am a travel-blogger, I lived out of my car with a very loose plan and not a lot of prep, and I am an empowered woman.
NEWSFLASH: travel is not always easy for me.
A lot of the time my anxiety steps in and takes over. I sit in my plane seat spinning about how any moment my motion sickness is going to take over and the next 13 hours will be unbearable. Or lay awake in my hostel bed, like I did last night, frantically researching if the four hour ferry from Krabi to Koh Lanta has bathrooms (PS, I still don’t know, and I’m still sort of freaking out about it).
Honestly ya’ll, the start to this years round of international wandering has been wrought with lots of stress, second guessing, and worry.
Chances are, I’ll always worry in some capacity. But for me, my worry is a pattern, a cycle I built for myself long ago and got used to.
It goes like this: I worry, I manifest horrible things, said horrible things happen, all my worry is validated, so I continue to worry and bad stuff continues to happen.
My trip abroad in 2016 was pretty reminiscent of this pattern, I stressed a ton about my health (a consistent worry for me) and I was sick a lot, I was even hospitalized for 3 days. It was not until the end of my trip that I just started loving my body without expectation or worry, and because of that the end of my trip was magic.
Now, heading out across the ocean once again, I find myself falling back into the same pattern of worry.
This pattern actually kicked back into gear when I was in Tampa, FL, temporarily living at my friend’s house. I was living a life I was accustomed to: sleeping in a bed at night, watching TV while eating breakfast in the morning, heading to the gym mid-day, etc.
And all of a sudden as I stepped back into a routine similar to my life in Washington, I simultaneously stepped back into worry. “I’ve gone pee 3 times in the past hour — I have a UTI.” or “I am going to Thailand — therefore I am going to get bit my mosquito and die.” On and on, the worry went, and it hasn’t stopped.
Worry is my constant companion. We are homegirls. But not the kind of homegirls that build one another up. Not the kind that yell: “Yasss Queen” or share the other’s latest instagram post because sharing is caring, and most definitely not the kind that pick one another up off the floor after a horrible day.
Instead, we battle, we tear each other down, we compete to see who will win, and ya’ll she is hard to beat. But I put a ton of distance between myself and my girl, worry, when I left Washington in Luna.
When I drove out of Washington, I drove away from worry too. I drove away from a pattern I knew so well. I totally switched my life up.
Very little about my routine was familiar. I went to bed in an entirely different place at an entirely different time. I woke up with the sun to make breakfast with my frozen hands. I moved my body more and had far less stimulation. And as a result, I let my pattern of worrying go. And guess what? I felt so free, I didn’t get sick, not once (and it was the Fall, and I ALWAYS get sick in the Fall), I started to listen to myself more, and I didn’t sweat the small stuff.
But as I stepped back into the familiar, into a life in a home, into travel abroad, I stepped back into my pattern.
My point in sharing this is:
To be real — because I am so totally imperfect, flawed and kind of a hot mess a lot of the time, and I don’t want to hide it. I want you to know that you’re not alone, if you feel like a hot mess too. (X, that’s done, moving along to the next one).
To talk about how pushing yourself outside your comfort zone can break patterns that do not serve you! (XX, that’s done. And PS you don’t have to live in your car and travel cross country to break your patterns, just switch up your routine).
To share the ways I’m practicing self care now and attempting to shift my pattern. (Whoops haven’t covered this one yet, let’s dive in…)
Alrighty, so you’ve let me rant and rave about my worry, my cycle, the ways I’ve broken it and the struggle I’m having currently. But let me provide some solace.
Yes, I may be worrying, I may be brushing my teeth with bottled water and googling bathroom breaks at 3 AM. But in these moments instead of buying into the worry, I work on shifting it with mantras.
One I really like right now is: “You and your body are safe and healthy.”
It’s pretty rad, if I just repeat it to myself, while using my breath to calm my body, I am able to step out of the spin.
My mantra doesn’t work forever, I usually step back into worry a few hours or days later. But the more I do it, the more I break my pattern. The more I embrace the feeling I had while living out of Luna, the feeling of freedom and trust.
So if you’re spinning in a cycle of worry too, I encourage you to switch up your routine, break the pattern you have fallen into, and sooth yourself with a mantra that works for you!
If you have questions, if you want to have a conversation, if you think I’m totally wack and mantra’s are silly, whatever it might be, feel free to reach out, to comment, to share. I am always open.
Sending lots of love to you today,