Some people have travel anxiety. They tend to come up with different scenarios of everything that could go wrong when traveling. But for some people, their fear becomes too severe that they actually have an intense, irrational fear of traveling. This is what we call hodophobia. Hodophobia can stop you from living a happy life.
What Hodophobia Really Is
Sometimes, hodophobia can be too severe that this can already interfere with how you live your daily life. It can stop you from even taking private or public transportation. You can end up wasting so much time and energy going to your destination just because you can’t bear to travel.
In real-life situations, hodophobia can cause you to:
- Drive or ride a private car
- Fear traveling via any public transport like taxis, bus, plane, or ship
- Never travel alone
- Always rely on loved ones while traveling
- Have an intense fear of being separated from your group when traveling
- Fear traveling far from home
- Have panic attacks before traveling
Your fear can cause a variety of symptoms, like dizziness, rapid breathing, sweating, nausea, loss of appetite, elevated blood pressure or heart rate, and even abdominal pain. In severe cases, one can have difficulty breathing, trembling, frozen in place, experience hot flashes or chills, or even that intense feeling of losing control or dying.
How Fear of Traveling Can Ruin Your Life
Hodophobia can stop you from living life to the fullest. You may find it hard to travel alone using any mode of transportation. This makes it extremely difficult to go to places.
Hodophobia can stop you from easily going to places you need to be. This can be as simple as running errands, going to and from work, and when enjoying your vacation. It can feel like you’re missing out on all the adventures of traveling.
Your fear can also be the reason why you can’t travel alone. But sometimes, it is a good idea to travel solo at least once in a lifetime. This will teach you to be independent and is very useful when you have no loved one or people you trust available to be your travel companion.
Managing your fear of traveling
There are things you can do to stop your hodophobia from being too dependent on your loved ones when traveling. If your fear is really intense that you can’t travel alone or won’t even ride or drive a private car, then it is best to see the pros.
Enlist the help of the pros
There are many treatments available for people with hodophobia. You have the option to take cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), gradual exposure therapy, or anti-anxiety medications. Sometimes, doctors would recommend you undergo a treatment called ketamine therapy with psychotherapy.
Ketamine can be a safe and well-tolerated treatment option when administered by a physician in safe doses. Ketamine is rapid-growing as the go-to solution of physicians for patients suffering from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In most cases, patients undergoing this type of treatment can experience pain relief, improvement in anxiety symptoms, and even faster results for treatment-resistant depression.
Always Plan Your Travels
One reason people fear traveling on their own is they are afraid to get lost. With proper planning and preparation, you can have better peace of mind knowing what to expect. There are things you can’t control, but at least you still have a sense of control over where to go.
Plan your trip ahead of time and avoid spontaneous travels. Know exactly where to go, what mode of transportation to take, what time, and what your alternatives are. Arrive early and always have a travel backup plan for everything.
Bring Your Essentials
There are things that can help you tone down your anxiety. When you need to travel alone, bringing your travel essentials will help ease your symptoms. This can include things that can help distract you while traveling like:
- Your favorite book, movie, music, or podcast
- Download video games you enjoy playing on your phone
- Get some work done on your laptop
- Draw or doodle on your notebook or iPad
- Your favorite healthy snacks and drinks in non-spill containers
What to Avoid
There are things you need to avoid before and when traveling. For one, avoid nightcaps, caffeine, and processed food. These will only make you more dehydrated, which can worsen your anxiety.
Avoid watching or reading anything that can trigger your fear of traveling. This can include travel disasters and movies about getting lost or being abducted while traveling. As much as possible, avoid going on a trip without a plan.
One should take hodophobia seriously and ask for professional help as needed. You should not let your fear stop you from enjoying the simple things in life, like traveling. As you slowly grow out of your fear, you can finally enjoy things that many people take for granted. You will see travels in a new light, and even start traveling on your own.