Traveling Alone: An Introvert’s Nightmare Part 1~Entering The Airport and Navigating Unfamiliar Territory

Well, maybe traveling alone for you wasn’t a nightmare but it was for me. This is the first part in a short series that will cover everything I experienced on my first trip alone. It includes airport anxiety, Starbucks, overpriced food and much more. In this first part, I want to talk about entering the airport and finding my way around.

Now, I have been in an airport before but, I was with someone else who I let take the lead and navigate for me. They knew where to go and what to do and I didn’t really have to worry about anything else. But walking in on your own is really freaking scary. I knew to follow the signs and just ask if I needed help (which I did). I was able to check a bag, thank you, parents, for giving me your miles, and then I was also able to go through a shorter security line, which was awesome! But here came the anxiety of trying to get all my shit picked up and off the line without looking like a total doofus. It helped that the guy in front of me had like 14 bags to push through so I didn’t super awkward picking up my shoes and laptop and walking to a bench to get my crap together.

I had made it. Anyone who has dealt with or is dealing with anxiety will understand when I say, that even though I knew I was fine and that everything would be fine I was still silently freaking out. And my stomach was in knots the whole time. It was a nightmare but I survived. Whoo!!

After this, my biggest concern was finding the Starbucks and getting a venti sweet cream vanilla cold brew and a sandwich. It was my first trip I decided to treat myself. The line was long, like normal. The coffee and food were expensive, like normal. It was delicious, like normal. yumm

Then the next ‘fun’ part of my experience was trying to find my damn gate. Holy hell it was a journey. My gate was literally at the very end of the terminal and I wasn’t super smart and I didn’t take the train thingy to shorten my trip. I learned my lesson with that one. Just thinking about it now I am getting worn out. Thankfully the area was empty and there were plenty of seats to choose from. (I was nearly two hours early but thank god I was, there was so much traffic on our way there.) And there were cartoons playing!! Which was nice, cause Netflix wasn’t working and I was trying to save my phone battery for the flight. And having all that spare time was nice. It gave me a chance to cool down and relax. I was able to walk around and explore before the actual flight.

For you, this might seem a bit over dramatic and childish but for someone like me who deals with anxiety, traveling alone was a hurdle I was afraid to overcome. And I did. And for others, this might be relatable to a scary degree. And it is those who can relate that I hope this can maybe make you laugh a little and let you know that you are not alone.

That’s it for part one! Part two is all about the flight! (sneak peek~ My dad surprised me with a first class ticket)

Let me know about your first time traveling alone in the comments below!

Thank you so much for reading!

~Chelsea

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