Wanderlust: a strong desire to travel. There has always been this deep desire in my heart to travel. For some reason, hopping on an airplane is exhilarating and all part of the adventure. Once upon a time, I even tried to convince my dad into investing in a new business venture for me – travel blogging. He didn’t quite like the idea, as he didn’t know how he was benefiting from the investment – I guess who could blame him! However, I need to let you all in on a little secret, airports terrify me. Let me say that again airports terrify me, not the flights – airports.

I’m Scared of Airports

Travel day brings an elevated level of stress. Every time I step into an airport, I immediately enter a time warp back to when I was 13 years old. My siblings and I were surprised with a trip to Walt Disney World. As we were making our way to our connecting flight in Atlanta, I took a wrong turn and ended up on a tram in the wrong direction of my family. As the tram was pulling away, I noticed my family wasn’t on the tram and I could see my dad’s face through the tram’s windows. With the help of a guardian angel at the next tram stop, I sprinted in the right direction trying to find my family (I have NO sense of direction) and there my dad was sprinting towards the tram stop.

Here I am 30-plus years after this traumatizing event for a junior high student and travel anxiety for me is still incredibly REAL. My family will attest to this anxiety and in all reality, they do not help in combating this fear. It is incredibly difficult to experience new places with such a fear of airports, but I can honestly say that the excitement doesn’t start until I am waiting at the gate.

Trying to Ease my Travel Anxiety

My anxiety starts creeping up a few days before the flights with insomnia. For how prepared to fly I believe I am the list below seeps into my mind.

  • Worry about proper documentation
  • The security lines
  • Crowds and chaos
  • Other anxious people running around

At the airports, I am very irritable and have an overall tense feeling until I reach the boarding gate and walk down the passenger bridge to the airplane. I constantly remind myself to not give in to the anxiety of airports, however, that is easier said than done.

I am currently blogging from an airport, waiting for my next flight. I just returned from a family vacation, where we had two international flights. In a few short hours, I will go through the entire airport process for a domestic flight to a leadership conference. To combat some anxiety (or at least try) I have signed up for travel alerts on the Carriers app, I have another book to read, I have calming music downloaded, and a journal to record my thoughts. However, probably the most important way to relieve anxiety is to not get caught up in the chaos around me.

Adventure is out there, and it is always waiting for me just beyond the boarding gate – however, I must conquer the airport process first.

Shelly Mowinkel

Shelly Mowinkel

K-12 & Teens

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is a freshman in high school, and our youngest is in second grade. Most days, I feel like we are a “tag-team chauffeuring” service, yet I wouldn’t have our life any other way. Not only I am a business/technology teacher at Milford, I am also the district technology integration specialist. I love teaching because I get the opportunity to make those around me better. My hope is that, through my blogging, I am able to inspire, encourage, and share with you my adventures of being a wife, mother, and professional.

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