Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Notes from an Anxious Traveler

First of all, I apologize for my long hiatus! I'm afraid winter quarter finals and preparations for my Spring Break trip to Europe got the best of me, and for the last week and a half I have been on said vacation with my I'm afraid the blog was neglected in the meantime.

Walter and I are currently in Venice, enjoying all of the beauty, art, music, and good food the city has to offer. We have also spent time in Arles, France and Mallorca, Spain, as well as a day in Barcelona, and I have quite a few stories to tell. I am still working on processing the experiences and I am sure that quite a few will be recounted here in the future...but for now I will simply jot down a few thoughts.

1. For the anxiety-afflicted, travel becomes a veritable minefield. Fortunately, I have a wonderful travel partner who is absolutely amazing when it comes to my nervous tendencies, but sometimes they still get the best of me. While it is not always possible to use the self-soothing techniques I might employ at home, I have narrowed in on a couple of things that consistently help no matter where I am. Focusing on the breath is a good standby, of course, and always the first thing to try. Also, a cup of tea and a pastry can cure just about anything. And sometimes, the key is simply to slow down a little. It is impossible to see everything, and taking a little nap when I get overwhelmed doesn't mean I haven't used my time well.

2. Dogs make my life better, whether I'm in Seattle or Spain. Just seeing a dog eases my anxiety level, and there are plenty of adorable dogs to be seen. In the places we have traveled, people seem to love their dogs and simply accept them as part of the environment. There are a lot of dogs off-leash but none of them are aggressive, or even particularly concerned with other people nearby. However, I might make a bit of a fool of myself when I coo at every canine that passes within sight...

3. Unexpected things happen when you travel. This is a problem for someone like me, who likes to know what is happening at all times. It especially becomes difficult with the language barrier, which really exacerbates the feeling of helplessness. However, in the end things tend to work out. Even when you lose your fiance at a train station in France and meet up with him in Spain twenty-four hours later. But more on that another time...


  1. Okey is a happy dog in heaven now. :-)

    Venice is one of my favorite places on earth...and I always fantasized about taking a year off (from what, I'm not sure!) and learning to paint or take sculpture classes from the masters while wandering the narrow streets and canals.

    Happy travels!

  2. looking forward to more posts! Great reading!

  3. Today I heard a great item on the news in support of your second point above. Turns out they are trying out a therapy dog in the Library at the Yale Law School. You get to check him out for 30 minutes, sitting on a couch in a back office and feeding him a treat. All check out slots currently taken. More at