“I often have to go on business trips – Rome, Paris, Tokyo, but I don’t get pleasure from these trips,” says 38-year-old Elena. “Every time I pack my suitcase, I get a panic attack, and the night before I leave, I can’t sleep.” Elena spends her vacation in Moscow: “I like wandering the alleys, visiting friends or going to the cinema. Why should I go to the distant lands, if I have everything at hand here – both rest and entertainment? “
And 25-year-old Nikolai does not have the opportunity to go anywhere at all: “As soon as I find myself in another area, I seem to cross an invisible border – and I feel uncomfortable. I feel comfortable only in well-known places. “
When a person does not have the desire to travel, when he invariably prefers to remain in his usual environment, psychological problems may be hidden behind this. It is not a disease, such as aviaphobia (fear of flying) or agoraphobia (fear of open space). However, this behavior causes serious inconvenience and deprives of many pleasures. What are its reasons?
“People who don’t like to travel have a huge need for a sense of security,” says psychoanalyst Natalya Kigay. Difficulty adapting can be a consequence of childhood experiences. For example, too early separation from the mother.
In order to develop and grow up, a child needs to feel safe, but he cannot create it for himself. And he gets used to relying on external landmarks, including the usual place of residence, which helps to maintain peace of mind.
It happens that parents also create obstacles to the independence of the child. “Strict upbringing can suppress curiosity and create a persistent unconscious connection between exploratory, cognitive activity and anxiety, shame, and guilt,” says Natalia Kigai. “Then, at the thought of a long trip, a person experiences a vague anxiety, which he finds many“ rational ”explanations for.”
Marina, 41 years old, insurance agent: “They feared for me too long”
“A trip to some foreign resort always seemed to me like this: insects, dirt, heat, poor nutrition, another language … And why is this necessary ?! But, listening to the stories of friends, I thought with longing that I would spend a week of my vacation at the dacha with my mother, and the rest of the time I would spend at home. And then I signed up for a body-oriented therapy course.
I understood why it is so difficult for me to go far. The only daughter, I grew up without a father, my mother was always very afraid for me. She first allowed me to take the subway with friends when I was 15! Now I am mastering relaxation techniques and I hope that I will soon be able to go south with my friends – they have been calling me for a long time. “
Memory of the past
It is more difficult to get ready for a long journey for someone who grew up among closed people, wary of the outside world. Travel anxiety may not only come from a personal past. “The source can be intergenerational trauma,” emphasizes Natalya Kigay, “such as the experience of refugee or exile, forced resettlement or voluntary emigration.
Or the experience of loss: departed, killed or missing ancestors. ” Another source of concern is the psychological trauma (for example, an accident) that a person has experienced while traveling and is consciously or not afraid to repeat the negative experience.
What to do?
Understand your feelings
“Love for comfort, constancy and peace is not a disease in itself,” says Natalya Kigai. – The problem appears when we feel that something is limiting our life. Usually, during the course of psychotherapy, anxiety decreases or goes away. It does not look like something remarkable, it is realized gradually. At some point, a person remarks with surprise: “As if it always hurt, but now it does not hurt.”
Prepare the first step
There is no need to commit violence against yourself, wait until you can try to take the first step. Start traveling in a company with someone who does not have such anxiety and with whom you are reliable and interesting.
Make a travel plan
This way you can know in advance where and what you want to do and what to see. Learn more about the history and culture of the places you are going to. And take care of good roaming.
Unwillingness to grow up
The concept of “home” from the point of view of psychoanalysis is directly related to the image of the mother’s womb. The word “homeland” is the same root with the word “birth”, besides, let us remember the expression “motherland”. “Language emphasizes the connection that exists for us between the place where we live and the image of the mother’s protection,” says psychoanalyst Pascal Neveu. “Refusing to travel far from home means wanting to remain in a symbolic maternal cocoon or, more broadly, in your family unit.” Homebodies try to preserve an unchanged picture of the world, denying themselves development. However, once daring to discover the unknown, they discover something new in themselves.
To the one who is near
If you are a true travel lover, you will surely find something to tell someone who has never been to the places you love. The words of a serious and organized person will surely inspire confidence in your interlocutor, and your curiosity can inspire him. Your example and experience, perhaps, will awaken the desire to travel in him. And this will help him to see those aspects of himself that he did not notice before.
When you arrive in a new place, help him look at everything around him through the eyes of a child. Putting aside stereotypes, keep evaluating new landscapes, tastes, sounds. He likes? I do not like? So he learns a lot about himself.