Sunday, July 1, 2012

Travelling With OCD

So,I am about to go out of town for a few days. And I thought I would write a post about what goes through my mind when I am about to travel and be in other peoples homes and spaces. I like to go places, but it can also bring me anxiety. This can come on while packing, on the way there, and while I am there.

Packing, well lets just say that it is a mini nightmare for me. What the heck are we doing and what should I wear so I look like I belong in the proper activity.  Lord, I tend to pack WAY more than I need because I could change my mind about the appropriateness of an outfit at any given time. I need to be able to change clothing if and when this occurs.  So I spend days thinking about what I should pack. I may go and pick something up from the store if I feel I don't have something "right" for the situation.  I put out different outfits on the bed. My thoughts get jumbled on what I might feel like wearing, so I pack double to be sure. And then I still worry it won't be enough or won't be good enough. So for a 4 day trip I probably pack enough for 8 days. Uh!

On the way there. We are travelling on the interstate. Lots of cars, lots of stops at strange places, lots of anxiety.  I have to force myself to not to think about the numerous opportunities for accidents while driving. What if's, can get out of control if I am not careful. Then the stops at odd bathrooms and restaurants. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.  If you have any amount of contamination OCD, need I say more??? It can be challenging to say the least.

Then I am there. Out of my house, out of my control...well that is how it feels. This is a tricky thing for me. I am someone who hoards privacy for themselves and likes their own bathroom and own space.  I am not one of those get up and go naturally girls. I need to put on my  make up and do my hair and "get ready".  Then I go to McDonalds for  my morning coffee. Yes, I do this every morning. It's how I've always done it. Well. maybe not the coffee part, but the rest.  So if I am at someone else's house this can be anxiety ridden for me as I feel like I need to hurry up. I feel like I should offer to everyone, coffee?  But they usually say no, or they make it themselves. Which I don't do, so then I feel like I look nuts.

Anyways, I am concerned the whole time about doing and saying the right things. And making myself seem likeable....and making sure my family is not getting annoyed with me because I might not be social enough.  Or I may appear ungrateful to the hosts when in actuality I am anxious. 

So...there it is. And the person I am going to see this week will probably read this which makes me nervous. But I just think I should share it to get it out of my head. Is there anything you do to make yourself better when travelling?  Or am I the only one who goes through this??


  1. I go through this constantly! Most of the time when traveling, I don't stay at someone's house, but in a hotel. I know that can be even more gross, but I have a routine behind that. I ask the hotel to leave the blankets off after changing the sheets because I'm allergic to the weird fabric or whatever they use on them. Second I bring a can of Lysol and spray everything down. When it comes to packing I obsess over what I wear and pack. I even make lists and check them every day for two weeks before I even go. If you feel like someone thinks you are ungrateful, just reassure them that you really appreciate everything they are doing to accommodate you, but you get anxious when you aren't in normal surroundings. Best of luck and hope you have a great trip!

  2. I am better traveling than at my own house. I know that is weird. I don't like public restrooms though and that is a huge anxiety factor for me. But my checking rituals go away because of my "your house, your problem" attitude. I won't put my suitcase on a hotel bedspread or use it because I know they don't wash them like they do sheets. But I am at my kids' homes all the time and love anxiety ramps up just thinking of going home. I wiah I could be as relaxed in my own house. I hope you have a great trip.

  3. I, too, pack enough to be gone for 2 weeks when I'm only going to be gone for a few days! I'm always thinking "what if" and packing more. I don't like to use public restrooms, and when I'm at someone else's house, it's hard, because I like my privacy and own bathroom too. But, it's nice to be away from the regular routine sometimes, and I sure do hope you have a fun trip! :-)

  4. I am a list maker for big things like travel. I do hate overpacking especially if the kids are involved (had 5 at home at one time..down to 3 now). So for me, the less the better. I take comfortable clothes and a few nice outfits for going out to eat. The public bathrooms gross me out so bad. I hover! I don't touch knobs/handles with my hands. Must have paper towels. I flush toilets with my foot or toilet paper. Etc, etc. As for the morning coffee, I don't have that but do need to eat in the morning within a certain amount of time after waking. If staying with friends/family I will bring with and make a store trip for food that makes me happy.