On Traveling for the First Time Alone

This past January, I finally decided to make an appointment to renew my passport. Since I get to have a week off from school because of Reading Week, I planned to make my trip on that week. It was supposed to be just a two-day-one-night trip but since this is the first time that I get to travel alone, I might as well make the most out of it. In the end, I went away from three days and two nights.

Because this is a solo trip, I also get to book my own flights and hotel. I used my Air Miles and More Rewards points to help me save money. It took me hours to choose which flights to go and hotel to stay at. I wanted to arrive in Vancouver as early as I can and leave as late as I can just so I have lots of time to explore the city. The hotel that I wanted has to not need lots of Air Miles and should be in or near Canada Place. Finally, I settled with an early morning flight (5:20 am) so I get to arrive in Vancouver at around 9 am and a later returning flight at 5:30 pm. The hotel that I got was in downtown Granville and was just steps away from the shopping and food places as well as just minutes away from Canada Place.

On the days leading through my flight, I would check and double check my flight and hotel just to make sure that I have it all prepared. I would read tips on travelling alone as well as packing tips. The night before my flight, I was still packing up stuff on to my carry-on. I was torn between carrying my whole wardrobe or just bring a change of four outfits plus sleep wear. In the end, I just picked whatever I liked to bring and since I was going to a big city anyway, I can just always buy whatever I would need.

On the day of my flight, I almost missed the checking in at 4:50 am because I reached the airport at around 4:55 am. Thank goodness for online check-in. Phew. Anyways, I booked a Plus Seat for that flight and it was ah-mazing. Actually, all of my flights were awesome. In 3.5 out of 4 flights that I had, I was seated next to no one. The 0.5 was my flight from Vancouver to Kelowna where I was seated next to this girl then Kelowna to Calgary where I was seated next to no one.

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This was the best part of my flight to Calgary. ❤

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Since this is a trip to a big city, I decided to eat at places that I wouldn’t get at GP. So it took me over 30 minutes to find places that I would love to try. There were tons of pizza and sushi places and I could always get that here. In the end, I got to eat in Nando’s (a Portuguese-style restaurant), Guu Garden (Japanese restaurant), Congee Noodle Delight (Chinese restaurant) and Cafe Crepe (crepe place). I made sure to order foods that I couldn’t get here for me to atleast get a unique food experience.

The highlight of this trip would be my dinner at the Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant. This was an experience that I loved and would love to do again. It might have been hella expensive but it was worth the price. I wish I could have stayed longer in that restaurant (I was there over an hour) because the view was just to pretty to pass.

My trip involved a lot of walking. I walked to Chinatown, World of Science and all around the Granville area. I was able to sit by a window and just observe people go by their daily lives. I was able to, in a really short while, experience what it’s like to live in this big city. This trip has enabled me to realize how I much I actually love travelling to new places. I’ve always known that I would love to travel at some point, but now that I’ve finally done it alone, I would love to do it again. This trip has helped become less anxious as I was finally able to get a rest from many stressors in this place and have a getaway to another place.

This trip has helped me relax, even for just a bit. This is what I needed and would need again. Here’s to me going to another new place alone again.*cheers*

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On Losing My Safe Place

My car died Monday morning. I still don’t know what was wrong with it but we tried whatever home solutions we could think of. We jump start, changed the battery and added something to the fuel. I was told that I have to wait until the weather becomes warmer to try and start it again because it was just probably too cold for my car to start.

It might be weird for a lot of people for me to say this but this really increases my anxiety level. The thing is that my car is my safe place. I’ve had this car since September and have never been apart from it until last Monday. I remember being so happy when I finally got my license because I can now drive this car wherever I go. I really enjoy driving and driving is one of the things that calms me down. I would sometimes take long and unnecessary routes home just so I can drive longer.

Many people can tell me to just suck it up and wait for my car to get fixed. The thing is that losing my car, even for just a few days, is already affecting my mental health. I would wake up and my thoughts would go directly to my car and my anxiety would start. All throughout the day, I would worry about the car and would wonder how much longer would I wait to get my safe place back. The best thing that I’ve realized when I had this car was that if ever an anxiety attack creeping up on me, I could just easily slip into my car and pour my heart out. I’ve done this a couple of times and it brought me so much comfort that I don’t have to hold the attack much longer until I can get home.

I’d probably get my car fixed by Saturday. I just want my safe place back.

Today, I Had the Worst Anxiety Attack

Today was such a stressful day for me. I woke up uneasy. I woke up early, reviewed for my midterm then finalized my powerpoint for my report. As soon as I woke up, there was already the silent buzz of butterflies in my stomach. I knew that I was just a bit nervous for my report. I read and reread my scientific journal. I double checked my powerpoint, making sure that I have all the important points in there. I practiced my presentation a lot of time, even the ‘punchlines’ that I would add and some ‘adlibs’ that I was planning to say. I was all set.

I prepared to go to school. I knew that I would already skip my first class because it was just a lecture and I needed all the time in the world to prepare for my presentation and midterm. Suddenly, the buzzing in my stomach became more intense and I tried my hardest to ignore it. I started my car and started gathering my school stuff so I can leave. I bade my mom goodbye then went to my car when I realized that it wasn’t running anymore. My car typically stop running if I don’t use it after over 10 minutes so I thought it was just done running. But my windshield was not defrosted and the inside of the car was too cold. I knew at that moment that I was screwed and needed someone to jump my car. My stomach turned into a knot and I had to stop myself from crying because I didn’t want my mom to see me break down. Neither of us knew how to boost a car so I had to call a taxi to help me boost my car.

I sat in the living room while waiting for the taxi. I watched Running Man videos to distract myself but I noise of the heater bothered me and my head was aching. The butterflies in my stomach was having party. It was past 11:30 already and I knew that I’m screwed, I missed my midterm. I texted my friend an hour before that I’m dropping Socio as a ‘prank’ but I guess that’s what I’ll have to do because I just missed 30% of my grade. I texted my Genetics teacher that I’ll be late for class and will have to miss the quiz (although she’ll let me do it another time). The taxi arrived but we weren’t able to boost my car so I had to take the same taxi to school.

I arrived in school, late and anxiety-driven. Teacher said that it was my time to present so I went up. At this point, I was still able to hold onto the intense feeling building up within me when on my first slide, I felt disoriented and everything became louder and brighter. I had take a deep breath and hoped that everyone in the class thought that I was just being overly nervous. I had to rush through my report, stumble over my words and not say whatever additional details I would have wanted to add and say. As soon as I was done, I ran out of the classroom and went to the women’s washroom. I stayed in the cubicle for over 30 minutes. The whole time was a battle between trying to stay calm and letting my emotions burst out. I would calm down then a random thought would pop out of my head and I would cry again. I had two girls ask me if I was okay and I told them I was. I mean, I was … I guess. I eventually calmed down and went back to the classroom to grab my things. I knew that my eyes were puffy although less red. It was obvious that I was crying but I didn’t give a shit at that point. I was still emotionally vulnerable and if I care enough about what they think, I could easily have another meltdown in the corridor.

This whole day was my most feared day ever since I was told that I am an anxious person. This is the reason why I have to plan everything that I do and condition myself. I did not plan, I did not condition myself. This was a scary feeling, a scary memory. Today may be bad, but tomorrow is another day. It’s gonna be a good day, it has to be.