Over last and this week, I shared the recap of my solo trip to Disneyland Paris that I have done in September. In this post, I will talk about my social anxiety experience during this trip.
My social anxiety is something that I do not talk a lot over here and yet, it’s something who makes me down in my life. I have social anxiety since about 10 years and over the two last years, I have done so much progress and particularly since last year when I started to travel in solo. When I think to my very first solo trip that I have done in April 2018, I ask me how I was able to leave the house two nights at 700 km away with my social anxiety. Since this trip and at each solo trip, my social anxiety is going better and I deal better with. I recently realized also that my social anxiety is so much powerful around my city that when I’m in a city far from mine. I don’t know why! Maybe because around my city I have all my past. But! This is the simple explication of how I’m able to travel in solo while I feel more anxious to go to a store in my city.
Well! On my solo trip to Disneyland Paris this month, my social anxiety has been more powerful on the two first days particularly than on the solo trips that I have done before. The reason is simple, I went out of my comfort zone on this solo trip. Before, I was always used to doing a few things that I have done before with my family while than during this Disneyland trip, I went out these things. In the destinations that I have chosen before, I was able to do simple things to not deal too much with my social anxiety. But with Disneyland, I had to do some new and more challenging things and things that I have never done with my family before. It was hard but at the end it was the best also!
Disneyland Paris is my therapy place for my anxiety and flashbacks but I declared it also like the best place to recover from social anxiety. Seriously! I don’t know if it’s the magic of Disneyland who does this or not. The cast members are so amazing! From the guest flow to a cashier or waiter, the cast members are amazing! Their attitudes in their work make me feel good and less anxious socially.
Here are the things that I dealt the more with my social anxiety during this trip and how I felt about!
Hotel // I talked a bit about the hotel situation in my first recap. This solo trip has been a big change because I took four nights while on my three previous solo trips, I only took two nights but it’s not of this that I will talk there. It’s more about the hotel location. During my two solo trips in Nice in 2018, I took a hotel on the Promenade des Anglais who was very near another hotel where I was with my parents, I knew the environment. On my trip in Paris during April this year, it was the same situation.
For Disneyland, it was different. Already the Disneyland hotels situation is different compared to a big city. They are just hotels awhile in a big city you have everything else around. I booked the Vienna House Dream Castle and the personnel were really nice even if I was really anxious during the check-in. The hotel is localized to 10 minutes to the parks with the shuttle but it was in the countryside with just three other hotels around.
It was just something who anxious me so much this change in the hotel position. Before, booking a hotel in a big city with everything around was something who kept in a comfort zone because I knew the position about. I was never in a hotel around the position that I have chosen for my hotel on my Disneyland trip. I was really anxious in the beginning but at the end I felt really better. And I was not so anxious during my trip that I was before my trip.
New Transports // I took a hotel with a free shuttle, BUT, free or not, it was something new and who anxious me. Already, before I always took hotels situation that I knew but I always have done that once on the spot, I can move in the city only by walk and without taking any kind for transports (except this from the gare station or airport to the hotel), here on this trip not! The shuttle from the hotel to the park was about 10 minutes and if I was anxious about this new thing before the trip and on the first day that I took it. The rest of the time, I felt ok about! Even, when I took at 11h00 pm, the shuttle was often full and even if the peoples around can anxious me, I liked more when it was full than empty.
Annual Pass Holder // I bought my annual pass holder back in May and during my trip to Disneyland, I have it officially profitable financially. About the price of the entries in the parks! But! I have a pass holder who gives me reductions in restaurants, shops and on a lot of other things but here it’s the restaurants and shops the important. Except use my pass holder to the entrance of the parks, I have never used my reductions because of my anxiety! It was the time during this trip that I start to use this privileges of my pass holder. Right! I was anxious because I did not know how use it really. At what time when I order or buy something I must show my pass holder??! It’s can be weird but I was terrified about this. I asked me so many questions about and because of my social anxiety, my brain was going in all directions.
On my second day, I breathe and launched me and finally use it for the first time. I ordered my hot chocolate and without telling one word I show in the same time my pass holder and the cashier scans it. That’s all! Not more simple! Really! I have used it almost every time that I bought a thing in a restaurant or in a shop. It was amazing! I was so happy to have been able to use it. I was proud of me each time that I used it! I just need to show it and they scan it. I economized a bit of money thanks to this and if I could not have this anxiety and use it each time, I could have economized again more. But that’s ok! I feel good about because even if it was not on the first day, I was able to use it while it was a really big anxiety source.
Social Interactions // The big deal when you have social anxiety is to have social interactions. I’m really bad about! Going in a shop and say hello is hard, going in a restaurant and order food is hard but now these are some things that I have done many times to Disneyland and I feel better even if I have always an anxiety touch. Now, to have more social interactions is again harder and I have never done it before. But! On this trip, I have done it. I had many little different kinds of social interactions.
An of my most good memories in my social interactions on this trip is when I had a bunch of peoples who asked me if I can to take them in photos. I have always answered yes with pleasure. During four days, peoples asked me in three different languages to take them in photos. French, English and Spanish, I found that really cool, I have learned a few words in Spanish now and I’m more motivated to learn this language. Fun social interactions!
I’m going back next month to Disneyland Paris and if I need to start planning what shows I want to see and things I want to do, I need to launch myself a new social challenge also. Ready! Set! Go!
A few months ago, I shared SIX HELPFUL TIPS HOW I MANAGE MY SOCIAL ANXIETY, tips that I used over this trip of course, and I used my HELPFUL TIPS TO MANAGE MY GENERAL ANXIETY ON TRAVEL.