Social Anxiety and Traveling

Honestly, I was originally not going to go on this trip and participate in this program. I was a big homebody and didn’t really like doing things outside of my comfort zone. There was also financial factors that contributed to that, but that is a whole different story. I was someone who had a very hard time making friends and talking to people in a general setting. Therefore, being in a new country where the main language was a language I didn’t speak very well made me nervous. When someone has social anxiety, their brain provides all these negative scenarios on how people would react to them and what they think about them. I didn’t want to be put in one of those negative scenarios my brain came up with especially in a place where I wasn’t familiar with the culture or the social norms. When I got to Spain, I noticed that it wasn’t much different from America, except that the people there had a staring problem. I think it was because we looked different and sounded different, and as a result, they weren’t accustomed to that, but it was still a huge turn off for me when it came to interacting with people. I didn’t want someone to give me a hard time because my Spanish wasn’t good, or I didn’t want them to make fun of me because of that, but to be honest, I realized how similar this was to the reverse in America with non English speakers. I could understand how frustrating it was when you couldn’t get your point across, or when people made fun of how you spoke their native language. That was one of my biggest takeaways from this trip. Overall, I think it went pretty okay when it came to my social anxiety. I didn’t do anything that I knew would be out of my comfort zone except for maybe a few times when I had friends with me. I don’t know how this trip affected my social skills over all, but it was definitely a good experience for me and was beneficial to me in becoming more comfortable socially.