Book Review, The Anxious Traveler, by Rita Anya Nara

By MILT GROSS | Nov 03, 2013
Photo by: Milt Gross The Anxious Traveler, published by Antareura Media, contains an apparently complete list of how to worry -- actually overcome that problem -- while traveling.

The Anxious Traveler takes you through probably all possible scenarios of being worried as you travel.

Dolores and my traveling is limited, generally by Toyota as we don’t like crowds and confusion, with our most stressful moment being the final question before we lock the front door, “Is the cat in?”

Aside from that, packing at home, unpacking at a motel, packing again at a motel, doing that as often as necessary during the trip, and finally unpacking at home are our biggest problems. We like to travel -- in the Toyota, that is. But if we could eliminate these causes of stress, including being sure of where that darn cat is, we could be happy on the road.

But Rita Anya Nara took a lot of other baggage with her on her travels, which were worldwide, and anxiety about this and that and other stuff became her bulkiest luggage.

I don’t know who Antareura Media is, probably an advertising company from what I learned searching for it online. This company published the book this year, 2013, and it carries on the back cover a price of $14.95 in the U.S. That’s more than I want to pay for a paperback even with 244 pages.

Unless I’m worried about traveling.

I found lots of information in it, although I don’t expect Dolores and I will be using much of it for our limited travels. We go to the Craignair Inn at Spruce Head, about two hours away, which is far enough for us. And I take a day trip once a year to the Maine Appalachian Trail Club annual meeting in Farmington, a three-hour venture with time added for my annual breakfast stop at The Restaurant in Norridgewock.

Oh yes, and I’ve got to drive 15 miles to go back to work this afternoon. I’m a bit anxious, because I have to leave in 30 minutes and haven’t yet eaten lunch. Going without lunch could be stressful.

I ate lunch and went back to work. Now that I’m on the computer again, I’ll list a few of the topics for which The Anxious Traveler contains stress relievers:

“Reconceptualization (a word of which I’ve never heard):

“(understanding that the places, things, activities,and people that cause you anxiety can be managed differently to mitigate your fears)

“Acquiring skills (reading this book, and traveling)

“Generalized Anxiety Disorder


and another type of list:

“Why Do People with a Psychiatric Condition Want to Travel?

Answers: “Being in the moment. ...The key to managing anxiety when you travel is to understand that being someplace new and different constantly pulls you into your surroundings; you don’t have the weight of the future and past bearing down on you simultaneously.”

That one sounds familiar. Getting rid of that “weight” was a feeling I experienced years ago, when I traveled more with my first wife and children. I really enjoyed that relief from everyday responsibility -- never mind that when I was journalist at a weekly paper, I sometimes had to write basically a week’s worth of stories before leaving in order to discharge my journalist’s responsibility. But afterwards, we could jump in the car and go, freeing ourselves from everyday burdens.

Part of a list of ways to make travel easier:

“Identify and address triggers

“Seek a restful environment

“Shipping medications to yourself

The guidebook also contains another type of list, where you write the responses, such as “What I was afraid to do on my trip, and did anyway:”

Of course, no comma is needed before “and did anyway,” but I didn’t edit the book, so it doesn’t matter to me.

A final bit of advice for travelers feeling anxious is, “....go to, which is continually updated with resources and issues affecting travelers with anxiety disorders.”

The book doesn’t have an introduction or a wrap-up ending. It does contain them on the back cover.

According to that back cover, Rita Anya Nara has traveled through thirty-eight countries despite being diagnosed with severe anxiety. Her travel essays and memoirs have appeared in magazines and journals around the United States, and her blog,, has helped people around the world overcome their anxiety to travel.”

Now let’s see what I’ve learned or thought about while reading this book; our most stressful moment being the final question before we lock the front door, “Is the cat in?”

Is the cat in?

Good, now we can head out to the supermarket.

But if you find yourself worrying about that next trip, I’d suggest finding a copy of The Anxious Traveler and reading it.

Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at


Milton M. Gross Copyright 2013

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