Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Anxious Traveler provides expert guidance for seeing the world

Rita Anya Nara
Review by Angelene Heileson

Are you afraid to travel?

Rita Anya Nara struggled with anxiety and chronic stress for most of her life.  Then with the help of her doctor she decided to confront her fears one at a time by touring the world.  The results were amazing and life changing.

In her book The Anxious Traveler, Nara describes the strategies that made her traveling possible.

For example, she describes the problem of eye contact,

"One of the most unnerving things for a traveler with an anxiety disorder is to pass, see, or be passed by hundreds or even thousanss of strangers every day - many of whom, for whatever reason, want you to look back at them."

Nara indicates that it is all right to not make eye contact.  "Save the emotional eneregy it takes to make eye contact for the people who matter more - hotel staff, store clerks, and others who are helping you have a pleasant journey" (pp. 140-141).

Not only does she provide coping means for anxious travelers, but she also gives practical suggestions for getting help while traveling. For example, she describes how modern technology enables the anxious traveler.  She tells how the Internet and email can be used for booking, canceling, and complaining.  "Even cultures that highly value face to face ocmmunications ... find it hard to deny a reservation or an arrangement (such as a room on the quieter side of the hotel, or early check-out) that has a trail of email attached to it" (pp. 220-221).

Bargaining can also be done on the Internet. Some travel retailers allow you to "name your own price" for a plane ticket or hotel room. "If the website doesn't like your offer, 'it' rejects or raises it, so any awkwardness is really between you and your computer, and you simply try again for a bargain," writes Nara.

This book is full of such gems. Even if you are an experienced traveler, you will find it enlightening and worthwhile - particularly if your travel companion is the kind of person who would just as soon stay at home.

About the author
Rita Anya Nara suffered from panic disorder, seasonal affective disorder, and social anxiety disorder when she started traveling and wrote her book, The Anxious Traveler, from her own experiences. She hopes to inspire those too afraid to travel to manage their fear while having an incredible life experience. Nara is an avid photographer, loves to hike, and is studying to be a professional travel companion. She resides in northern California when she’s not traveling.

For further information on the book and the author, please visit

The Anxious Traveler is available for purchase on and

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