‘Travelling is the absolute worst. Hear me out before you get angry with me.’

"Yes, you’re allowed to take liquids to Adelaide."

It was 11pm, and I was attempting to stuff 12 pairs of underwear into my bag for a two-night interstate trip. I had my dad on the phone to double-check that everything I was packing was allowed.

"Before you go, are you sure I don’t need to take my passport?" I asked.

"Yes, I’m sure, now go to bed," he replied.

I still packed it just in case.

The next day, I woke up at 5am to prepare myself for my 11am flight. I had already picked my travel outfit (for the two-hour plane trip) the night before and everything else was already packed too, so I was ready by 5.30am. The Uber arrived to pick me up at 8.30am.

"Which airline are you flying with?" the driver asked.

"Virgin, why?" I asked back.

"Because if you were flying with Qantas, it’s a different terminal to all the other domestic airlines."

I immediately panicked. Why would they do that? No, there was no reason for me to be stressed about the layout of Sydney airport but I couldn’t stop thinking, 'what if they decided to move Virgin to another terminal and I wasn’t aware of it.' Luckily, that wasn’t a thing.

We got to the airport at 8.49am. I stood outside with my bag for a few minutes to mentally prepare myself for the most anxiety-inducing, disgustingly stressful event in every individual's life… airport security.

I am convinced that when it comes to airport security, the rules change based on the vibes of the day.


I’ve been yelled at for not taking my laptop out of my bag and I’ve also been yelled at for keeping it in. With international flights, you have a limit on the amount of liquid you can have in your carry-on and they have to be in a clear plastic bag. Now I’m sure there’s a reason for this but… I have to ask, if airport security uses X-ray technology… why does my skincare case need to be… clear? Please don’t yell at me, I’ve been yelled at enough by the security.

I, like everyone else, aim to impress airport security by not only doing everything right but by also being the fastest at it. Why do we all do that? I’m sure the people who work at airports cringe at how desperate we all are for their approval.

Just to be sure, I put my bag into a tray; I take my jacket off and put it in another tray; I take my laptop, chargers, AirPods, Apple watch and put them in another tray, I take out my skincare that’s in a CLEAR ziplock bag and yep- you’ve guessed it, another tray. At this point I’ve pissed off all the other passengers lined up behind me. I even hear one guy whisper to himself "f**king hell". But I don’t care, I’m not here to impress them, I’m here to impress my new security best friends.

I hold my breath while I walk through the metal detector... There wasn't a beep. Nailed it.

I wait for my bag to go through and as I’m about to grab it; it gets pulled to the side. F**k. I just know that everyone hates me. I walk over to the security person who has my bag.

“Do you have any aerosols in your bag?” he asked.


Suddenly, I’ve forgotten the meaning of the word aerosol, but it sounds bad and borderline illegal.

"No," I say confidently.

He pulls out my deodorant and asks, "Then what is this?".

"Oh… I forgot about that," I replied.

He rolls his eyes, puts my bag back on the conveyor belt and puts my deodorant in a… separate tray.

Watch: Horoscopes at the airport. Post continues below.  

Video via Mamamia

Travelling is the absolute worst. Before you get angry with me, I agree with what I'm guessing you're about to say: Travelling is one of the best experiences a person can have. I'm with you on that, I just don't like it.

I travel to India every few years and it’s made a huge impact on my life. It’s a privilege that many people can't afford to experience in their lifetime. However, if teleportation existed, I would do whatever it takes to be first in line.

To be clear, when I say I hate travelling, I mean all modes of travel. I despise buses; they make me feel claustrophobic and trapped. You will never catch me on a cruise, I still don't see the appeal. I hate cars; they make me feel nauseous unless I’m the person who’s driving (I also hate driving). Trains are probably my least disliked mode of transport, I feel like we understand each other (sometimes).


Then we come to my greatest enemy of them all... planes. As the daughter of a pilot and granddaughter of an aeronautical engineer, this opinion is quite controversial in my family.

The logistics of travelling to a destination aren't the only thing I hate. Travelling around that destination also makes me extremely anxious.

I love telling people how I did solo trips around the world when I was younger. What I don't tell them are the times when I had to force myself to leave the safety of my hotel room. How do I navigate their transport system? What if my phone dies? Which side of the footpath do I walk on? Where and what should I eat? What if I get something wrong and everyone judges me?

On the days I used to travel alone, I would spend probably less than half a day outside. I would take heaps of photos and document places I ate at and visited so I had stories to tell my family and friends back home to make it sound like I had the best time ever from morning to night.

I also became one of those people who would gasp when others told me they had never been to Europe or that they had never travelled by themselves. "You have to experience it," I would reply, even though I knew that the thing I was convincing people to do, I hated doing myself.

Travel anxiety is something that I’m now working through with my therapist. She told me I’m not the only person who hates travelling (although my brain is trying to convince me that’s a lie).


The privilege of being able to afford to travel and having the means to just get up and go with no responsibility or restrictions is another reason I’ve been nervous to voice my opinion. I know many people have responsibilities like children or elders to care for or don’t make enough money to splurge on a plane ticket and would love to be in my shoes.

It feels like I'm doing those people a disservice every year when they ask me, "So what did you get up to in the holidays?" and I reply with "not much".

I can see it on their faces: 'Why doesn’t she go anywhere?' and my answer is simply because I hate travelling.

Working with my therapist, I’ve started making plans to go on an overseas holiday next year. Gearing myself up to plan something so far away might sound a little over the top but it’s my first step to overcome the anxiety I have over travelling and it’s making me (dare I say) a little excited about it. Between then, I’ve been planning some interstate travel as baby steps to help me get familiar with being outside my comfort zone.

I wouldn’t say that I’m now starting to like the idea of travelling but I guess I’m now hating it less. Either way, you can bet I’ll continue to use a minimum of five security trays for my belongings… just in case.

How do you feel about travelling? Tell us in the comments section below.

If you want more culture opinions by Emily Vernem you can follow her on Instagram @emilyvernem.

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