Migraines are a pain in the ass wherever and whenever they hit you. But there’s just something so specifically annoying about having a day of your holiday ruined by the stone-cold atrocity that is a full-blown migraine attack. Unfortunately, there’s just so many travel-related migraine triggers that make vulnerable heads go crazy.
Airplane travel, a different diet, a change in climate, overnight bus rides, culture shock, nervousness, dehydration, exhaustion – if you’re prone to migraines, really anything about your journey can leave you in a state of desperately trying to stop yourself from smashing that head up against the next wall.
As someone who experiences this on all of her journeys, I want to share some tips on travel migraine prevention for my fellow sufferers out there. There’s hope, I promise.
When you’re away from home for a while, you’re most probably going to have some expectations for your return. That can be things you look forward to, like a loved one picking you up from the airport, or less pleasant outlooks, like getting back to a cold house because you forgot to turn on the heating or whatever.
When I came back home after ten months of travel, any possible expectations I could have had became outdone in both these senses: I was greeted by my family and closest friends at the airport – and by many more beloved people gathered in my parents’ backyard as a surprise for me: A memory I will treasure forever. But what else I had awaiting me was a new level of anxiety, one that so seriously messed with my life that I soon knew I wasn’t going to get back on track without professional help.
Is it ever really true when we say that „everything changed“ after a certain event? In my mind, there’s very few situations in life to which this phrase actually applies and I don’t think I’ve ever lived through one. So when I first experienced panic and anxiety as a clueless teenager, did that change everything in my life? Well… no.
But, fuck, it got close.
When I was 17 years old, I attended a sleep-over at a local community center where I used to hang out with a group of friends all the time then. We’d been up all night, joking around and having a good time like we always did – and when morning came, we were expected to attend church because this was a religious institution we were having our fun at, and so we did.
Halfway through the service, I started to feel sick to my stomach. Very quickly, I felt extremely ill and without thinking, I half stumbled, half scrambled my way out from mid bench where I was sitting between all my friends.