Running away from your daily problems and from your Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is definitely not the solution but sometimes it is a fun thing to do. Especially because traveling teaches us a lot about ourselves and the world we live in.
As you may have noticed, I disappeared for a week. And the reason behind my disappearance was that my best friend and me spent a fantastic week in Georgia (no, not the US state, but the country in the Caucasus.)
So, in today’s post I’ll share with you all the things I was doing last week – together with my OCD travel tips.
The beginning of the journey
Two weeks ago I published a post about flying with OCD – and obviously, things have not changed over the last two week. Flying has always been a pretty stressful thing for me – and I am not sure if this will ever change, but thanks for God, I have learnt to keep my anxiety under control!
If you want to read more about what flying with OCD feels like, please check my post out: Flying with OCD: What does it feel like?
First Stop: Batumi
January and February are my least favorite months of the year: lack of sunshine, cold weather and the flu season. So this is one of the reasons why I always try to escape Budapest at this time of the year. I really do not want to sound like a spoiled kid and I know I totally sound like one but believe me: if you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder it can be pretty difficult for you to get through winter! Read more about this topic: Winter Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and OCD
I can tell you that leaving my cloudy and windy city behind and spending 3 days in Batumi was an absolutely amazing decision. And not only because of the weather, this city has a lot more to offer: beautiful streets, friendly people and amazing food at a totally reasonable price.
Oh and amazing food, a few things that you definitely need to try if you ever visit Georgia:
– Khachapuri – a traditional Georgian dish of cheese-filled bread and it is absolutely yummy!
– Lobio – my personal favorite! I just love it. An amazing dish prepared of beans with coriander, walnuts and onion. It is like a dream!
– Khinkali – dumplings filled with spiced meat – or mushrooms, cheese or potatoes.
And a lot lot more! This country is heaven for all food lovers 🙂 And let’s not even mention Georgian wine!
And despite of my fear of jumping from high places, I could totally enjoy myself at one of the sky bars of this beautiful city. However, it was pretty depressing to see that the toilet at Sheraton’s Sky Bar had a much better view than the one I get from my window. 🙂
And obviously, my friend and me spent a lot of time at the spa. Our favorite was definitely the Turkish bath (or hamam) – it just makes you feel so relaxed. This is one thing that I’d suggest to all of you to try!
Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia is one of the most interesting places that I have ever seen. It’s a place where the West and the East meet. And yeah, I am not the best person to write travel reviews because I do not like planning my trips or worrying too much about the sights to see: I just love walking around the city and exploring the streets. So that’s pretty much what we were doing.
There’s one thing that I love more than sunshine: mountains. I was born in Budapest but I used to spend my summer holidays at my Gran’s place in the mountains of Transylvania. So for me, spending time in the mountains of Caucasus felt like being at home. And it was absolutely amazing to listen to the sounds of silence.
And we obviously did not want to miss the chance to visit one of Georgia’s most famous sights: Kazbegi. As many of you may have noticed in my previous posts, I am a christian – and visiting this beautiful, ancient church on the top of a mountain made me feel very close to God.
And last but not least: Borjomi
I’m simply addicted to mineral water. I could not imagine any trip without trying local mineral water and one of the things that Georgia is famous for is Borjomi.
It is a beautiful little town with a lot of amazing spa resorts, but most importantly: it is the place where the famous mineral water comes from. And Borjomi is more than a simple bottle of water: it is pure magic, it has a very special taste and according to research it’s very good for your health.
Mark’s OCD traveling tips
Find the right companion
It is extremely important to find the right companion for your journey. I love traveling with my best friend: obviously, we get along very well, that is why we are friends but she also understands me which is crucial. You should enjoy every minute of your holidays and you should not worry about your Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but let’s be honest: sometimes you just can not get away from it. OCD is like a monster that’s always ready to attack and having a person next to you who can actually understand your feelings and whom you can talk to helps a lot.
Go to places that you can afford
It is very difficult to enjoy your trip if you’re constantly worried about money. I am a big spender and I usually go to places that I know I can afford. I am from a country where the average wage is pretty low when you compare it to Western Europe, which means that we have to think twice before choosing the perfect holiday destination. And while Georgia is not the cheapest place that I’ve ever visited, it is completely affordable!
Do not feel guilty when OCD strikes
One of the main things about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is the feeling of guilt: and this can be especially horrible when you’re on holidays. Like…
Why am I scared of everything? Why do I have these terrible intrusive thoughts? I should be enjoying myself!
And you are right: you should be enjoying yourself but feeling guilty will definitely make your OCD even worse. Believe me, you’re not the one to blame for your thoughts. It does not mean that you should not fight your OCD, but the more the think about it, the more difficult it will get!
Be careful with alcohol and with smoking
I have been smoking for the past 8 years but I usually do not smoke when I am on holidays. Is it difficult? Yes, sometimes it is, but believe me: it is worth it. Smoking can make your anxiety much worse and so does alcohol. So try to avoid these habits as much as you can!
Do not plan everything!
Okay, I am not sure if this will work for all of you, but I would be terribly stressed if I had to plan every single day of my trip. I have never been the planner type and detailed plans will make me terribly anxious. I love going with the flow: having no plans means that you will not be anxious if you can not achieve them!
Keep calm and love Georgia ❤
So what can I say? An amazing country with amazing people, culture, food and sights! Going on holidays is always amazing but Georgia took this experience to a whole new level!
As you know, there’s one more thing that I love more than sharing my stories: reading yours. So please feel free to share your traveling experiences in the comment section!