How to Travel With Anxiety

25 September 2015

I have a confession to make.
I suffer from anxiety, mainly brought about by claustrophobia. I'll find myself feeling trapped on buses or busy stores and suddenly I'll have a panic attack. Full blown panic attacks don't happen often, but when they do they suck. It's something I can feel coming on so usually I can remove myself from the situation before it becomes anything serious. However, being a constant traveler means I put myself in situations where sometimes I can't remove myself immediately to calm down. I know I am not alone in dealing with anxiety, so I thought I'd share a few tips that help with my traveling lifestyle!

1 | PACK LIGHT When I'm bringing a carry on or trying to pack a car, I am almost guaranteed to stress out if I have too much to handle. Keep it simple, don't pack a million and one things in a carry on unless you have to. The bare essentials are all you'll need until you land. 

2 | BOOK IN ADVANCE Save yourself the extra stress of paying for things in an unfamiliar place. Book transportation, book events, book anything and everything you can before so you don't have to worry about coming across any problems later on.

3 | LEAVE EARLY Not too long ago my friend and I were headed from Bristol to Bath to catch a bus tour of Wiltshire. What should have been a 10 minute journey turned into 2 canceled trains. We had left an hour early and STILL ended up being late. It was not the most ideal way to start the tour, and my anxiety was through the roof. Prepare yourself for the worst case scenario and leave accordingly. 

4 | EAT Hanger is real y'all. Eat to avoid the stress that comes with hanger and you'll thank yourself later on. 

5 | REMEMBER, THE FEELING WILL PASS If you do end up with that bit of anxiety just breathe. Remember that whatever it may be, it is NOT the end of the world. Take a second to focus on calming down before dealing with whatever situation you need to take on. 

Travel is a huge part of my life and I refuse to let go because of an occasional attack. Learn what works for you and stick to it. It is completely normal to get nervous, anxious, or panicky when you throw yourself into unfamiliar settings. Don't let a little bit of anxiety get the best of you!

Happy Friday!

Parthenon & Centennial Park | Nashville, Tennessee

21 September 2015

When planning any sort of trip nowadays I rely almost solely on Instagram. Whether it be finding a good place to eat or the most pretty places to visit, Instagram has become my go to tool for pretty much everything. During my trip to Nashville in May, Leah and I did pretty well on hitting the major touristy spots. However, as I scrolled through the numerous Nashville hashtags later on I realized we had missed out on one major attraction. Enter the Parthenon.

I know what you're thinking. Why is there a full scale replica of Athen's famous Parthenon sitting in the middle of Nashville? We were pretty confused to. Built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, Nashville's Parthenon was never meant to be a permanent structure. However due to its popularity after the fair was over the building stayed. Having to go through a complete rebuilding in the early 20th century, the Parthenon became a permanent fixture in 1931. 

Today the Parthenon is a art museum, however we picked a Sunday morning to visit meaning the museum was unfortunately closed. Instead, we chose to eat our breakfast on the steps before roaming the vast park surrounding the Parthenon. 

A photo posted by S a r a D a v i s (@sararosedavis) on

Happy Monday!

The Houston Museum of Natural Science

17 September 2015

Moving back to a city where you grew up makes exploring rather difficult. Growing up in Houston I have possibly seen every major attraction and sight at least once which now deters me from repeating them as an adult. However, in a conscious effort to explore Houston more my friends and I made a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

The HMNS was a popular destination for class field trips when I was younger. I remember spending entire days exploring the museum and never getting bored. I've even attended a wedding at the museum where the dance floor happened to be next to a giant T-Rex skeleton. Pretty cool, right?

Entry to the museum can be a bit pricey, but if you happen to work for one of the thousands of museum partners you may just get a discount. It's worth asking if your company is on the list when you a arrive. After buying our tickets we headed into the museum and started out with the science-y bits.

We then made our way to the dinosaur hall where a friendly docent proceeded to tell us this was the largest dinosaur exhibit in the country. Although I can't find any actual proof to back up his bold claim, I will say the hall is IMPRESSIVE. The entire exhibit is the length of a football field and is home to a wide variety of prehistoric animals that easily capture your attention.

In addition to prehistoric bones, the Houston Museum of Natural Science also has exhibits on gems, Texas wildlife, Ancient Egypt, and American civilizations. You can find everything you are looking for in a museum and then some. The HMNS is one of Houston's best kept treasures and well worth a visit if you ever happen to find yourself in Space City!

Happy Thursday!

Randor Lake State Park | Nashville, Tennessee

14 September 2015

Recently I found myself in Nashville, Tennessee once more. During my last visit I had absolutely fallen head first in love with this city. From music to coffee, to city and country, Nashville is the perfect melting pot of culture and beauty. I was immediately taken aback by its surrounding natural beauty and knew this trip I would have to explore even further.

With the guidance of my best friend Leah we made the 15 minute drive out to Randor Lake State Park on an early Saturday morning. The park is easy enough to find if you know where it is. After a few minutes of circling the tiny parking lot until there was a spot available, Leah and I set out to follow one of the park's many trails. 

Sprawling over 1,300 acres, Randor Lake State Park was officially founded in 1923 as a natural preserve. However, it became the state of Tennessee's first all natural area in 1973. It can only be accessed during the day meaning camping is strictly forbidden. However, you can find this park bustling with people on any given morning as it is one of Nashville's most popular places to hike, bike, and walk your dog. 

Easily accessible from the main city, Randor Lake is the perfect place to get a little morning exercise while simultaneously exploring Tennessee's stunning wildlife. Bring a camera, some water, and your phone for directions. With over 12 miles of trails it's easy to get caught up in the beauty and forget where you parked your car!

Happy Monday!

A Weekend in New Orleans | The Ultimate Travel Guide

07 September 2015

Time Zone | Central

Average Summer Temperature | High 90F - Low 72F
Average Winter Temperature | High 63F - Low 48F

Major Airport | Louis Armstrong International

Transportation | Street Car, Day Pass $3 (exact change only)

Average Hotel Price Per Night | $110 - 350
(either in or within walking distance of the French Quarter)

Average Meal Price | $12

+ New Orleans was founded in 1718.
+ In 1762 Spain bought Louisiana from France.
+ The French city of New Orleans was largely destroyed in a fire, most standing buildings today are of Spanish architecture.
+ In 1803 New Orleans was sold to America during the Louisiana Purchase.
+ New Orleans has been directly hit by 5 major hurricanes in the last 110 years.

Frenchmen Street | Live jazz and drinks
Garden District Mansions | Southern architecture and calm atmosphere
National WWII Museum | Interactive and informative
St. Louis Cathedral | Beautiful and unique
Woldenberg Park | Views of the Mississippi
Layfayette Cemetery No. 1 | Sorrowful and interesting
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar | The oldest bar in America (allegedly)

See my post Good Eats | New Orleans 
Breakfast | Cafe du Monde $
Lunch | The Green Goddess $$
Dinner | Chartres House $$

Buckner Mansion | Garden District
Jackson Square | French Quarter
Street Cars | Canal Street
A photo posted by S a r a D a v i s (@sararosedavis) on


Author's note 2017: I have created an up to date travel guide to New Orleans. Make sure to check out that guide here!

Waugh Bat Colony | Houston, Texas

02 September 2015

Recently I heard of a little bat colony that lives in central Houston (and by "little" I mean 250,000 bats).  This bat colony calls Waugh Drive Bridge home despite its very central and very busy location. I had heard of bat bridges in places like Austin, but I was honestly really surprised to hear there was one my hometown. On a warm August night my two best friends and I grabbed some tacos before heading to Waugh Bridge to join the masses waiting for the bats. I had read online that the bats usually come out  around sunset, so we arrived 15 minutes before.

And then we waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

Finally around 8:15pm (thirty minutes after sunset mind you), the bats began to emerge.  At first we couldn't see anything. It was just too dark. Finally they began to fly out by the thousands and you could see them everywhere. I'm not going to lie, our experience at the bat bridge was slightly disappointing. I has seen pictures and snapchats where the bats had come out with plenty of light still out. Yes, it was still a cool experience but waiting 45 minutes while being eaten by mosquitos wasn't exactly my idea of a fun Saturday night.

My suggestions?
+ Show up right at sunset
+ Bring a blanket to sit on
+ Spray yourself with mosquito repellant
+ Don't be disappointed when all your pictures of the bats turn out to be weird gray blurs (see examples below).

Yes, those gray looking cloud things are bats. 

 The Waugh bats are unique because they don't migrate south to Mexico during the winter meaning you can see them take flight year round. However, the best months to see the Waugh Bat Colony are August and September. Parking is very limited, so expect to walk quite a bit to get to the bridge!

Happy Wednesday!