I am back from my trip to Britain. [more about that in later blogs] First I wanted to tell a little bit about my trip. Going to Britain involved 4 different trains in 4 different countries and one tube ride. To add to the fun the international train I had to take in Rotterdam was so full already that I physically did not fit into anymore with my luggage and I had to wait an hour for the next one. I hit London at the peak of rush hour, which made it a bit of a battle to get the luggage safely up and down the stairs of two tube and one trainstation. Then the last train I had to take was packed with commuters and took twice the time it should for the journey.
Deep breath….
It’s is probably not a wild guess to say that most Highly Sensitive People [HSP’s] are not too fond of public transport. This can have many reasons.
Some of us don’t like
  • The noise around us
  • The smells/perfumes around us
  • strain our eyes by looking at the fast changing landscape outside
  • picking up energies from other people

Or more or all of the above. This can bringe you to the stage that you despair of having to go anywhere by public transport. I am not saying you can reduce all the influences all the time but there are things you can do to protect yourself.

I had prepared for my trip to London. Although I don’t like to waste time, I had given myself plenty of time to get to the station. Personally I find that rushing increases my anxiety level.

  • So if you can allow for lots of time when you travel and also plan time between change overs in between that way you have less stress before and during travel.

So when I got to Rotterdam and that train was packed, I had the option to wait for an hour for the next one, which would still give me plenty of time to get my connection in Brussels. I spend the time inbetween treating myself to fresh bread from the station shop and buying a magazine I wanted.

  • Try to make the best of a bad situation, treat yourself to something nice and try to smile and not beat yourself up or worry.

Once in the train to Brussels, which was on time and had room for me and my suitcase I was smiling because I had made the right decision and I was now so happy that I had waited the extra hour. As the landscape gliding by outside does make me tired I actually prefer a seat on the balcony were I have no view and were I can contentrate on music or reading and also do not have too many people around me.

  • If you can find a seat inside that suits your needs. Think of silence areas [we have them on Dutch trains], a balcony which has less sensory input and less people

Travel on the Eurostar went smoothly, as it is allotted seating and not a busy period the train was not overcrowded and the comfortable seats were a treat. I had selected an aisle seat which for me again means less sensory input from the windows and I don’t have to ask the person next to me to move when I want to go and get something. It gives me a feeling of freedom.

  • With allocated seating in some trains and in planes try to figure out beforehand what kind of seat would suit you and try to reserve it.

I knew beforehand that  I would be hitting London during the evening rush hour so I had prepared myself mentally. And just before pulling into the station I had done one of my mediatation excersises pulling up a wall around me to keep other people’s energies from leaking into mine too much. Because of all this the trip through London went like a breeze and before I knew it I was in my next train.

  • Prepare yourself beforehand when you will be travelling during peak hours. 

To be honest that last train was the hardest. I was tired from the journey and the train was hot and overcrowded and it went sllloooowwwww. Yes it tried my patience. On the other hand I knew I was nearly there and that made it bearable.

All in all it was a good trip and I enjoyed it. What works for you in public transport? Please share your tips here.

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