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RiRi

When You Travel to New Places...

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RiRi

It doesn't have to be traveling to another country, it could just be a place you've never been to. Do you ask people where things are located or do you try to figure it out on your own? Which one do you think is more NT in nature? Trying to figure it out on your own or asking people questions? Or do you think it's just personality based. 

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RiRi

The other day, I had to face something on my own where I had never been to and I was face to face with my fear. I think I was shaking even. I tried to figure it out but since I was in a time crunch, I asked. Luckily, the guy, a white male, was super nice to me and told me where it was located, he explained everything thoroughly. Maybe he noticed I was shaking and on the verge of crying. So by the time I got to the next points I already knew what was expected of me and when I faced up an a$$hole, I knew what to do. I even asked again to the a$$hole (because it was important, I didn't care if he was an a$$hole) where the place was located and he was an a$$hole and I don't believe he told me but the other dude had told me and I followed my instinct and didn't give up and gladly made it to where I needed to be. I'm so grateful for nice people in the world.

To answer the topic I usually ask. I don't know if it's the NT way or not. I feel like it's more autistic to ask but maybe it's just personality based. I do the same for when I'm looking for something at the store. 

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StormCrow

I try to figure it out. 

Most of the the time I watch for someone else to follow. I can usually feel/sense that a certain person is going to the same place I'm going. 

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Nesf

I always try to work it out myself first. I think NTs, unless they are shy or have social anxiety, tend to ask, but not always. I guess it depends on the person.

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Sanctuary

I am definitely in the "trying to work it out myself" camp although I think asking others is often the best strategy. In my case this reluctance to ask others is linked to embarrassment and concerns about seeming inadequate. I also feel I might be imposing on others by asking them - this even applies to asking an assistant in a shop where to find items when it's their job to offer help. The problem with the "not asking" approach is not just that it often doesn't work and that it can waste a lot of time on fruitless searching. It also causes anxiety - we've all had that horrible feeling of being lost and worrying about not reaching our destination (or reaching it too late). It also often doesn't work in making us look self-assured because we can display behavioural signs of confusion, e.g. looking around, changing direction, seeming unfocused. Often the problems can be avoided with better preparation, e.g. having a good, clear map, looking at street-view images before travelling to get a better sense of what to look for. I do try to be prepared but don't always do so very well which is one of the reasons why I find travelling to new places difficult and try to avoid it where I can. Finding places is now less difficult than in the past but it can still be a challenge and sometimes we just have to ask. 

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Max000
On 2/15/2019 at 12:22 AM, RiRi said:

It doesn't have to be traveling to another country, it could just be a place you've never been to. Do you ask people where things are located or do you try to figure it out on your own? Which one do you think is more NT in nature? Trying to figure it out on your own or asking people questions? Or do you think it's just personality based. 

I don't even remember the last time I asked for directions. I look everything up on Google maps before I go. I  find the best route, and then memorize it. I also look it up in Streetview, to see what the place looks like, so I will recognize it when I get there. 

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ZacWolf

Being new to my diagnosis, I'm finding these forums to be utterly fascinating! I have always thought of a spectrum disorder as a single dimensional line, and one landed at a point somewhere along that line. I'm coming to realize that a spectrum disorder is very multi-dimensional; makes perfect sense in retrospect, but then doesn't everything? 😉

I'm starting to see that there are different types of anxiety:

  • Fear anxiety
  • Doubt anxiety
  • Physical anxiety

I guess it would be fair to say that because of the nature of not-understanding physical/mental stimuli in the same way as the NT, that doubt anxiety is greater for the NAT? Speaking from personal experience I suffer little doubt, but because of that, it tends to spiral out of control VERY quickly when I do experience it. One such example for me is language; I have always avoided travel to areas where English is not the primary or secondary language. Misunderstanding already being one of my doubt triggers, makes throwing in the mix of a different language something I avoid at all costs.

Anyway, back to topic:

I would have to say that travel would be one of those areas that we should specifically discuss in whatever form of therapy we pursue. I say that because I think it's a very specific area where we need to develop strategies in advance so that we face less doubt anxiety in times of high stress. Like many have said here already, learning about and taking advantage of tools like Google maps, and street-view etc. (or in my case the translation apps/resources available) is crucial in being prepared so that we are less likely to face doubt anxiety at a time of high stress.  To that end, I think seeking out simulated outings where you are first paired with an observer, and then graduate to solo outings, would be a great way to help establish coping mechanisms, and to test one's preparedness.

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RiRi

A lot of you have mentioned using google maps, etc. but google maps can only show you so much. There are things in the interior of buildings, floors, rooms. How do you guys go about that? You guys still try to figure that on your own or do you ask? I've been to clinics where the waiting room was in another area and one time, because I wasn't in the correct area, I totally missed an appointment. I felt like crying that day because it was the last appointment my insurance covered. Partially, it was probably my fault and I should have asked but the personnel in the front desk when I checked in to my appointment should have told me where to go because I had been to clinics before and if the waiting room was elsewhere, like the second floor, I was told where to go. This person just assumed I knew where to go. 

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Charlie Brown
On 2/19/2019 at 7:01 AM, Max000 said:

I don't even remember the last time I asked for directions. I look everything up on Google maps before I go. I  find the best route, and then memorize it. I also look it up in Streetview, to see what the place looks like, so I will recognize it when I get there. 

This is my approach and it generally works out ok. One area I do have problems is with airports, so my friend maps it all out for me before I go and I follow her route.  If there are last-minute changes when I'm there I ask someone who works there to direct me. I haven't been to a city centre in decades and ended up in the Chinese quarter of New York two years ago, I was totally overwhelmed.

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Nesf
13 hours ago, ZacWolf said:

Being new to my diagnosis, I'm finding these forums to be utterly fascinating! I have always thought of a spectrum disorder as a single dimensional line, and one landed at a point somewhere along that line. I'm coming to realize that a spectrum disorder is very multi-dimensional; makes perfect sense in retrospect, but then doesn't everything? 😉

I'm starting to see that there are different types of anxiety:

  • Fear anxiety
  • Doubt anxiety
  • Physical anxiety

I guess it would be fair to say that because of the nature of not-understanding physical/mental stimuli in the same way as the NT, that doubt anxiety is greater for the NAT? Speaking from personal experience I suffer little doubt, but because of that, it tends to spiral out of control VERY quickly when I do experience it. One such example for me is language; I have always avoided travel to areas where English is not the primary or secondary language. Misunderstanding already being one of my doubt triggers, makes throwing in the mix of a different language something I avoid at all costs.

Anyway, back to topic:

I would have to say that travel would be one of those areas that we should specifically discuss in whatever form of therapy we pursue. I say that because I think it's a very specific area where we need to develop strategies in advance so that we face less doubt anxiety in times of high stress. Like many have said here already, learning about and taking advantage of tools like Google maps, and street-view etc. (or in my case the translation apps/resources available) is crucial in being prepared so that we are less likely to face doubt anxiety at a time of high stress.  To that end, I think seeking out simulated outings where you are first paired with an observer, and then graduate to solo outings, would be a great way to help establish coping mechanisms, and to test one's preparedness.

Excellent post. I have all three types of anxiety at different times, but I would say that doubt anxiety is definitely the most dominent because of my lack of confidence (or rather, my lack of confidence is a result of the doubt anxiety), and it can be crippling.

The spectrum looks more like a pie chart than a line, like the one given when one does the Aspie Quiz.

Google maps, inculding street view, definitely help when travelling to a new place.

 

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