An Introvert’s Struggle with Anxiety and Air Travel

Adam Bertram
4 min readJun 14, 2019

“I’m just not going. I don’t need to go anyway.”, I explain to my wife. “But you always love this conference when you get there. You’ll be fine once you get on the plane. I want you to stay, but I think you need to go.”, she says.

That is the typical conversation my wife and I have over and over the day before I have to fly to a conference.

This mentality goes through my head on a minute-by-minute basis leading up to hopping on a plane. My binary mind plays the flip-flop game with me over and over and over between wanting to go, feeling like I need to go and then considering just scrapping the entire idea. WTF have I gotten myself into?!?

My brain is crying out to stay home, stick in my usual, remote work routine and maintain comfort in my little bubble. It’s a battle that wages in my head every.single.time I have to fly by myself while popping Xanax.

I’ve given in to that temptation twice in my life. Once I was speaking at a user group in Minnesota and the other I was speaking at the PowerShell Summit. I’m assuming I caved was due to the pressure of speaking. I’m not sure. My conscious and unconscious brain doesn’t seem to agree with a lot of the time.

When a new conference comes around, a year out, I want to attend badly. I think about all of the people I can meet and chat with and the new technologies I can learn. I’m psyched up until the time comes when, like clockwork, my brain begins to doubt that life decision seriously. “You don’t have to go to that conference, Adam.” “I mean, what’s the big deal if you skip out anyway?” Those are common phrases running through my head as the clock ticks down to departure.

Why am I like this? Always a curious one even with my mental health, I start analyzing my feelings and wonder why my brain locks up like this when I see so many millions of people seemingly thinking traveling is no big deal. Is something wrong with me? Why can’t I be normal? After a lot of contemplation, I’ve managed it stems from four main aspects of my life.


First, I’m an introvert through and through. Like many geeks, I get drained when socializing with a lot of people. When traveling, you have to deal with a lot of people in…

Adam Bertram

A 20-year veteran of IT, crypto geek, content creator, consultant and overall problem solver.