Woman with severe anxiety tackles fear with travel, writes book

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  1. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    Her passport bears stamps from 41 countries, from the stern Cyrillic lettering of Russian bureaucrats to the smeared black-ink stamp of Argentina, from the all-caps bonhomie of Australia to the tiny, nearly indecipherable mark of Croatia.

    Rita Anya Nara, dashing 36-year-old globetrotter from Sacramento, just happened to have her little blue book with her on this particular afternoon, since she’d recently returned from a 15-day, six-country Mediterranean jaunt that began in Turkey and ended in Greece. Still a little jet-lagged as she sat sipping an iced tea in a local Barnes & Noble – “Feels like midnight to me” – Nara beamed as she thumbed through the passport’s well-worn pages, recalling memorable experiences and summoning exotic images.

    What makes Nara’s tales of travel in all seven continents extraordinary, an achievement far beyond the reach of your average avid traveler, is that she has suffered from extreme and acute anxiety, a litany of conditions ranging from acute panic attacks to social anxiety, to irrational fears of imminent harm to, when she was younger, agoraphobia (fear of open spaces or crowded areas).
     
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