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Anxiety as a passenger
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

woodshopbrewer wrote:
but as a passenger with my wife driving and our daughters and dogs along for the ride, I have begun to experience pretty severe anxiety imagining catastrophes resulting from all the possible causes of various sounds the van makes as we cruise down the road.
Wondering if anyone can relate or if this is likely some pandemic-induced disorder that should be posted in a different forum!
-Jon


I *just* heard an interview on CBC radio of an author and his book "Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal" :

https://www.amazon.ca/Unwinding-Anxiety-Science-Shows-Cycles/dp/0593330447

The way he spoke and how he explained things during the interview indicates to me that his book may well be a truly useful systematic "nuts and bolts" approach. What I took from the interview is that part of what fuels anxiety are habits which, can be changed.

Neil.
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tbd
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

I carry a tool bag in the van, if I can fix it I will, if not I have road side assistance. I also have a habit that annoys the spouse, I fall asleep when I'm a passenger. Very Happy

As for the age of the vehicle, we just turned in a 2018 Pacifica minivan after leasing it to find out if it would work for us. The power train was already failing at 34,000 miles, warranty would over at 36,000 miles. The vanagon may not be as pretty but even at 30 years old it is the more useful vehicle.
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jimf909
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

hdenter wrote:
It would be a cold day in Hell before my wife drove me around in a vanagon. I can barely tolerate her driving in her Equinox.

Hans


I have no idea what an equinox car is but after googling it it sounds like the chevette of its day and it should make passengers nervous on general principle.
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Abscate Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:59 am    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

You are already in Hell with an Equinox.
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bryanarchy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:32 am    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

This experience is less with my Vanagon, but more from when I was in bands and touring in 20 year old vans. I had a real hard time letting other bandmates drive because of this very thing. I think I had the feeling that if I was driving, i had some control over the anything that might go wrong with the van (or if we came face-to-face with a late-night moose). For me, it stemmed from my lack of confidence to let the others drive because they might push the van past its limits or they just didn't have the skills to manage a blown tire or something catastrophic (as if I did at that age, either!).

It's not the most healthy feeling, nor is it really the most practical either. And to be honest, my stress wasn't much less when I'd be driving and we'd be rough idling in bumper to bumper traffic on a Chicago freeway.

I did start to learn, in life, that I'm not always gonna be in control of things and on top of that, when something goes wrong, it could just as well have been me in the drivers seat than anyone else.

Good luck!
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Irishcalifornian
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:01 am    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

I'm really worried how this thread is going to end up.
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clift_d
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:02 am    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

I can only suggest you get the van into decent running order, and then take lots of trips. The more you use it the more you will get used to the sounds it makes, and the more you will get to understand it's level of reliability.
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sanchius Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:22 am    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

The best day for me was when the kids could finally drive and chauffeur me around, lounging around in luxury in the back seat.

The basic rules were:
- no speeding and a 5-second rule when behind other vehicles
- focus on the driving: no phones, no touching the stereo
- If you scare me, you don't drive for a week

Also, for longer trips, knowing the u-haul tow option was there for a backup, gave peace of mind.

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Blakesinclair
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

Funny how this one came up today. Planning a quick night away in the mountains with a couple friends and their kids. I mentioned to my wife that I'd like to take the boy child (almost 8 years old) and it was met with some hesitancy.

She's not so much worried about the adventure part. The two guys I'm going with have more than capable 4wd Toyotas and know the area well. She's more concerned with me driving 70 miles in "that tin can".

I understand her worry, but considering I didn't own a car that could comfortably drive more than 5 miles at highway speed until I was in my 20's, I have a higher level of comfort with "that tin can".

My anxiety driving the van manifests itself as excitement. Excitement that it even started in the morning. Excitement that whatever work I did to it recently is responsible for whatever spring it has left in it's step.
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Igeo
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

You could show her the photo from when I took both kids, 7 and 3 through Saline Valley in a 56 F 100. We survived nicely.

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Christopholi
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

Of course there's a German word for it! Vorsichtigefreude - Cautious Joy. Feeling great driving around in your van, but always worried about what is going to break next Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

One of the main reasons we got a Westy with an automatic was to allow my wife to drive it, often. She does and I enjoy being a passenger. Total confidence in her....

Even when she has driven my '50 Chebbie truck, well, sort of......
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jimf909
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

Irishcalifornian wrote:
I'm really worried how this thread is going to end up.


I'm concerned about your worrying. Would you like to talk about it? Are you drinking too much coffee? What else makes you worry? We can get through this.

Focus on something in the distance and breathe...
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Do not get killed, do not kill others.


Current: 1990 Westy Camper - Bostig RG4, 2wd, manual trans w/Peloquin, NAHT high-top, Flash Silver, seam rust, bondo, etc., etc.

Past: 1985 Westy Camper - 1.9 wbx, 2wd, manual trans, Merian Brown, (sold after 17 years to Northwesty who converted it to a Syncro).
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

i literally daily drive* a 82 rabbit truck. just go. if it goes tits up on a trip that's what wreckers are for.

can't tell you how many 'just delivered' new cars left the dealer i was at only to come back in on the hook.

would i buy some random car and just drive? no...i don't trust anyone's old junk till i have gone thru it

as long as you have done every single maintenance item....you'll be fine. i mean your fuel pump could crap mid flight in your 2018...anything mechanical can and will break at some point.


*don't drive it in the snow
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floodwood
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:54 am    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

The lack of a hood tends to freak out my first time passengers. It is especially satisfying to watch their faces when I parallel park...
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:36 am    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

Quote:
The basic rules were:
- no speeding and a 5-second rule when behind other vehicles
- focus on the driving: no phones, no touching the stereo
- If you scare me, you don't drive for a week


We had the same rules in our house, but with six girls inheriting Moms safety gene, and canceling Dads stupid gene, they all did well. Never invoked rule 3. The one who failed a driving test, taking three times to pass, is the best driver by a large margin.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:22 am    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

Driving a vanagon at highway speeds requires all your concentration. When your not behind the wheel, your mind can wander wherever it chooses. Sounds perfectly normal. My wife can drive the van, but she prefers navigating and planning. I enjoy driving. We aren’t pulling all nighters, so we don’t require shifts. 600- 800 a day is max.
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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:45 am    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

Woodshopbrewer,

I'd rather light a candle than curse your darkness.

Quoting myself from a 2013 trip report to the Grand Canyon:

joetiger wrote:


After that, it was on to the Navajo Lands. If you haven't been there it's really difficult to describe the desolation and beauty. In every Vanagon adventure, there's a point, usually in a very distant place, when I have a minor panic attack. I look next to me at my wife and glance in the rearview mirror and see my treasured daughters, then I think about every single nut and bolt and fastener and procedure and new part and worn part and wonder if I've done everything right in building this thing or if I'm completely insane to take my family way, way out on the road in a 28 year-old vehicle. This is where we were when the (very internal--never let them see you sweat) panic attack occurred. It truly felt like we were in the middle of an expansive nowhere.

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That feeling would overwhelm me at some point on all of our road trips, but I found a way to treat it:

Wherever I am in the world in my Vanagon and I get anxious about an unforeseen catastrophic failure, I take a quick assessment:

1. How far am I/we from home?
2. If too far to tow home, how far am I from a town where I could have AAA tow the van while I arrange for transport to home?
3. How would we get home?
4. How much is it gonna cost me? (This amount continuously clicks upward with distance.)

Once I've worked it out in my head, I have a plan. Then I relax.

On my last trip to Southern Utah, I broke down outside of Monument Valley. One of my buddies, in his Toyota Highlander, was rather agitated.

"What are you going to do if you can't fix it??"

Calmly, I responded, "I'm going to get it towed to Moab, find a place to store it until I can find transport, and catch a ride back to Denver with you."

Simple. Luckily it turned out to be an easy fix, too.

But I admit that this technique is less effective when I have my family with me.

A few summers back we were in Jasper, AB and were seriously considering going all the way to the Arctic Circle. It was the first long trip we'd taken in my Syncro. I had a coolant hose blow and, long story short, had a hell of a time finding replacement and getting us back on the road.

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1. REALLY far from home.
2. Find a place for the van in Jasper or Edmonton, maybe a Samba member?
3. Fly the girls home, stay with the van and fix it right.
4. Severe, SEVERE cost.

(When I did my asessement, I didn't know it was just a coolant hose.)

Once I had it all fixed up, better than it was before, I found myself with a case of the yips. I chickened out and we headed south instead.

So it's not a foolproof technique, but it helps. Smile

Oh--and my wife tracks a Golf R and drives everything like it's a Golf R, so I'm scared shitless when she's behind the wheel and I'm in the passenger seat. But in all honesty she's probably a better driver than I am.
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"get metaphysical with it. if it's simply a means to get to and from places, it will let you down. if it becomes your zen, it can't fail you." -dabaron

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shadetreemech
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:18 am    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

My SO has a Beemer and knows how to drive it. She's a better driver than I am; I've still managed to make it home every time, so far.

I'm retired. For me, the maturation process has been a series of conundrums requiring a solution before you get the next one or you get a repeat. We each develop a process for reacting to each new challenge. I used to grind my guts over work, home life, fatherhood. I developed an attitude and a proverb: "It's not what happens, it's what you do in response to what happens that makes you who you are". I thought I'd innovated a maxim. Turns out, Epictetus beat me to it by about 2,000 years. He said, "It's not what occurs but how you respond that makes the difference".

Seen from that point of view, Life's a series of tests and you do your best, all the while open to learning something. The Van breaks down, you fix it or tow it home. If you want to document the process in a public forum, be prepared for reactions from people at varying levels of maturity.

My best advice is:

Don't worry. Stuff's gonna happen. Take charge of how you're gonna react.

Happy Trails & Be Safe

Dan
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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:25 am    Post subject: Re: Anxiety as a passenger Reply with quote

shadetreemech wrote:
My SO has a Beemer and knows how to drive it. She's a better driver than I am; I've still managed to make it home every time, so far.

I'm retired. For me, the maturation process has been a series of conundrums requiring a solution before you get the next one or you get a repeat. We each develop a process for reacting to each new challenge. I used to grind my guts over work, home life, fatherhood. I developed an attitude and a proverb: "It's not what happens, it's what you do in response to what happens that makes you who you are". I thought I'd innovated a maxim. Turns out, Epictetus beat me to it by about 2,000 years. He said, "It's not what occurs but how you respond that makes the difference".

Seen from that point of view, Life's a series of tests and you do your best, all the while open to learning something. The Van breaks down, you fix it or tow it home. If you want to document the process in a public forum, be prepared for reactions from people at varying levels of maturity.

My best advice is:

Don't worry. Stuff's gonna happen. Take charge of how you're gonna react.

Happy Trails & Be Safe

Dan


Best 666th post ever. Smile
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Joe T.

'86 NAHT Vanagon GL Syncro/ supercharged ABA 2.0 "Pigpen"
'19 Golf R
'02 Beetle GLS
'15 Forester

"get metaphysical with it. if it's simply a means to get to and from places, it will let you down. if it becomes your zen, it can't fail you." -dabaron

"Still, it's good to be afield."--VWagabond
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