It's inspiring to find IBS sufferers who are able to travel! Traveling to a far away place, for me, is about the most terrifying thing I can imagine - not knowing where every bathroom is at every point in time would drive me nuts.
Now though I certainly don't want to see my belly "win," it often feels like I don't have much choice. One of the most difficult couple years of my life were my years spent on my high school marching band. At the time I was going through some of my most frequently occurring IBS with D symptoms, and I wasn't on Lexapro yet and I hadn't yet discovered the joy of Immodium (my doctors had me on Citracel, which I think made things worse for me). Being forced to travel to away games and being forced to perform... It was excruciating. I would not eat for a day before every away game I had to go to. The anxiety was so unbearable, I would shake while out on the football field. I would cry myself to sleep on nights before a performance. I was pretty miserable.
I ended up cancelling at the last minute a lot for a while, and then I eventually just had to call it quits.
I think it was experiences such as this, as well as a generally difficult high school with IBS experience (we were penalized for having to use the bathroom during class, seriously) that forced me into a cycle of anxiety, fearing days or even weeks in advance any time where I would have to be removed from my "comfort zone."
Luckily I eventually got put on Lexapro. That was a huge relief. But I still carry with me the cycle of anxiety and the cycle of fear, even when my symptoms are on hiatus.
I've actually been thinking a lot as of late as giving hypnotheraphy a shot. I should look into it a bit. Do you think it would be very helpful in my situation?
I also might look into increasing my Lexapro dosage. I was actually on 20 mg for a while last year, but I went down to 10 mg because I felt the 20 mg was making me overly fatigued. But perhaps the 20 mg is the only way I'm going to be able to get past my anxiety and fear.