In approximately 54 hours we’ll be getting on a plane to Mumbai to start our ‘Round the World’ trip. We’re pretty much ready to go and just have a few items left to check off of our list (packing, copying passports, doing a Skype dry-run with Bubby, etc). With everything coming together, pretty much according to plan, now is the time to start getting really excited right? So why do I find myself filled with anxiety, fear and doubt?
Part of me considered skipping this post and even as I write it I find myself on the verge of deleting the whole thing. We’re about to set off on ‘the trip of a lifetime’ and so many people have told us they will be ‘living vicariously’ through our stories, so what right do I have to complain? No one forced us to take this trip and, of the two of us, I was definitely the one pushing for it. So in these final days I would love nothing more than to report that I am a ball of positive energy, excitedly waiting for the adventure to begin. But I want to be honest, after all for better or worse, that’s the one thing most people know they can count on me for.
So, I’ll just say it….I’m terrified. I have fallen into the ‘what if’ soundtrack, a broken record loop I often have a hard time getting myself out of. While the list goes on and on here’s the ‘greatest hits’ at the moment:
• we get sick or hurt? (this is a given so my concern is the degree)
• we get bored? (this might sound silly, but I’m afraid it could happen)
• I can’t turn off my OCD planner urges?
• we are so busy planning our next stop that we miss our current one?
• my anxiety gets worse and I ruin our trip?
And my biggest fear of all…What if we hate it?
I feel like there is a ton of pressure to have a larger than life, nothing but smiles adventure. Sure everyone will find the occasional ‘diarrhea squat toilet’ story hilarious, but for the most part I know most of our followers will want to hear about the amazing things we are seeing/doing/tasting. They’ll want to read about shark diving in Thailand, trekking in Nepal, sky diving in Australia and I don’t know if I’ll be able to deliver. I want to make our supporters proud and leave the naysayers feeling foolish (I realize that’s ridiculous but I’m human and can’t always rise above it). But what happens if this trip, which I have been dreaming about for so many years, turns out to be a disaster or at the very least boring? What if I’m not cut out for long-term budget travel through developing countries? I definitely don’t fit the backpacker stereo-type. I’m overweight, out of shape, have an extremely sensitive stomach, am a mosquito magnet (hello malaria and dengue fever), can’t sleep when I’m hot (ask Adam about the summer I spent curled up with ice packs) and suffer from anxiety (obviously).
So why am I going on this trip? Should I have just stayed at home and continued enjoying our easy life in San Diego (which I do hope to return to one day)? I guess in the end it comes down to a simple answer…I’m going on this trip because I don’t know how to live any other way. Any time I’m faced with an opportunity that both intrigues and scares the crap out of me I am compelled to take advantage of it. Whether that’s spending 2 months in Israel during high school, running off to France after college graduation, moving to Washington, DC on a whim or uprooting my whole family (Adam and Storm) to move to San Diego. Sure each experience had their difficult moments, like my first few days wandering alone in Annecy or being in DC while my family was dealing with the final stages of my mom’s brain tumor and her subsequent death, but they also led to amazing things.
I just have to accept that while this may turn out to be the worst decision I have ever made it could also be one of the best. Either way there is no way to know without giving it a shot, so until foresight becomes 20/20 I’ll just have to take my chances. I always say ‘go big or go home’ and from where I’m sitting it doesn’t get much bigger than this. So I guess I’ll put my passport where my mouth is and see what there is to see outside of my small ‘safe’ corner of the world… 53 ½ hours and counting.