NERVES

I can’t sleep.  You know how sometimes you have a hard time sleeping before a big trip because of excited anticipation of what’s to come?  This isn’t that.  This is another kind of sleeplessness; the kind that stems from nervous anxiety.  And it’s really bumming me out.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated by, motivated by, and slightly obsessed with travel.  So you would think that embarking on this huge adventure (my Dream! my Goal!) would bring me nothing but positive feelings.  With all my other adventures abroad, I’ve always felt about 90% excitement, 10% “other” (nervous, curious, anxious, etc).  Why is this trip making me feel the opposite?  Why am I so overwhelmed?
Perhaps it’s because I’m leaving behind a loving boyfriend, my two fur babies, a solid network of friends, a stable job (actually, on second thought, no regrets there), a freaking great house, a city I love, and I’m going even farther away from my family than I already was (What if they need me?  What if I need them???).  I’ve never had to tackle these issues before because the majority of my trips have been a few days to a few weeks long.
Now that I’m looking at a year away, I’m so full of anxiety that it’s smothering my excitement like a fire blanket.
Some of my major concerns include:
1.  What will a long-distance relationship with Ryan look like when I’m literally half a world away?  I anticipate issues with timing, connectivity, phone/email communication vs. in-person interaction, personal change/personal growth for both of us.
2.  What if one or both of my dogs die while I’m away?
3.  What if I’m “too old” to do this? Now, wait… before you judge and say that’s ridiculous, hear me out. I spent lots of time in my teens and 20s traveling in Europe, which everyone in the world will agree is pretty easy travel, even when you’re staying in hostels and doing everything on the cheap.  European travel is pretty darn cushy.
Whereas on this trip, I’ll be spending about half a year in India and Southeast Asia.  I’m sure SE Asia is so well-traveled by now that, even if it’s not as easy or comfortable as Europe, it probably won’t be too difficult to find and get everything I need (physically, mentally, and culturally).  But India is supposed to be one of the most challenging countries in the world for a female traveler.  And since I want to do it cheaply and independently, that means no guided tour groups, no fancy hotels, no first-class transportation.  Will I be able to get over the creature comforts that I’m accustomed to so that I can fully embrace and love my Indian experience? Or will I freak out over a  particularly dirty bathroom?  Will I have many sleepless nights due to uncomfortable beds or loud kids in a hostel?  Will I get sick and poop my pants on a bus? Will I be safe?  Will I be tempted to punch the next street swindler in the nose?  Will I have a melt down because I’m too hot/cold/exhausted to think straight?
I never had any of these concerns when I traveled in my 20s, and I know the worrying doesn’t help anything.  I know I need to stop thinking so much and JUST GO.  I’m sure once I’m on the road, everything will work itself out (and if it doesn’t, I can always come home).  But I’ve never been good a quieting my mind (a wonderful trait I acquired from my mother, who calls it “monkey brain”).
….Maybe I should spend some of my time in Asia learning how to meditate so I can take all these nerves and just crush them with my will power. RAWR
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8 thoughts on “NERVES

  1. Do not worry about the things you cannot control. IF you come to face any of these scenarios you are imagining, you tackle the issue then and only then. Not now. Not when you’re just thinking up all the what could go wrong scenarios.
    I know with ‘monkey brain’ that’s easier said than done, because I too have a ‘monkey brain’.
    I’m thinking the reason you’re a bit more cautious now than in your 20s is because I’ve noticed for myself as I age, I become a bit more aware. I’m more aware of the possibilities that could happen. I’m more aware of what could go wrong, but also what could go right. I’m more aware of my surroundings. Im more aware of others. I have dropped that cloak of invincibility that I wore in my 20s and I now wear a cloak of awareness. But I don’t let that stop me from fulfilling the desires of my heart.
    So go forth into your new journey with an open heart and mind and tell yourself that what may be, will be. All of the bad things, all of the good things, that are to happen in this year are all part of your story. Go write it. ❤

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  2. Relationships are hard. Especially when you are in one with “the world.” Will you be disappointed at times?, yep. Will you be lonely at times?, uh huh. Will you wonder if the grass is greener?, sure.

    But you will also grow more than you could ever imagine. Be astounded by sights and sounds. Gain deeper understanding of your role in this relationship, your place, the meaning of it all. You can’t have that without challenge.

    You are more than capable. I can’t wait to follow your journey through this blog. I am both insanely proud that you are following your passions, and maybe even a little jealous.

    And I’ll tell you right now, that if the world doesn’t treat my girl right, I will find it, and kick its ass.

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  3. You are doing the right thing! This is who you are. Just keep that in mind and troubles will be easier to handle. It’s all about the attitude, remember that 🙂 Good luck dear friend and have fun! I look forward following you on this blog.

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  4. I’m just excited for you to land and start exploring! Soon the nervousness will be replaced by a multitude of other feelings, sensations and emotions. You are a great traveler and an amazing person – I know you’ll have no problem figuring out the culture and connecting with locals and fellow travelers alike. Love you!

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