I’m at my boyfriend’s house and it’s just gone 8:30 am. I’m normally the type to wake up at 11 if I have nothing to get up for, which – now that I’ve finished work for the year, I was kinda looking forward to. Yet I’ve been awake, tossing and turning for the last hour and a half.
You see, today marks 2 weeks until I go traveling (And 2 weeks is a fortnight, and tomorrow it will be within a fortnight, which sounds SO much scarier than ‘within a month’). I know, to some this may sound trite, and it is a little, but to me it’s something equal parts terrifying and exciting. For all my talk of wanting to go and see beautiful temples in India, meet crazy people and have a Full Moon party in Koh Samui, visit Halong Bay and see the Killing Fields, I’ve never properly, PROPERLY geared myself up for it. It’s always felt so long off, and now it’s not – it’s just around the corner. In 2 days it’s Christmas. Then New Years (and no I still have no plans sorted), and then, then it’s the 6th January.
Having never done ANYTHING on my own before, this is kinda terrifying. Ok, so my best friend is coming with me for the first 6 weeks, which is great, and by then I’m hoping I’ll have ‘settled in’ to travelling and will be ok to do the next 2 and a half months alone, but even so, it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done.
When someone asked me recently “so, why did you want to go travelling in the first place?” – My answer was 3 fold:
1. My old school had just phoned me asking me to write an update about my life for the alumni magazine, and with everyone else having set up their own businesses, volunteered in Africa, got married, had children, become qualified doctors and lawyers etc, and the most exciting my life has got is ‘what colour will my hair be next week, pink or blue again? Having my average job after my average degree at an average university, although at the time I loved it all and never felt bored or dull or anything, now feels a little….meh, on it’s own. I wanted to do something which was, for me, incredible. (I know, others have done things FAR more incredible than this, but bear with me here, for me this is BIG)
2. One friend had just come back from spending 9 months in India – she had an amazing time and she couldn’t wait to go back, her lust for travel, the people she’d met and the cultures she’d embraced, sights she’d seen etc had totally captured her, and I wanted a bit of that!
3. I’d never been bothered about going travelling, when others were talking about Gap Yah’s, all I wanted was to go to uni and party party, meet cool people and chill out. I had a great time! Since then, I’ve found myself more and more interested, fascinated even with other cultures. Learning from people with different backgrounds to my own became a bit of a hobby for me, drinking up the differences between their upbringing and habits, pastimes, beliefs etc is something I enjoy so, so much and I want more of. From this, I decided I wanted to see first hand, some of the culture and places which had influenced them and their culture.
So now I’m sat here, freezing my hands off in the boyfriend’s spare room trying not to wake him up with my music, typing away quickly because I’m nervous and I’m scared and I’m excited and I both want this to happen tomorrow and I want it to happen in a year!
Missing people will be something I’ll have to deal with, and I think this is a big part of the ‘nervous and scared’ I mentioned. I’m a very sociable person, the kind of girl who will get antsy if I spend longer than a day in the house not seeing anybody, and I love my friends to pieces. The idea that I’ll be missing out on what’s going on in their daily lives, the somewhat selfish thought that I might be forgotten because I’m not around is all a little paranoia I’m sure, I’m going out of my comfort zone and the scaredy cat inside me is clinging to excuses for why I should stay at the last minute.
I should add that some of what I’m nervous about is, I feel, justified, fears about meeting ‘not nice’ people abroad, security issues, illness overseas, getting lost etc etc and the list goes on, these are all things I think anyone would be worried about doing something like this for the first time. But I guess everything I’m feeling is perhaps normal?
So, scaredy cat. Shush damn you! Shush and let me go back to sleep please, I’m going away in 2 weeks and have lots to do!