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The pre-RTW travel jitters

”Holy frak! What have we done!?” That, ladies and gentlemen, was the asperger-like yelp of my panicky mind about two weeks ago. It hit me randomly, mostly at evenings or just when going to bed. It felt exactly like watching a train coming towards you at 300 km/h. The fear was so tantalizing that it overrode every other survival instinct that told me to step aside so I would avoid the train. I was left with two brain cells that didn’t abandon ship with the others, but stuck around to create bizzare thoughts like ”Hey…look at those pretty train lights” or ”Someone has really done a great job building these tracks so straight”.

Heebie jeebies!

Heebie jeebies!

At first I was more shocked by the early arrival of the train itself than by standing on its tracks. I mean, what train arrives 2.5 months early?! The initial confusion lasted a couple of days (plus some insomnia nights) before I could pull myself together and remember that I was actually pretty well-prepared for jitter-trains like these.

My trick with facing fear is to (try to) stay on the proverbial tracks even with the chance of impact. Wayyyy much easier said than done (I have a very vivid imagination) but well worth the effort it takes! For me, the experience of fear usually comes from two reasons:

1. I’ve stepped away from living in the moment and let my mind paint worries for the future that it tries to make legitimate by bringing up all the bad memories from the past. It conveniently leaves out the fact that I survived every one of those situations…

2. I’ve forgotten the simple fact that my emotions don’t exclusively define me and I’m placing too much weight on them. Feelings come and go and even though some emotions can rattle you they never last forever. (Neither do the good ones, by the way. And that’s OK too.)

So I took a deep breath, focused and wrote myself a little status update:

Tiu, remember what John Wayne said: Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. So let the emotions flow, don’t cling to them but rather focus on the simple process of saddling up.

And like always, I woke up one morning and everything was O.K. again. The uneasiness was still there, I still felt the butterflies and some worry still lingered, but I accepted its existence and remembered that I can just let it be without any drama.

What am I so worried about?

For me the main worry is missing my awesome family. Especially my two nieces and nephew. I love being their auntie/god mother and seeing them grow. I’ve never been a big fan of kids but after they were born into my family I’ve had a big change of heart..well..I’m still not entirely sure about other kids, but these totally rock!

Were we not pursuing traveling I know we would consider moving closer to my brother’s family so we could be a bigger part of their lives.

Make your choice, adventurous Stranger;
Strike the bell and bide the danger, or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had.
– C.S. Lewis

After family I worry about all the usual stuff. Not seeing my friends for a long time, worrying that something happens to one of them; quitting a good job with great benefits; taking a leap away from the safe 9-to-5 life; and spending all our savings when the global economy is pretty unstable.

But hey, in the end it always, always, always boils down to this: I have to do this. It is my heart’s desire. Despite the fear, it cultivates happiness in me. It is now or: too late!

I’m taking the leap and it’ll be fine.

How have YOU managed your pre-trip jitters?

Did you have any? How did you survive? What were/are you most worried about? Any further tips for us?

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