Alas. I wish I was! The truth is, that for various reasons I can often feel quite anxious and stressed before a trip. This stress gives me a window into the reasons that some people might actually decide that travelling is all too hard and they should just stay home instead.
But then I take the trip (I always do - because I know I'd regret staying home) and then I realise how enjoyable it is and how much I learn from each travelling experience, and that's what makes me keep taking the next one and the next one.
I guess that my natural tendencies are towards anxiety and nervousness, even though most of the time in daily life I'm able to put these aside. And even though I hate the thought of saying so, I actually quite like routine. But I know that a "routine" life isn't really what makes me feel great and excited and enthusiastic.
|In Japan, I ended up having quiet, pleasant train rides. Anxiety averted.|
Another example, more recently, when I had a month in Europe. I decided to go a week earlier than my husband so that I could visit my dear friend in Slovakia, and that meant doing a long-haul flight alone with a three-year-old. I think many parents could understand that gearing up for that can fray the nerves, but more than that, I began to feel anxious just about the idea of being in foreign places with a possibly tired and upset boy, struggling to deal with all our baggage and to get where we needed to be (because, of course, I still travel like a backpacker, make limited reservations, and would rather take a bus or train than use a taxi or pickup service). There were moments shortly before that trip when I felt that I just couldn't do it. As you know, it turns out I could, and not only that, but it was even better than I expected - the feeling of wheeling my son's stroller along a Vienna street to catch the train into Slovakia, all our belongings either on my back or hanging off the stroller handles, using two foreign languages (or bits of them) to get by, and actually feeling totally in control of everything, all of this was a hugely powerful feeling.
|Ready to go to the Gold Coast. Anxieties over (except for the fear of taking off and landing!).|
The reason I share all this though is that it occurred to me that there are probably plenty of people out there who feel different kinds of anxieties about travelling and then as a consequence they actually don't go. They don't book trips or they book them and cancel them. And that's really a terrible shame. Travelling is such a great "reset" of life, it gives you a chance to get a different perspective when you're not at home in the daily grind of whatever your life involves, and you get a chance to stop and think when you're in a plane above the clouds or on a beautiful long train trip. Without these interludes of time away from so-called "real" life, I think you can't lead a "real life" at all. So go forth and travel, please, even if you're worried about it. Scratch that - especially if you're worried about it.