I have a few of these ‘pre-travel anxiety’ posts saved in my drafts but none of them have yet made it to a published state; most of them I never finished as they make me feel more anxious than when I started them.
7 days left to go. I keep telling myself this time in two weeks I’m going to be living by the beach. Waking up in the jungle. Surfing in the mornings, eating alongside new friends (hopefully) in the evenings. Seems like a stark contrast, and still very surreal, in comparison to the current day-to-day I’ve been living for the last two and a half years.
From my pre-planned list of to-do’s, I have
- left my job,
- bought the necessities: plane tickets (crucial), travel insurance, hiking boots, back-pack..,
- sorted the essentials: changing over bills & addresses, travel vaccinations, unlocking my phone, pre-paid travel card…,
- packed up & moved two-thirds of my room back to my home-home,
- planned out my last few week to maximise time with all my favourite people around the hours I’ll spend packing (and panicking).
From the un-planned to-do list, I have also
- been to Newport to buy a fast-track emergency passport (after an unfortunate and remarkable mishap where the roof leaked right on top of where I’d left it),
- shelled out an exceptional amount of money on “travel bits’n’pieces”, like 25 pairs of earplugs that turned out to be 250 (all individually packaged – brilliant) and a travel towel that arrived the size of a piece of toast and expanded to the size of a flannel,
- had a small pebble fly into my windscreen at 74 mph and, despite it being smaller than a 5p coin, will have to pay £95 replacement fee as it is in ‘eye-line with the steering wheel’ (an MOT-fail apparently),
- fallen for the guy I’ve been seeing for the last 6 months (and then cried for an hour after realising what shit timing it all is).
Today and tomorrow I will spend sorting my life into two piles – one that I’ll box up and move back to my parents house; the other that I’ll take with me in a backpack that’s roughly the same size as me for the next 3 and a half months.
This last week has been a series of ups and downs.
I’ve been livin’ my best lyf these past few days: going to London to see the sights and catch up with uni friends; going to gigs; celebrating some friends’ birthdays with a big night out to a disco-event (the kind where you sing along to Abba) and nursing a Sunday-hangover, the only consolation knowing that I don’t have to get up early Monday morning.
It’s been a really good week but it’s also been really sad. At the end of every good night out is the harsh reality that this may be the last one for a while. Catching up with friends inevitably brings the questions of where I’m going and what I’ll be doing, followed by a the well known chorus of god I’m so jealous. I know it probably makes me sound ungrateful and there’s obviously bigger things in life to moan about other than the general niceties of my friends and their caring questions and interest in my life. It’s just the where’s and what’s remind me that I literally have no idea myself, and other people’s jealousy makes me feel guilty for the nerves and the nausea I’ve been feeling.
It’ll be fine when I get there.
(This is usually the bridge to the chorus of ‘god I’m so jealous’). I know these nerves are normal. I know it’s the fear of the unknown that is making me apprehensive, and perhaps maybe why I’m not SO excited just yet. Above all, I know once I am there all these worries will seem a million miles away and I’ll be able to enjoy and experience this adventure I’m about to embark on.
I also know that it’s a lot easier said than done, and I just need to get through this next bit: the last things to sort out, the last goodbyes, the final run-up to boarding my flight at Heathrow.
I know it’s not forever.
When I have my wobbles – of which I’ve had many – and start getting overly emotional about “the life I’m leaving behind”, I have to keep reminding myself I’m not going away indefinitely. It’s only three and a half months.
But I also know that yes, while it’s not goodbye forever, it’s goodbye to the life I’ve been living up to this point. Goodbye to how things are right now, and that’s the part that scares me. I do love my life. I’m not running away from anything, like a bad break-up or a bad job. I’m not leaving because I need change in my life; I decided to go because I fancied it. And in these last few days of fun and friends, of saying farewell to awesome colleagues who made me feel so valued, of enjoying my time here, I’m starting to worry if I’ve made the right choice.
Well, that part I’m yet to find out. Stay tuned for more.