I am off this week on another adventure, heading to Boca Raton, FL, for a wedding. Part of me will be happy to escape the bitter taste of winter we’ve finally gotten if only for a few days. And that’s the part I’m focusing on, while the travel anxiety I battle brews, percolating like a tea kettle in my stomach.
I am almost always grateful for any chance I get to travel, especially to visit the ocean. But I also get a serious case of very cold feet every time.
I hate all the fuss and rush of packing, getting ready to leave, making sure I have all those pesky i’s dotted and t’s crossed. I dislike leaving my home, my comfort, my familiar environment, my pets. I worry about entrusting them to the care of others, always afraid that the second I leave something will go wrong.
Heck, I get a twinge of that just when I head out to work.
Plenty of catastrophes might happen while I’m away. I try to imagine them all, make plan Bs, Cs and Ds. I’d check off the whole alphabet if I could. I’m never sure what I am trying to prepare for, or how exactly it would help if anything were to actually happen.
On top of all that, I worry about the whole process of traveling: Will I get up in time? Make my flights? How long will the security line be? Will my suitcase pop a zipper? Will there be a bomb at the airport, or might one of the planes crash? Could I really lift that exit door like the stewardess expects me to in an emergency?
The possibilities are endless. I could go on and on, and this whole post would be nothing but a list of the questions and calamities that rattle around in my mind.
Granted, I have never experienced anything life-threatening while I was traveling. Scares on the other hand, yes. Turbulence can be terrifying, as anyone who has ever experienced it understands. And there was one time when a snowstorm kept me from making it back and stranded my cats at home with a pet-sitting friend who couldn’t reach them.
So why do I keep going anywhere? Why doesn’t the fact that my digestive system never recovers until I’m back home again deter me?
In spite of those few scary experiences, my uncooperative intestines, and a Rolodex of worries, I guess I must feel deep down that the reward still somehow outweighs the potential risks. The chance to discover a new place (I’ve never been to Boca Raton), have an adventure, and get a little warm again in the process are just eternally tempting.
It’s a realization that kind of surprises me, one hopefully I’ll remember at 30,000 feet up.
But I’m still preparing, getting ready, making my lists and checking them twice. I can feel my anxieties on the rise even as I write this, mentally cataloging today’s tasks after finishing this post. Be prepared, the Boy Scout’s motto. That’s the best I can do, all I can do, to try and help myself feel better about leaving my home behind once again.
In the wake of all the stress and this newfound cold, my appetite has been on the rise, too. Hopefully I will still fit into my dress by the time I get to Florida. But maybe that should be a worry for another day.
Tomorrow, I think. I’ll just go ahead and add another one to the list. Boca Raton so better be worth it.
I've never really liked labels: I am this, I am that... But in the interest of introducing myself to the world, I can say that I am many things: nurse, writer, photographer, poet, painter, gardener, friend, armchair philosopher, counselor, nature lover, real-estate aficionado, movie buff, sometime yogi, and aspiring world-traveler. I think that's a pretty good list... for now. I want to become a bigger part of the vital, creative force I feel deeply at work in the world and connect with other people who want to do the same.