The Stress of Travel

painting ladderThe long title of this article should really be “Why I shouldn’t have taken a week off work before I actually left on my trip”, but “The Stress of Travel” is a nice, tidy, blanket overview…everything which my house/life right now is not.

The long title of this article should really be “Why I shouldn’t have taken a week off work before I actually left on my trip”, but “The Stress of Travel” is a nice, tidy, blanket overview…everything which my house/life right now is not.

 

I get these pre-trip jitters honestly. My Dad, before getting to leave for a few days off on his many adventures in scouting, reinacting, or work related travelling, would go into what we would call “Camp Samacing” state. (Camp Samac was a scouting camp not far from our childhood home where he volunteered as a scouting leader for one week a year). He would stomp around the house, grumbling under his breath about all the things he needed to do before he left. Nothing was right, nothing was where it should have been, the house needed repairs, the list of all that was wrong in the world went on and on. We learned quickly enough to stay out of his way and he dealt with all the anxiety of leaving his everyday world for a place of escape. So, here I am…exactly one week before our flight leaves, and I’ve turned into my father.

 

Why is it that we get so stressed out before we travel? I was hoping this anxiety would fade with time and experience, and packing up and preparing for a few weeks away would be old hat. Now I sit here at home, with not one, but two rooms in complete upheaval and ready to be painted. I have attempted to start my packing/to-do list countless times, but it all feels so overwhelming. Last week we realized we had forgotten to apply for our Dubai visa, and after a rush of errands to get all of the requirements, it has been sent off…only leaving us to wonder what other major task had skipped our minds. I love being organized, I love lists, and yet somehow this trip in particular is taking my level of stress to a brand new level.

 

There is another reason why I may be reaching new heights in the stress category. This upcoming trip will be my first time without an agenda. I so desperately want to be that carefree traveller, that decides on the road and on a whim where her next destination will be. Taking recommendations from fellow adventurers about what is cool to see, where to stay, where to avoid…all of that is what I dream of when I think of being a true traveller. This trip, we are away for a month. We have the flight to Bangkok booked, via Dubai. We have our hotel booked in Bangkok the first 3 nights, and the last night before we fly home. We have our hotel booked in Dubai. We have one excursion booked in Bangkok for the 3rd day we are there. That is it. According to my Blackberry Travel app, that is 24 days of unbooked accomodation, unbooked means of travel. For some, that might sound like paradise. Truthfully, if it was someone else’s unplanned agenda, I would be excited for their unknown adventure. But it’s mine. And I like planning. And I’m not coping well.

 

Is someone who has their itinerary all planned out just as cool of a traveller as someone who flies by the seat of their pants? It’s not the type of traveller I want to be, but I’m discovering that it’s the type of traveller I think I am. I’m hoping that once I get to the airport, the only location where stress seems to escape from me, and this road begins, that I become that carefree girl I dream of being. Until then, my husband is more than overjoyed going to work so I can stomp around, and mumble to myself as I organize my bookshelves for the 3rd time already this week. This time next week, I will be on a plane – rooms left to be painted, and housework all but forgotten about. And I will be reintroduced to that rush that only comes from discovering places I’ve only dreamed about. That rush that makes these days leading up to my trip, and all the stress that they bring, worth it in the end.

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