When I bought my plane ticket at the end of August, I thought it would be great for a variety of reasons:
- It would allow me to pay for it before I travel.
- It would give me focus for language study and research for the months to come.
- It would force my hand – I’d be going no matter what crazy life-stuff came up in the meantime.
- It would give me heart to have something special to look forward to in the dark winter months.
In the end, all these things were true. It was great to have a reason to learn Portuguese, and I discovered that I love the language itself. I managed to pay for most of the expenses prior to travel. And yes, life handed me a lot of weird stuff in the meantime. Some things, like the need for a new roof on my house, would’ve made me cancel the trip had I not already bought the ticket.
So yes, it’s a good thing to have made such plans so far in advance.
But what I didn’t see coming is that, in my excitement, my brain got deeply into future-tripping. And whatever that thrill thing that my body goes through when I think of something fun and exciting has gotten worn out. It’s like a button I could push. Now my nerves feel a little raw. Every day, especially now that the trip is so close, people say, “Oh! How exciting! You must be very excited!” Well yes. I am. I was. I have been for so long I think the excitement button is on the fritz. Perhaps I shouldn’t have pushed it so much?
Another unexpected side-effect has been an increase of what’s probably some kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I’ve read so many travel blog lists and bits of advice. Asking myself repeatedly what I should take or not take, pack in my purse or pack in my suitcase, as well as the lists of don’t forget this or that takes a toll.
Let it all go.
Be here now. Here at home. At work. With the people I love and will miss while I’m gone. With my dog, yes! She’s alive and well, somehow! The sun is shining, flowers are blooming. Life is now.
Travel is such a big deal for me, something I wish I could do more of, that it has become rather an obsession. This trip is great, but it’s only a moment in time. Breathe and enjoy all the moments.
If I can’t pay attention to this moment, how will I be free to notice anything while I’m traveling?