I am nervous now. Two sleeps to go and it’s time to board a plane and get out of here. It’s not the flight or even the time over there that makes me nervous. It’s everything. But mostly it’s the coming back at the end of the trip that scares me most. The last time I came back from an overseas adventure I was broke, broken and soon after heartbroken.
It’s been almost two years since my phenomenal adventure through Asia and Africa. I loved every moment of it too. I spend a large portion of my time lost in daydreams, reminiscing and plotting how to get back overseas and amongst the world again. Now that the moment is finally upon me, I didn’t realise I would be so scared. The rational part of me knows that I will have a blast and come back from California full of new stories, memories and planning another escape from Oz as soon as possible. Somewhere though, hiding in a tiny recess, in the depths of my brain/heart/soul sits the memory of returning home in 2010.
I’d lost all my money playing Black Jack Poker in Vietnam, cutting my travels short and sending me back to Thailand to collect the rest of my belongings. The shards of self-esteem that were left, now hung in tatters from my soul as I wallowed in my failure to see what had happened and disheartened at having to go home early through my own stupidity. I was somewhat relieved upon finding my friend/guide/angel Jem at the hostel. I was able to debrief on my travels and chat about all the lessons I’d learnt along the way while waiting for my flight back to Australia. Then three weeks after arriving home Jem died. He knew it was going to happen. I knew it was going to happen. It didn’t reduce the shock or heartbreak felt though. It still destroyed me.
So now sitting here, looking over my pile of clothes and books ready to be packed, I’m having waves of nostalgia mixed with stress and nerves sweep over me. The awful thought of “What if…” creeping in and waking me up in the middle of the night or paralysing me with fear at the most ridiculous moments during the day. And the rational part of me shaking my shoulders and screaming “Stop it!! You are going to have so much fun and everything will be fine!!” And it will be. As long as I remember the lessons learnt last time. To just let go and enjoy the moment, but still pay attention. Pay attention to the people, the places, the culture, the sights and sounds, take it all in, but let go of the stress and see what happens.
Sitting here staring at the pile of clothes and books and my empty pack, I’m amazed by what will trigger the human body/heart/soul into such fear. Fear over things long since dealt with, fear over things that really are not that big. Some people have fears of spiders, flying, lizards or swimming. I on the other hand seem to have developed a fear of coming home.