Ode to Anticipation
It is one of the best things about traveling. This tingling feeling in your stomach that gets you through boring days because you know, something is going to happen soon. Soon you are going to be out there and the world will open up once more, greet you like an old friend and tease you like a teenage love. It will spin your head and throw you to the ground, it will challenge who you are, what you do and who you want to be. It puts you in your place whilst simultaneously elevating you towards the stars. You will trust strangers and question values, test your limits and understand the need for old tales.
Yes, I know, these are dramatic words, but, well, the prospect of traveling just gets me daydreaming…
Maybe this is why the profanity of actually preparing for traveling can be a little unnerving – especially if you are like me: One of those people who start packing late, realize a few days before take off that you still need some vaccination shots and, well, sometimes tend to be mildly underorganized.
Therefore I was pleasantly surprised that this time, somehow, it felt like I was on top of everything: the vaccinations, the packing, the getting work done before turning on the “out-of-office” – email. Even though I’m going to be gone for at least ten weeks. And even though there was still so much stuff to do and things to figure out. But at some point it hit me:
The best parachute
My organizing skills had not really changed. There was still a lot going on, just as there always had been before a long journey – and I still would get it done just as I always did. What had changed was just my attitude: I was really relaxed. Don’t get me wrong, I am always convinced that as long as you’ve got your health, a valid passport, and a credit card, things tend to work out. But usually, I would at some point wake up in the morning thinking about things: What if none of you credit cards work and you can’t get money? What if you run out of gas on the road? What if your visa doesn’t work? Those questions would never drive me insane but they were the antidote to the anticipation, a tiny warning voice reminding you to take care out there and also to prepare properly.
But this time it did not even pop up. And I guess it is because I trust in my friends’ friends, these people I never met, basically as much as I trust in the crazy, caring, funny, original friends. So there still might be a lot of things that could go wrong. But I wouldn’t have to figure it out alone. Somebody would answer their phone and help me out. And for a traveler that is the best parachute you can have.
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