This is it! I’ve just booked all but the last of my accommodation, I’ve checked in online for my flight and I’ve packed my bag… sort of… a repack is required. You’d think by now I’d have it down to a fine art but it’s never been my forte. What should be a methodical arrangement of things invariably descends into a shove-fest with very little rhyme or reason. I’ve never even owned a travel hairdryer! Mind you, after my pre-trip haircut, I won’t be needing one. It’s so short, I hardly need shampoo or conditioner!!! It’s OK, it’ll grow back.
I really should be excited by now but I’m not.
I can’t explain it but I have such a sense of foreboding. No doubt it’s a consequence of the trip coming together as quickly as it has and requiring the coordination of six very different destinations to be visited in only six weeks – I’ve been juggling so many balls that I haven’t really been able to get a grasp on any of them. Although my last trip was far more monumental in every possible way, I think I was genuinely crazy then and it seemed like the only sane thing to do whereas now I’m just sane enough to know that this is crazy!
Pre-trip anxiety is normal enough I suppose, especially going it alone. I just wish my sulky heart would stop trying to seek solace in a place of past comfort in spite of the rigorous training I’ve put it through the last couple of years. When will it learn it only makes it harder? I guess old habits die hard but they do die.
Besides, I have to remind myself that fear is a choice and a fairly futile one at that. If everything I fear came to pass, there would be nothing I could do to stop it anyway. Besides, what’s the alternative? To sit at home and never venture out into the world for fear of consequences? And if I want to be really pessimistic and think that life is going to come crashing down around me, then shouldn’t I be out there enjoying every last minute of it anyway?! In the words of the Bene Gesserit from Dune “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain”. See how wise science fiction is!!!
But this is not a science fiction story, nor is it a horror show – it’s a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure – and this is my choice. For better or worse, here I go again off into the world. I know that once I pass through those gates at the airport, this weight will lift as though walking through the front gate to my home, to the place where I really live. And so ends the preface, time to turn over the page and let a new story begin.
Naomi Doyle, aka Patches McGee is a writer, traveller and phone-ographer in desperate need of your help to make her next trip to see the Northern Lights a reality. Join the journey here by subscribing to this blog, on Facebook at Patches McGee, Twitter @patches_mcgee and Instagram @patches_mcgee