Packing it

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Packing it
Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia


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


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