Dichotomy of Travel
I am going on a trip! Actually, by the time this is posted, I’ll have returned from my trip.
Theoretically, I love travel.
I'm excited, invigorated. I like seeing places different from home, be it near or far. I love to imagine what it would be like to live here, to be intimately linked to a different environment and even to know a different language. As a traveler, I benefit from the romance of being an untethered soul, wandering anonymously through places, observing and appreciating. I consider how people everywhere have similar hopes, dreams, lives even.
That’s what drives me to pick a place, research it and then to convince someone to come with me (Cm’on! It’ll be fun!) as I have done recently. (Actually, that part wasn’t too hard…)
But as the travel time nears, my other attitude sets in. The trepidations and the logistics and the choices begin to plague me. All of those niggly decisions that gnaw at my confidence and leave me crippled by indecision. What if I pick a place to stay in that’s gross? What if I miss that plane/train/subway/sidewalk? What if I run out of money/time/patience/energy/etc.? How will I get from A to B? What if I can’t communicate with anyone there?
Is it a symptom of getting older that insecurities pile up faster than leaves raked in the fall? Is my backbone suffering from osteoporosis, leading me to examine each leaf of fear and see not its beautiful colour but its future rot?
I know, I know, I’m dwelling on the scary side of travel instead of appreciating the beautiful experiences and insights that come with going somewhere else. I am trying to (a) hide my fears from my super-supportive family, and (b) ignore those fears to focus on the positive outcomes of the trip. Not everything bad that I imagine at three am will come true. Besides, sometimes adversity gives you the best stories.
Hopefully next month I'll post pictures of wonderful Italy...