Travel fears and how to conquer them

In twenty-four hours I will be in the air on my way to Bangkok. However, because I am a human, I am having a few fluttery butterflies floating around the old tum-tum and bouncing off my pelvis like leaden yo-yos.

I mean to say I'm a little lot worried about some huge and insignificant things. So I am writing this blog entirely for me. If you happen to share some of my 'Oh my god I'm leaving my home for several months' fears, then keep reading, my words of wisdom may help you too.

I am worried about the following-

I am worried I might get bitten by a rabid monkey.

I am worried I might die in a plane crash. I booked a very cheap flight with Air Asia X which had a great safety rating, however Air Asia has a terrible safety rating and apparently they're the same thing.

I am worried I might get a STD or a STB (sexually transmitted baby).

I am more worried there will be no one I fancy on the two continents I am visiting and I will reach a significant celibacy benchmark (I'm not saying which) and I'll be visiting a monastery and they'll look at me as purity personified and they'll trap me in a tower so pilgrims can travel from miles around to marvel at me.

I am worried I'll be eaten by a shark.

I am worried I'll be eaten by a crocodile.

I am worried I'll be eaten by a dragon. They're actual things in Indonesia.

I am worried I won't make any friends.

I am worried I'll make too many friends and they'll all invite me to different places and I won't be able to choose and I'll end up sitting, starring at a wall, paralysed by indecision.

I am worried by the phrase 'Trip of a lifetime'. It's everywhere. I don't want this to be my final adventure.

I am worried my travels will change me so completely I won't be able to return to normal life in January.

I am worried I'll come back exactly the same.

I am worried I won't have fun.

I am worried I'll run out of money.

I am worried I'll drink or take something silly, including medical drugs, and die.

I am worried everything at home will change, my friends, my family, my work situation.

I am worried that nowhere will feel like home.

Yes. I am worried. Imagine my brain as a shoreline. The 'I'm so excited I could pee' is the wave rushing up the sand, the 'but I'll probably die' worry is the water being sucked back into the sea.

So I shall build a sea wall out of logic and optimism to trap all my excitement and keep my worries at bay! (Don't think too hard about that metaphor, it doesn't make sense).

Let's conquer those fears!

I am worried I might get bitten by a rabid monkey.

When's the last time you got bitten by an animal? (Cat's don't count because they're arseholes). If you're worried about rabies have the shot for extra protection. £150 is quite a lot, but worth it for peace of mind and avoiding certain death.

I will point out that you (me, not you, lovely reader) have very recently had your shots which is why your arm is currently dead.

I am worried I might die in a plane crash. I booked a very cheap flight with Air Asia X which had a great safety rating, however Air Asia has a terrible safety rating and apparently they're the same thing.

You'd have to be REALLY unlucky. Statistically you're far safer in a plane than a car. Also Air Asia doesn't crash that often, it just catches fire and has to land early, so you'll be fine.

I am worried I might get a STD or a STB (sexually transmitted baby).

Use protection. Dingbat.

I am more worried there will be no one I fancy on the two continents I am visiting and I will reach a significant celibacy benchmark (I'm not saying which) and I'll be visiting a monastery and they'll look at me as purity personified and they'll trap me in a tower so pilgrims can travel from miles around to marvel at me.

Pack a grappling hook and rope and/or stop being ridiculous. Your choice.

I am worried I'll be eaten by a shark.

When's the last time you went deep enough to be anywhere near a shark? Also, statistically, you're safer in a shark than you are in a car.

I am worried I'll be eaten by a crocodile.

This is legit. Sensible, logical brain approves of this fear. Don't go to the bit of Australia where crocodiles hide in all water (sea, lakes, ponds, puddles) and if you do, don't go near water, including the shower, until you leave.

I am worried I'll be eaten by a dragon. They're actual things in Indonesia.

Logical brain has looked into this and they probably couldn't eat you, there's guards everywhere. But their bite will give you blood poisoning. Just give them a wide berth.

I am worried I won't make any friends.

Travelling is like Freshers week. Everyone wants you to like them and after a week you'll never see them again. Except for the few you really connect with. There's a lot of people in the world, someone's bound to take to you.

I am worried I'll make too many friends and they'll all invite me to different places and I won't be able to choose and I'll end up sitting, starring at a wall, paralysed by indecision.

Flip a coin. If you don't like the result do the other thing. If you have more than two options create a coin flipping knock out tournament or similar.

I am worried by the phrase 'Trip of a lifetime' it's everywhere. I don't want this to be my final adventure. 

Come on. It's a thing people say. If you want to go on another trip you'll make it happen. Relax and enjoy this one, no pressure to make it spectacular, it'll probably happen on it's own. It is a stupid phrase though.

I am worried my travels will change me so completely I won't be able to return to normal life in January.

I am worried I'll come back exactly the same.

For those two - again stop putting pressure on yourself. There's not going to be some kind of incredible metamorphosis. You are not a caterpillar. You are already the type of person who has organised the trip of a life time (sorry). Know you'll have fun and see what happens.

I am worried I won't have fun.

Remember when you walked past a bus by the side of the road and thought it was hilarious? (Or another finding hilarity in something mundane example) You have fun at home, you'll have fun abroad.

Context- the bus had a big poster by the local council saying 'Don't blame the bus for your child not getting to school on time #getagrip' on it. 

I am worried I'll run out of money.

Budget. Dingbat. Make an effort to do volunteering and save on accommodation (and make friends) or earn some money online doing writing or something.

I am worried I'll drink or take something silly, including medical drugs, and die.

Don't. Know when to institute the 'dodgy London bar' rules- Bottled beer only/ handbag on you at all times. No recreational drugs (expensive anyway) and seek actual medical advice if you get sick.

I am worried everything at home will change, my friends, my family, my work situation.

When's the last time anything changed? Think about what you were all doing this time six months ago, or a year ago, or two years ago. We chug along and if it's going to happen, it'll happen regardless of where you are. There's not many places you couldn't get home from in less than a day.

Also maybe the change will be entertaining, like Cornwall, which in a Brexit fuelled haze decides to declare its own independence and shears away the earth that attaches it to the rest of the UK and floats off into the Atlantic. 

'Darling shall we go to Cornwall for our Summer holiday?'

'Where is it now?'

'Near Barbados'

'No let's go to Bognor Regis'

I am worried that nowhere will feel like home.

Isn't that the point? And there will always be cities and in those cities there will be cinemas and in those cinemas there will be Marvel films and isn't that what home really is?

There we go, feeling better? If my sarcasm to hand-holding ratio is a bit off for you remember the following-

You are good at staying alive, you've done a great job up to this point.

Change is healthy and inevitable and often REALLY slow. If you have WiFi you're never that far from home.

Plan, have fun, be mindful of your safety.

These are all wise words I shall attempt to live by. 

I'll let you know how I go...

 

Ps. If you wanted a physical action for conquering your fears try the following-

Camomile tea with honey.

16 star jumps facing east.

Bake a cake and stir your worries into the batter, then give the cake to your sworn enemy.

Yoga.

Stroke a dog. Not a rabid one.

 

You're welcome.