Thursday, February 12, 2015

5 days, 16 hours, 22 minutes: The roller coaster of anticipation

"You must be so excited!!!"

"Uh... yeah. Yeah, of course I am," I reply with a distinctly shallow sense of conviction.

I can tell you that, yes, truly, under all the layers of stress and preparation, I'm thrilled. But, over the last few weeks, a blanket of overwhelming activity attempted to smother out the flames of joyous anticipation.

How easily that can happen, yes? For me, I had taken on extra hours at work, handled all of the day to day, prepped the new employees, coordinated the switch-over, spent two full days driving and two days attempting to help renovations on a house, dealt with the potential of getting a new dog including taking it with me on said trip, tried to keep up on meeting with people since it's the last time I will be able to for two months, and desperately attempted to eck out the occasional minute to actually think about and plan my trip.

Oh right, and I have a spinal cord injury. :p

I lost track of doing laundry, stopped doing the dishes, and basically flat-lined on pain and fatigue more than once. Thank goodness I decided to start having groceries delivered to my house or food would have completely subsisted of the uber-healthy choice of delivery.

(May I take a quick moment to gush about grocery delivery? I'd balked on allowing any sort of help during my recovery and acceptance of getting an SCI, and groceries was one of them. I didn't feel normal unless I went through the regular process of going to the store, wandering around, and lugging the food into the house.

What an utter fool I had been.

Why waste all that energy!? I can now shop whilst sipping vino in my pajama's if I care to. And on Wednesday (my given delivery day) I come home to my groceries piled up and ready right beside my door. Screw this walking up stairs with heavy crap bullpucky! I may never go back. It seems utterly foolhardy now.)

In any case, I hardly had a moment to breathe, much less think about and plan my trip. And, subsequently, stress started to pile high in my heart. I wasn't ready. I don't even know where my universal electric plug thingy is. And doubts about my ability to handle this trip inevitably trickled into my overwrought mind.

Has this ever happened to you? So much pre-trip craziness surrounds you that you actually hit a point where you regret the trip altogether and wish you weren't going?

Well, it happened to me. A few times actually. It's been a mild bit of a roller coaster.

Thank the gods it's always been a temporary state.

Today I finally had a moment to think about my trip again, and a conversation that started with the strained-to-hide and thick reedy voice of stress ended up in giggles and squeaks of apprehensive joy.

Part of it was that I google earthed my first hotel today, just for shits and giggles. That was a lark! This is not something I was capable of doing on previous trips. Zoomed right down and stared at a three-dimensional photo of Bali Segara as if I were standing on the street right before it. What a.. digital trip. I wonder if any of you have done this? I google map lots of stuff here in my own city because I find it an excellent resource for finding a destination easily, but I'd never traipsed around a foreign land without my feet actually doing the work before. Although in doing it, I actually felt a little bit like I was cheating on my trip. One of my favourite parts of travel is the discovery of the new, and seeing my hotel prior to the moment of arrival was somehow uncomfortable and like I had robbed myself of a special experience. Am I nuts? Maybe I'm just sappy like that. :p

The point is, though, that today I felt that enlivening thrill rush through me again. The deep beat of travel sounded in my heart and I felt it be real again. I felt, I feel, genuine excitement, raw and free of the stress surrounding it.

In less than a week I will fly into Denpasar, Bali. I will discover a part of the world I have never seen before.


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