We have been living here in down town Perth for almost three months now. It is amazing how fast one falls back into the old routines. Work, pay the bills, go out on the occasional Friday or Saturday. Having a stable routine and place to come home to makes everything feel so normal, safe in many ways.
The funniest part is I didn’t realize it had happened until recently when we actually began to start planning for the next leg of our journey. We started booking plane flights and looking into hostels and talking about dates and budgets and time, and suddenly it hit me, I’m nervous again. Despite the fact that I have been doing this for almost a year now, which is a revelation in itself, I fell so quickly back into city living, that it almost feels like I am getting ready to start all over again.
And in many ways, I guess we are. While the first bit of this leg will still be in OZ, the large majority of it will take place in Asia. Rather then living out of our car and going where wind and whim take us, this time we will be living out of hostels, taking guided tours, and doing a much more touristy sort of thing. In many ways, we will actually be living out of our back packs as well, which will be a new experience. Matter of fact, the more I think about it, and the more I write about it, the more I realize it is a lot like it was when we were preparing to leave the first time around. In many ways, it’s the same sort of worries.
Perhaps the biggest change is that we will travel through countries where English is no longer the primary language. One of the reasons we chose OZ as a starting point for our journey is that at least we speak the same language. Being able to communicate easily with people has been a huge benefit for us in more ways then I care to think about. It is a bit nerve racking to think that we will soon be in a country where we may not be able to communicate with people. If there is one thing I have always been able to fall back on when in places I am unfamiliar with is the fact that I can always just ask some one. While it is probably a bit silly to think I will be completely without ability to communicate, the fact that it wont be so easy does scare me quiet a bit.
And of course, there is always the money issue. I wasn’t so worried about it in OZ, which if you know me you know is probably something of a lie, because I knew we would be able to get a job that paid decently seeing as OZ has a minimum wage that puts the US to shame. Such a situation is unlikely in Southeast Asia, so we are limited largely by what money we have when we arrive.
Why that all scares me I don’t really know. In all likelihood, we have plenty of money to have a fairly good trip and still have enough left over to get us through our first few weeks in New Zealand, especially since we will be traveling with Courtney’s parents in Thailand. Most things in the places we will be going are significantly cheaper then they are in Australia and we made due just fine here. It is one of those strange personality things of mine. But, even though it the fear may be a bit misplaced, it is there nonetheless.
I am also a bit nervous about having to haggle for things all the time. It is not a skill I have had much practice with, and, from what I have read, it is something that we will probably have to do quite a bit. Just the thought of it brings my social anxiety bubbling up. There is also some excitement for this as well however. It is a skill that I will be able to use for the rest of my life. It is something I have always wanted to get a bit more comfortable with and better at. So despite my reservations on the subject, I am also looking forward to it.
We have done quite a bit of research and we believe we have all our visa stuff taken care of, so that shouldn’t be a problem, but it is still a bit of a worry. We are going to see a doctor who specializes in helping out travelers, so we should be set in terms of vaccines and disease prevention, which has never really been a fear of mine, but I want to throw it out there any way. I have never really heard anything about these countries that would make me fear for my safety in any way, so I have no reason to be worried about that kind of thing. There are criminals and other shady sorts everywhere, but its not like these places are known for violent drug cartels or anything of the sort. Matter of fact everything I have heard about Southeast Asia makes the people out to be very nice.
I guess what I am nervous about is change. I often have a hard time with change, especially such dramatic change. I like some stability in my life. But, that is a large part of why I chose to go on this adventure. I realize that it is necessary to go out of ones comfort zone, to put ones self in new situations, force ones self to face new challenges in order to grow. Even though I know this, I can honestly say that the first few steps for me are often the hardest, especially when I have as much free time as I do now to think about it (my mind likes to take a small problem and spiral it into a much bigger one). In my heart of hearts I know I have little to worry about. I have a good travel partner who has many of the social skills that I lack, I have a very supportive family, and hell we even have some decent back up finances to fall back on if things go really bad. We are as prepared as we can be and there is nothing else to do besides dive in.
This post is meant to help me get my anxieties out so I can let them go, so though it may sound like I am a nervous wreck, it is not the full truth. There are many things, both real and made up, that we may or may not face that make me nervous, but I am actually quite excited about it all. Nerves or no we have some great things planned and I am looking forward to another set of once in a lifetime experiences. I am always amazed and grateful that I have the chance to experience these once in a lifetime opportunities. Many people never get the chance to see so many different things and visit so many of the amazing places this planet has to offer, and I realize I am extremely blessed to be able to experience them.