As I sit here squeezing my dog (a pug named Newton, if you care) almost out of breath, I can feel my jaw clenching up like it has been for the past 4 weeks now. Ever since the reality that I was going on a vacation – hold your breath for this – alone set in.
That’s right, the risk-averse-me/can’t-stay-without-speaking-for-a-minute-me is going on a solo trip.
Where you ask? Well, if you ask my friends to hazard a guess, they’d say probably a place they’d never heard of – and my parents certainly are of that opinion. I’m travelling to the South-Eastern region of Europe, which would be the beautiful countries of Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The decision to travel to these countries was a purely logical deduction basis the time of year I was going and the duration I was going for.
Planning the trip was the easy part. Getting the visa? Not so much – but it’s a much longer story I’d rather not talk about here.
But now here I am, with exactly 18 hours 45 mins before my flight takes off, and I’m flipping out. I’m being inundated with thoughts of everything that could go wrong, and wondering why I took such a step in the first place.
I have also been trolling the internet for the past week now, trying to find blogs of solo travellers who talk about such pre-trip anxiety, but nothing seems to come close to what I’m feeling now.
So this is why I’m writing this(after almost 2 years on this blog now!). Because regardless of how I feel right now, I am going to fasten my seat belt on that plane tomorrow, and I am going to go on my travails with my chin up. And if I manage to get through this, I am going to be an untethered bird, and I will book myself for another trip as soon as I can.
Because what can possibly go wrong that couldn’t if I had company? Haven’t I learnt that a smile is an universal language, and there are amazing people no matter which part of the world you are in? You got to have trust in humanity and hope for the best.
So this post is essentially a pre-trip gift to the future me, who will go on a trip again (because I know her really well), so that she remembers that I felt like this this time around, and feels much better about the decision to face a day I never thought would ever come. And you know what? I’m sure at the bottom of all the fear, she’d still be as darned proud of it as I am right now. Because just the decision to say yes to myself was the biggest decision of them all.
So, yes, hello world, I’m coming to make friends with you, please be wanting to make friends with me too?