How One Traveler Stumbled Into A Two-Year Plan
You know that moment immediately after you stub your toe, but before eminent pain ensues when you think to yourself:
“crap, this is going to really hurt in just a few seconds”
With less than two months to go before Vicky and I set out on what is arguably our most important decision to date, that’s a little bit how I feel now.
It’s a loose connection I’ll admit, whereby the act of stubbing your toe is deciding to go on this two year journey, and the pain is a series of “fall flat on your face” moments that are destined to happen from traveling to unfamiliar places.
What is consistent in this metaphor, however, is the overwhelming anxiety that comes from reality setting in.
I feel completely an utterly unprepared.
I can’t help but think back on myself a year ago. It amazes me that for the first 6 months after deciding to travel the world for two years I essentially sat around doing the same thing I always did. I won’t go into great detail but a couch and a TV were the major players.
Didn’t I wonder where I was going to get vaccinated? Where we were going to go? What I was going to pack?
Ignorance was bliss.
And besides – Vicky will figure it out. She’s good at that stuff. What I am good at?
Making The Website
I’ll make the website. I did it once in college and it was no sweat. We’ll be at the top of the search results in no time, promise, just give me two weeks.
OK OK a month…tops!
CHECK (I mean half the battle is coming up with a catchy title right)?
Um…let’s move on.
Vaccinations – I’ll need a few of those huh? Well, there’s probably only like two travel clinics in DC anyways:
Touché travel clinics – touché.
Oh well, I’m sure they all do a fantastic job, and if I miss one vaccination it can’t be that bad right?
Rabies symptoms may include:
- Anxiety, stress, and tension
- Exaggerated sensation at the bite site
- Loss of feeling in an area of the body
- Loss of muscle function
- Low-grade fever (102 degrees F or lower)
- Muscle spasms
- Numbness and tingling
- Pain at the site of the bite
- Swallowing difficulty
Did they say drooling? Am I sure I don’t already HAVE rabies? Maybe we should just table this for a bit and move on to something more fun.
Let’s plan the route.
Ya, that’ll be fun. Let’s talk about all the cool places where going to go and sites we’re gonna see. Bungee jumping, Everest Base Camp, white water rafting – Great idea!
Asia should be easy – what are the countries again?
I guess a few more popped up after the Soviet Union split (or was it the Berlin Wall coming down?). Realistically though, I mean, Myanmar? If I’ve never even heard of it. It’s probably not that cool…
But maybe not.
Maybe Myanmar is the coolest place in Asia?
Thanks Google – a simple Yes or No would have sufficed. I have to be more scientific about this:
Alright, the route’s planned…and I’m a little tipsy.
It’ll make sense when we get there…promise.
Last part – packing. Should be pretty simple, let’s start with the must haves:
No, I’m not thinking about this right. I have to think smaller.
Alright, alright, I’ll just stick to the bare necessities:
Well I guess that just about does it then.
You might have guessed that this article was somewhat in jest. In reality, a decent amount of work has gone into our planning. At the end of the day though, there really is only so much one can do. No matter how much planning (or how little), you put in, I think there is an element of uncertainty with travel that does make it feel like I just took a shot in a beer pong game. So yes, I do still feel completely unprepared, and yes, I do think it’s going to “hurt” in a few months time. Inevitably though, plans rarely turn out the way they were intended, but at least they get you moving!
About the authors:
Having spent 2 years in the working world, Dave and Vicky are ready to exchange their briefcases for backpacks, dress shoes for sandals, and beds for sleeping bags. Starting in September they will be embarking on a 2 year journey across Asia and Europe. You can follow along at A Couple Travelers where you’ll find travel reflections, blogging resources and restaurant reviews.