Before I laid down to go to sleep after a day spent with my brother, sister in law, and their three month old twins I opened up Amazon to order a travel friendly tripod. As I sat there comparing all of the options (as it seems I do with every minute detail of this trip) I looked at the calendar to ensure it would arrive on time… that’s when the freak out began.
That’s when the three week out freak out began
I realized that in exactly three weeks time, I would be laying down to sleep, only to wake up the next morning and board a one way flight to South America. My mind immediately went down the rabbit hole.
Here’s what crossed my mind like rapid fire in those early freak out moments
- I don’t have an airport transfer set up yet, I hope it’s not too late
- I still need to get waterproof hiking boots and break them in!
- I haven’t walked across the Golden Gate bridge yet
- I want to spend a day taking photos around San Francisco before I leave
- How do I only have one week of accommodation booked?
- My typhoid vaccination is still in the fridge, I need to take that!
- Can I really hike the Quilotoa loop alone – should I have that planned already?
- How the hell am I going to fit 5 months of clothing in one backpack!
That’s just the beginning of the rabbit hole my mind spiraled down
So, instead of sleeping, I began to plan
I sent an email off to my hostel to set up an airport pick up on the day of my arrival. Then, I made a decision on the tripod. I re-read blog posts about the Quilotoa loop and looked up accommodations, again. I looked up packing tips and read reviews on hiking boots. As my computer and phone started to die, I made a plan for the next day. I’d leave my brother’s house early to drive the two hours home. Immediately I would go to Athleta to pick up some versatile clothing. Then I’d head to REI for new boots.
I barely slept that night, waking up the next morning a ball of anxiety and fears about whether I could actually do this. Who do I think I am?
Before going home, I stopped at a footwear store for hiking boots, they didn’t have any. I then rushed home to eat and then headed back out for Athleta – where I couldn’t find any parking. So I came back home.
It was then, that I decided to roll out my yoga mat.
I needed to chill out. I needed to slow my brain down. I needed to honor the fact that this is a massive shift I’m taking in my life and it’s ok to be afraid and freak out. After practice I felt less anxiety, less need to rush to get things done.
Then, I found a list that I’d made when I started planning this trip – and surprisingly I had everything just about checked off.
Do you ever find that the big picture seems so overwhelming but, once broken down into bite size pieces, over time you eventually arrive?
If you’re sitting there, still reading this, I want you to know that this is just one of the many freak out moments I’ve had in the past 6 months of planning. I want you to know that I doubt myself about this at least once per day. There is no chance I have this figured out, and from reading numerous travel blogs, no one really has it figured out, even those who have been traveling for a long time!
The thought that keeps me grounded is that I can figure things out just as much as the next person. Why not me?
And why not you?
Accept the fact that you don’t know how to start, but no one did. Thats why I wrote a complete guide to solo traveling. The important thing is to just start. Eventually you’ll be having a three week out freak out as well!