When we decided to travel the world beginning this upcoming Halloween, Tom’s retirement date, we knew the tasks associated with changing our lives to this degree would be daunting. We have made a purposeful point of not getting caught up in the excitement by staying task-oriented and preparing for endless “what ifs” by playing our own devil’s advocate.
Doing so has resulted in some sleep-stealing worrying one does at 3:00 am. We are not strangers to this particular effect of worrying. Last night we both lay awake between 2:00 am and 4:00 am, tossing and turning, aware of each other’s state, trying not to talk to further our alertness. Finally, we drifted off only to have Tom’s alarm clock startle us both at 6:50. We got some good worrying in!
We ask ourselves so many questions, not so much to put a damper on our adventure, but to maintain a sense of the reality of what is yet to come. “They say” that worry is a useless emotion. If worrying prompts or motivates one to take self-preserving measures, then worry has some unmitigated value.
Fear in itself is a powerful motivator. Overcoming fear is next in line. The healthy self-love and appreciation we experience after overcoming fear are the greatest rewards life has to offer us in our continuing search for personal growth and self-discovery.
Oh, good grief, does this mean we will zip line or bungee jump when we spend three months in Belize, beginning in February 2013? Or, will we ride an inner tube through the water caves in the rain forest, the roofs covered with guano (gee, I always wanted to find a use for that word, meaning “bat poop”, if you didn’t already know) while I am terrified of bats? Or, will we ride a hot air balloon in Kenya (during our three-month stay) over the Great Migration in the Serengeti National Park? Or, will we welcome a 275-pound warthog into the kitchen where we will live for three months beginning December 2013 in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, living among the wildlife with no barriers?
What if we show up at one of our many prepaid vacation homes throughout the world to find out that we were scammed, with all of our due diligence when no such owner or house exists? We’ll take a deep breath, get online as fast as possible, and find a place to stay for a few days while we figure it out. We’ll have lost up to three months’ rent, the maximum time we will stay in any vacation home. But, we’ll continue on, knowing full well that we chose this risk as part of the adventure.
What if one of the five cruises we have booked thus far encounters a storm and is unable to “drop us off” to our desired location a day or two prior to the end of the cruise and instead goes to a different port some 500 miles away? We will go to the next port, get off, and find a flight, a train, a ferry to our planned location.
What if one of us has a gallbladder attack requiring surgery while we are in a remote location? We are purchasing emergency evacuation insurance that will take us back to the states to our desired location or at least to the nearest big city hospital.
What if our passports or wallets are stolen? We are getting second passports to be kept separately from my purse and Tom’s wallet. We have scanned all of our credit cards with contact information, driver’s licenses debit cards, and banking information to a secure cloud. All we’ll ever need is a WiFi location to immediately contact the necessary parties.
How will we, both gluten-free, not eat the homemade pasta, bread and pastries while spending almost three months in a 17th century stone farmhouse in Tuscany, beginning June 15, 2013? We will either try it and pay the price or, we will choose not to try it and instead enjoy the local produce and meats.
So, worrying we will do! And, surely along the way, we’ll be surprised, disappointed, scared, and “ripped off” asking ourselves how we let this happen, how we made this mistake, why we left our family and friends behind to seek out adventure.
Then again, we’ll be amazed, enthralled, enriched, and enlightened and most of all, grateful, to be sharing this experience together for as long as we choose, and for as long as we can. So we’ll miss the ferry, the flight gets canceled, the mosquitoes are biting, the heat is overwhelming, we can’t get online, and then, the giraffes are hogging the road when we are trying to get to the grocery store!