Travel and the Unknown

+ Map Travel Unknown Jan 09 11595539_sI would love to be a free spirit who takes to the adventure of travel with ease and excitement. Unlike some adventurous people, “Put me down in the middle of nowhere and let me find my way home” is just not a statement I’m very likely to make. I’ve found, in fact, that I am uneasy enough with travel lately to wonder if I’ve got a little travel anxiety “thing” going on. Having just traveled during the holidays, I had another round of exposure to the “unknown” and my response to it. I wasn’t thrilled with how nervous I got and have started seeking some insight into how to shift this.

Admittedly, my trip to California was not helped by a bad fall I took, which resulted in a broken nose! I can allow myself a little more dis-ease than usual around that. There was also the factor of the drive along the Pacific Coast Highway which, while stunningly gorgeous, is also curvy, narrow and full of lots of cars, even off-season. Though my husband did the driving, I was somewhat nervously “willing” all the drivers to keep their eyes focused on the road instead of looking at the stunning scenery! But, beyond all that, I felt nervousness at a lot of transition points throughout the trip. I would like to be more at ease and secure when I travel. Heck, I’d like to be more at ease and secure no matter what’s going on in my life!

I’ve already heard a few helpful suggestions coming to me, including the one about using a little Ativan the day of travel. Not a bad thought! I’ve also figured out that knowing as much as possible about the trip helps me. Since my husband has become the family trip planner, he ends up having the Google maps in hand, the mental picture of our routes and destinations, and a familiarity with the area that he’s gotten by searching the Internet for hotels and spots for us to explore. I think I want to be more a part of that process. I benefit from having a mental picture of where we’re going, a copy of the itinerary, and a map on my lap as we drive.

A friend who picked us up at the airport from this trip actually gave me a clue about this visual aspect. We were thanking him for coming to get us and dealing with the confusing airport signs when he dismissed us by saying, “That’s ok! I actually like coming to the airport!” He laughingly admitted, “I know it’s a little geekish, but I like to read the signs!” I like to read the signs too – both the literal road signs, but also life’s metaphorical signs. This was a nice insight for me. Part of the adventure of travel and life is reading the signs.

This thought ties in with the other suggestion I’ve taken in about travel. In an interview with Deepak Chopra, he reported that his New Year’s Resolution was to “Embrace Uncertainty.” This is a great resolution for our current times, and I also hear it applying to my uncertainty with travel.

I don’t think I’m at the level yet of being able to embrace travel’s uncertainty – or life’s either. I am starting with an easier level; perhaps co-existing with uncertainty. That feels about where I am. In my life, I used to dread uncertainty, resist it, fear it. In most situations, these are no longer my responses. I’m grateful for that because those are hard places to be.

Currently, I’m just a little tense with uncertainty! So, I think I’ll aim to co-exist with it, allow in more ease, and apply strategies to help myself. I’ll continue moving on the emotional scale up to someday being comfortable with uncertainty.

Perhaps at some point, I’ll even embrace it!

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