Friday, June 8, 2012

Travel Feelings...

Hesitant – this is how I felt immediately after purchasing our flights.

Excitement, fear, anticipation, impatience, uncertainty, independence, and relief also make up the pie but the largest slice, the birthday boy’s piece, is pure hesitation.

Our first "trip" - Edmonton 2006

California - February 2008

It was surprising; I’d been talking about this trip for years – the equivalent of half my lifetime actually – constantly telling people I was going traveling soon. “Next fall” I would say and then come fall I would have grand plans for the spring. I’ve toy with the idea of an African Safari or exotic South East Asia but always found my way back to Europe. Italy, Greece, Spain, Paris... they made their way to the top of my bucket list during high school and have had more than enough time to put down some very persuasive roots. 

I started saving for Europe immediately after landing my first job at a seasonal ice cream/mini-golf stand. I worked four hour split shifts and, through a loophole, made less than minimum wage, but the free ice cream and rounds of pitch-and-putt made up for any injustice I suffered. I’ve always been frugal and during my first year of University I bought my first savings bond, dipping my toes into the shallow end of the investment pool, and proudly told my investment broker that I was saving for a trip to Europe. 

Seven years and two investment advisors later, I feel overly hesitant after buying a reasonably priced flight from Vancouver to London. 

On my bucket list - Santorini Greece (via)

Being a business major and not a Psychologist I don’t fully understand why I feel this way but I’m sure it’s a complex combination of worry (about money), fear (of consequences), and sadness (of reality). If it were easy to sort out we wouldn’t ask our Psychologists to go to school for 7 years.

Worrying about money makes sense to me because I do it continuously – honestly I have spreadsheet nightmares on multiple occasions. So long as I continue to keep an eye on our budget, and limit frivolous spending over the next few months, everything will be ok.  

The consequences are a bit harder for me to accept - but are unavoidable. The memories and experiences this trip offers are unmatched, however there is a cost. My boyfriend and I are both giving up good jobs without any guarantee of work when we return, we have a mortgage that will need to be covered by rental income, as well as a bunch of "stuff" that needs to find a temporary home. We will also be thousands of kilometers away from our friends and family, receiving Coles Notes style updates on their lives back at home.

Sadness is the emotion I’m having the hardest time addressing. I get to run away, abandon all responsibility, and set out on a four month adventure to a place I’ve dreamt of my entire life, yet I’m sad to finally be going; seems a bit contradictory, not to mention crazy. It feels like all my planning and daydreaming has created something unattainable; backpacking through Europe is my perfect movie moment and no matter how hard I try, reality can’t compare to the big screen. 

What is there to do when, in a cinematic sense, your trip is doomed from the start? I’ve decided to let go and stop scrutinizing every little detail. Although it pains me to admit it, I may not be able to make it back to Europe for another seven years, or fourteen, or twenty-one. Therefore, I really have no other choice but to suck it up and enjoy the journey. I have absolutely no doubt that some moments will be less-than-perfect, but these not-so-good moments already happen, all the time, over the course of a typical day - Why should it be any different while traveling?

Instead of constantly trying to be a mile ahead, planning for every possible outcome and expecting the worst, I am going to slow down and try my hardest to live in the moment.

I can’t promise to write everyday – this is a once in a lifetime trip after all – but I hope you’ll check in along the way and see how we’re making out.

By Calli D with No comments


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Hey there!

Calli and Travis returned from a four month trip through Europe more excited than ever to hit the open road. Who knows where they'll end up next...

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