How to prepare for a trip, by me

Traveling! Aka. How I have stayed sane so far on this trip.


1)   Have copies for yourself, and for someone staying behind of:

  1. Where you are going, with addresses and phone numbers
  2. Prescriptions
  3. Passport photocopy

2)   Keep a list of what you pack, especially items you are likely to unpack and repack a lot during travel

3)   Imagine anxieties for each stage of the journey. For me, this would be:

  1. On the plane

i.     Fear of being late for check in, etc.

ii.     Fear of take off, flying in general, death by falling into the ocean

iii.     Fear of not sleeping enough

iv.     Actually not sleeping enough and the resulting crankiness

  1. Food

i.     Not finding something to eat

ii.     Sugar low

iii.     Food poisoning

  1. Finances

i.     Spending too much money

  1. Getting lost
  2. Losing Patrick
  3. Losing part of my luggage
  4. Getting sick and not being able to sing
  5. People not liking me

4)   What will make me even more anxious?

  1. Not eating enough
  2. Not getting enough sleep
  3. Not taking my medications
  4. Forgetting my skills

5)   Come up with solutions

So! On the plane, I had a mantra to remind myself that plane travel is safer than car travel, and that even if it is the end, I am living my life to the fullest by going on this trip and that is the best way to live.

More practically, I closed the window so I couldn’t see outside. I tensed and relaxed my muscles while taxiing around the airport to keep from getting stiff, and focused on gripping Patrick’s hand as hard as possible when we took off.

I have taken every opportunity for exercise that is practical, such as always taking the stairs, taking long walks, and dancing on the spot while I’m waiting for things to happen. I’ve gone on a lot, but not all, of the side trips and sightseeing activities. This has kept me distracted and occupied, so I don’t have too much time to worry. However, every three days or so, I take the day off from those things, so that I can recoup and do something unscheduled. Today I’m spending the day at a café by myself! With a group of about 80 people on the trip, I needed some time alone.

I’ve kept a fruit in my backpack in case I’m hungry. I’ve also told myself to expect to spend more money than I want, but aim not to get luxuries. I keep to a budget for most meals, and am trying to swallow the nasty exchange rate to pounds sterling, and the extra expense of items here (exchange aside). This is an opportunity for repeating the logical to myself – it just is more expensive and there is nothing I can do. Eating healthily and enjoyably is more important than having money when I get back, as it will be easier to live frugally to make up for the trip when I get back than it will be to starve myself now. Also, I signed up for prepaid breakfast everywhere we go, so I always have a full breakfast to eat.

I go to more social things than I want to, but so many that I don’t pay attention. Last night I was exhausted, and really, really just wanted to go to sleep, but when my friend was really quite disappointed that I wasn’t coming, I came down a half hour later, and had water instead of wine.

Lastly, I’ve been trying to remember to take a multivitamin and eat a very balanced diet. I haven’t had to yell yet, and I pray I do not need to. My voice is my instrument, and I’m playing every day for a few hours.

Compromise! I am going to have a panic attack when I get home about the money, and about the size of my waist. I can’t, after all, make up for not being at the gym while here. My rock climbing will be really terrible.

The hardest part right now is that I have never not planned a trip I’ve been on in my life. I’m a complete sheep on this trip. I am trying to go with the flow. It’s good practice, I guess, at being mindful, present, and accepting my lack of control. Ackkkkkk.

Any other precautionary ideas?

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