When you have spent months and months saving up and planning for the trip of a lifetime, the few months before you actually leave can become rather daunting and uncomfortable.
For so long our trip has been 18 months away, a year away, six months away – now all of a sudden it is only seven weeks until we jet off. It seems to have come round alarmingly quickly after being in the distant future for so long. It’s funny how time works. When you are waiting for a certain date to come around it can feel as though it’ll never be here. Then, once you get closer and the nerves and excitement start to kick in, time starts to move exponentially fast and you panic that it’s coming too soon.
So, how to deal with this feeling of time running away and regain control of the situation? There is still so much to be done at this stage of preparation for a Round The World trip. Vaccinations must be received, gear purchased, bags packed, hostels booked and final goodbyes said.
It’s not easy to slow down and remain calm at this juncture. The best thing to do is make yourself as ready for the trip as you possibly can be. Re-read guidebooks on your first couple of destinations, confirm bookings for hotels or hostels, make lists of anything you know you need to do before you leave. Refresh your memory of planned itineraries and the things you definitely want to do – above all remind yourself why you wanted to go on this epic adventure in the first place.
Getting your head around the fact that you are leaving your home country for many months is a bigger mental battle than most people anticipate. Believe me, you WILL miss things about your home, even if you don’t expect to. You will certainly miss friends and family; maybe specific places, food and your own bed at times. This is all part of the challenge of long-term travel. In life you rarely gain anything of value without a bit of suffering along the way!
Good luck to anyone planning a big trip. The build up to departure is nerve-wracking, scary and intense but it is definitely worth going through once you are out in the big wide world having the time of your life. Roll on 1st March 2012!