Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Travails of a Non-Traveller

One of my items on my to-do list for my vacation (because I do not do anything, even go on vacation without a to-do list and goals and all that) is to finish writing up and mapping my ten-year plan. I have been working on the Plan for close to a year now and really, this is getting ridiculous. “Gila” I told myself “at this rate you are going to spend the next ten years just planning the Plan. Dai kvar. Enough already. You are going to finish mapping over vacation and as soon as you are home, you are going straight into implementation mode.”

So, it is now day three of my vacation and while I have actually written anything down, I have been working mentally, you know, thinking about it. And I think I am going to have to change a part of the plan. The part that deals with travel.

You see, my 10-year plan includes a fair amount of travel. This is because I have always thought it would be great to be one of those cool, interesting people who just pick up and jet off to Barcelona for the weekend. Who can toss their passport, a laptop and a change of underwear in a bag and be ready for a month-long trek to Thailand. “You too can be one of those adventurous people,” I told myself. “Just put it in your ten-year plan. Make it happen!”

Sadly, I now see that this is not going to happen. I am just not a traveler. In fact, it is entirely possible that I am the worst traveler ever.

You see, I am one of those nervous, high-strung travelers. The type whose mental circuits are completely overwhelmed by the mere prospect of dealing with an airport. I fret. Days, WEEKS ahead of any trip are spent worrying that: I will not get to the airport on time; that I will forget my passport; that I will forget my e-ticket; that the airport people will not let me on the plane; that the airport people will not let my luggage on the plane; that I will miss the damn plane. My preparations for this trip included emails and phone calls to the US embassy, the German embassy and Lufthansa all to ensure that my luggage and I would be allowed to board the plane.

It should be noted that all of this is before I even get on the plane, at which point I could theoretically start worrying that the plane will crash. However, oddly or ironically enough, that does not worry me at all. Not that I think it cannot happen. Of course it can. Rather, if the plane goes down, I am most likely going to die and there is not a damn thing I can do about it. So why worry?

But…back to why I am not relaxed about. I am a bad packer. Even though I know I should, I do not travel light. How not light? It goes without saying that I travel much heavier than my sister, a seasoned world traveler. But, if my father is to be believed, I travel heavier than he and my stepmother combined. Should he be believed? Probably not. No matter—either way is that the truth is that I do not travel light. But, you know…I need this and I need that and I can hardly do without that…and I pack and repack at least five times and by the time I am done, I have managed to cram approximately a zillion pounds of stuff I need into my suitcase. Which I then have to somehow maneuver to and through the damn airport and convince the airport people to please please please allow me to put it on the plane.

But what about the non-travel part of travelling? The being places part of travelling? I do like being places, but I also hate being away from home. I get homesick easily. I miss my morning regime: 5% gvina levana (a white cheese with the consistency of sour cream) over chopped vegetables with a teaspoon of olive oil and dashes of hot paprika and zahatar. For the last three days, I have been eating fruit yogurt instead. It is tasty—do not get me wrong. My dad, he is good at the yogurt selection. Still…it is not the same. I miss my bed. I miss my apartment. I spend much time worrying about what is happening at the office. I miss my friends. I miss my life.


Okay….out you go then. One less section to map, at least.


WashingtonGardener said...

Have you tried listing everything you need to pack & sticking to the list? I find hat helps to list the days and how many outfits/combos are needed then whittle down from there if I can. See ya in a few days!

Mongrel said...

80 % of us do the same like you, have to disappoint you, you are no exception, you are a thoughtful normal person.

Enjoy your vacation with relatives and friends, within a blink of the eye you'll be back to this appartment of yours.

e.e. said...

Gila, have a great trip!
I second what WashingtonGardener suggests. It also helps to have documents folder and a checklist. If you find yourself fretting, go back to the checklist and assure yourself that everything is there.
Another tip from my worst-scenario anticipating father - but actually a fine idea - is to photocopy all your important docs, so if chalila something gets lost/stolen - you have them.

Asher said...

I third what WG says

note - you can scan your inportant docs and e-mail yourself a copy so you're never more than an internet-cafe away from them

aliyah06 said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

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