Friday, June 11, 2010

Must Travel

I take a deep breath and feel the mental weight of worry, worry that I am tired of carrying around with me and want to let go of. Why is it that the things that bring me such joy in life also make me dizzy with anxiety? Child-rearing is a given, of course. But travel is what is heavy on my mind right now. Part of the problem is that I never give the preparation part the time and energy it deserves. Packing calls for a type of person that is more detail-oriented than me. Funny, since I've done it so many times and it is a prerequisite to going'd think I'd be farther along than I am now, but I'm not. I half-heartedly dump stuff into a suitcase and then scratch my head hours later when I open it, only to realize I've forgotten the toothbrush or the razor or the deoderant...again. Plus, what was I thinking with that outfit?! I'm not feeling it now, whatever inspired me to add it to the mix the night before.

Forget the fatigue of preparation woes, the anxiety comes from somewhere else--which must be the Unknown. Things could go well, or something could go wrong. Money might run out, or unexpected expenses might come up. Or who knows what else. But what will I see, and where will I go? That's what drives me. I have to see something new, or visit a loved one, or both, and expand myself and my horizons. Every time I do, I come home recharged. And interestingly enough, it's one of my favorite activities to do with my daughter as well. Who wouldn't melt at the sight of a two-year old safely buckled into her seat on the plane, singing with Daddy and happily awaiting the thrill of landing? Me, of course....well that's another story. In the momemt I smile tightly, and grasp the armrests like hand weights. And I worry that the plane will overrun the runway....and I think about how I used to be like her, I used to be so free when I would fly...

In those moments that I push through the worry and the fatigue of pre-travel/travel I do fly. I am never so alive as when I'm going somewhere. Contentment, pure joy. I live to travel and I reconnect with that free, flying, joyous me that gets buried in the routine of everyday life when I am on the move. Yet the most freeing thing of all is to find myself flying unexpectedly in the middle of the day-to-day itself. It will come out of nowhere and bite me in the butt, but ever so often I have that moment...where I know that this is where it's at. Waving goodbye as she stands at the top and sits in Daddy's hand to go down the twisty slide with her one more time. Watching the connections made as she repeats a new word, a sentence. Pulling weeds out of the flower garden together as she triumphantly shouts "Bye-bye, little yuckies!" Listening to he squeal of delight in anticipation of a cool bath on a hot June day. Just being together.

In those moments, there is no worry, no anxiety. Now, I know that I will push through the fog of packing and worry that has settled over me for this next trip, and I will soon find myself in the other bliss of routine-free joy. Laughing and marveling at new experiences. I close my eyes and visualize it now, and feel my breathing slow down. May I come to experience, one day, a sense of calm to overrule the worry that threatens to steal that joy.


  1. Yes! Embracing the joy of the moment is a big key. And yet when it's not yet automatic (which is too often the case for many of us), deep breathing sometimes helps :-)

    But don't give up on your travel dreams. Sit on those anxious thoughts and continue to plan--and go places. And while you're at it, you might take a look at this link: "How Travel Renews Your Writing Life" at

    Great post. Love you!

  2. You might like to read this one, too: