Wednesday, August 29, 2007

No Bravery

The cat's out of the bag! We finally have told our employers that we're going away, which means that we've finally been able to tell more of our friends what we've been cooking up the past few months. As we have been revealing our big plans to people, the comment we hear most frequently is, "You're so brave!" People seem to think that to walk away from a comfortable, cushy, urban lifestyle is more courageous than insane.

I happen to disagree -- I don't feel courageous at all. I actually am terminally petrified about what we're doing for many reasons. There are a few categories of Things Val Fears, and within each category there are many sub-categories, branches, and bulleted points. I'm thinking of learning to use Excel so I can build a spreadsheet to keep track, but I fear technology too. Clearly, insane is more accurate than courageous.

Here's an abbreviated list of Things Val Fears.

1. Forgetting Something Important
  • Passport, visas
  • Plane ticket
  • Underwear
  • Toothbrush
  • Imodium... which leads us to Point 2.

2. Toilet Disasters

  • Dirty toilet
  • Broken toilet
  • Broken toilet and a violent case of explosive bum-issues
  • No toilet
  • No toilet paper
  • Being stuck in a dark closet with a dirty toilet and no toilet paper, and looking up and discovering that there is a crazy toothless man peeking into the dark closet and laughing.
  • Critters in toilet... on to point 3.

3. Critters

  • Bedbugs
  • Tapeworms
  • Leeches
  • Leeches that fall or jump out of trees in the jungle (It's all true!)
  • Gigantic spiders that jump at your face (Also true!)
  • Cockroaches
  • Giant boa constrictors, pythons
  • Venomous Funnel web tarantulas

4. Losing Something Important (can be cross-referenced to point 1)

  • Passport
  • Credit Card
  • Mascara
  • Husband

5. Miscellaneous

  • Monkeys
  • Raging bacterial sepsis, flesh eating disease, limb amputation
  • Being lonely, missing people
  • Realizing I can't do this
  • Sleeping alone in a non-shared-sex hostel all in the name of saving a few bucks
  • Getting fat
  • Forgetting that I like nice things; becoming crazed schlepper who forgets how to wash, groom body hair, or flirt
  • Never being able to get "back on track" upon return home
  • Being out of the celebrity gossip loop for 15 months!
  • Being that girl, the one who refers to "that time [she] travelled around the world" in every single conversation for the next 50 years.

What's the verdict?


Ms.Teacher said...

I'm with you on the monkeys!! Yuck!

"Being that girl, the one who refers to "that time [she] travelled around the world" in every single conversation for the next 50 years."

heee! I can't wait to hear your stories, and I think people will understand. You will be far more interesting to listen to then them anyway. :)

Schmanders said...

Val and BG,

Thanks for linking to our blog :-) Just wanted to tell you both that you *are* very brave for taking off, and that you don't need to worry about any of taht stuff on your laundry list. If there's one thing that travel teaches you, its that everything just seems to work out on the road, and you actually have to worry about a lot less stuff while you're traveling than you ever did at home. Food. Sleep. Toilet paper. That's it. If you miss the train, you'll catch the next one. If you forgot to pack something, I promise that you can probably find it in a store where-ever you are going. The locals sell TP on the Inca Trail, and you can buy tampons in nearly every city on the planet.

Globalization does work to your advantage, at times.

So no worries, guys...just pack up and go. You'll do great!

Anonymous said...

HA! I hope you don't loose BG! Mascarra, you can do without!

You'll be fine, I know it!

Shannon said...

Well... at the phrase "falling leeches" the thought of me EVER doing a trip like that just got crossed off the list. So yeah, you're totally brave!

Danielle Cardinal said...

I read your posts and thought "Now these two are switched on". I have friends/family in New Zealand that LOVE to host folks from overseas. If you want to save some $$ and meet some great kiwis let me know. It would be my pleasure to organize it. I've been so lucky during my travels to meet some great people who've taken me in (total stranger). It's my pleasure to keep the global citizien vibe alive and well. I know that during your travels you will have stellar moments where your faith in human kind will be restored. I know, I know, how Mother Theresa of me - but it's true :)
Bon Voyage et Bon Courage les amis!