I stumbled out of bed still half asleep this morning, already thinking about what I had to get done before I leave for a weekend getaway later today. I’d started packing the night before, set up a simple workday so I wouldn’t feel rushed. Yet, I’d struggled to get to sleep (OK, maybe it was that second coffee at 5 p.m. yesterday) and woke up very antsy.
In my morning haze, I told Brendan I hadn’t slept well, and he uttered a sad fact I’ve tried to keep buried for a while now. It’s a thing I wish wasn’t part of me, a feeling I wish I could squash.
“You always get nervous before a trip.”
It is true, my friends. Even though I’ve called myself a traveler since a young age, I manage to get myself all riled up before a trip, no matter how big or small, short or long, near or far it is. I get the travel jitters.
Brooke recently talked about how she gets the travel goosebumps, which sound quite preferable to travel jitters. While I haven’t completely been able to put my finger on it, I think the very things I love about travel also unnerve me right before I do it.
Being out of my element: I love a new place, new surroundings, new ways of doing things. But I also like plans and knowing what I’m in for. I also like to overanalyze, scrutinize and criticize. Will I have everything I need? Will I be able to sleep? Will the room smell funny? Will the place live up to its expectation?
Crappy time management: The day of or before a trip, I’m distracted and don’t get things done like I normally do. Even if I’ve tried to make it so I don’t have that much work or packing to do — as I have today–, I still inevitably get sidetracked and feel like I’m off schedule.
Packing: After 40 states, 10 countries and four continents, you’d think I’d have this part down. Nope. I also over think what situations might come up and what attire they will require. So a day that could be spent hiking and then going out to dinner equals five needed outfits in my warped brain. Then in the end, I don’t wind up packing all those clothes anyway. But it’s like I have to go through the obsessive process of planning out outfits I won’t bring.
Housekeeping: I am not a compulsively orderly person, but before I trip, I want the house neat. Maybe I fear the apartment will turn into roach motel if it’s not clean when we leave. I also have an unnatural fear that if I don’t shut off all the outlet switches, an electrical fire will start and the apartment will be a pile of ash when I return.
Do you get the travel jitters before a trip? How do you cope with them?