Really worried about RTW trip
Replies: 16 - Last Post: Oct 17, 2012 6:34 AM Last Post By: textibule
Oct 8, 2012 10:47 AM
Really worried about RTW tripHiya,
I'm being a big wimp and getting really nervous about my upcoming trip. Im going for about a year andI leave in 2 weeks to go to Buenoa Aires. I'll be in Argentina/chile for 2 months before heading to NZ, Australa and Nepal. This all seemed like a great idea when I was working full time. Now I'm majorly panicking and am considering changing all my flights to a much shorter trip or cancelling it all together.
I'm worried I'm going to hate the whole thing and just sit reading on my own for the whole time. I quite like great scenery and was going to spend most my time in Patagonia but I just don't know what to expect.
Everyone seems to be so excited about their travels but I'm dreading it.
Thanks, C x
Oct 8, 2012 11:52 AM
1I think it is only natural to have a few nerves before setting off on a solo long haul trip. You obviously really want to go as why else would you have saved and maybe quit your job or asked for a career break. You need to stop thinking of all the negative what ifs and focus on what a great time you are going to have, the stunning places you are to see and the great travel buddies you will spend time with. Argentina, Chile, NZ Oz and Nepal are all very popular with backpackers and I have no doubt there will be many other solo travellers all looking for travel companions. the first thing you should do is research and find a very popular hostel in BA and book in for 3 or 4 nights, this will allow you to meet other backpackers and help find your feet in Argentina. You have the plans for a great trip....I reckon if you decide now to cut it short you may regret it in 6 months when you are sitting back at home....best of luck with it
Oct 8, 2012 2:46 PM
2It's natural to have considerable doubts and shows you have thought the trip through.
If part way through the journey you realise this is not for you - then make some alternative choices. There is no shame/compulsion to do something that is not right for you. It is not always easy to make close friends on a journey, but you are likely to meet lots of people who are pleasant companions for a limited timeframe as you move to the next leg of your journey.
Some people are natural loners, others gregarious. You will find your strengths as you travel more.
PS - there is nothing wrong with a good book.
Oct 8, 2012 4:50 PM
3First off, you need to really focus on why it is you are getting panicked. Really concentrate and isolate the one or two things that make you most nervous. Then research them, and learn more. Knowledge is the key to calming nerves.
For example: If you're worried about money, you need to be looking into places where you can either live for free and/or earn money while you're on your trip. That would calm your nerves.
Beyond that, you will get nervous anyway, but I suggest you ignore it and spend the energy to research where your going. Get excited about travel.
Worst case scenario, go out, try it and if you don't like it, then come home.
No harm done, right?
Oct 9, 2012 12:42 AM
4You're right, you should cut the trip down or cancel all together because by doing that there is no way you'll be regretting it for the rest of your life, no way at all, none, really, no regrets. You know what they say about regretting what we do, not what we don't - I'm sure that's how it goes - something like that. No regrets, none.
Then again, I could be wrong.
Seriously though, most people feel nervous before a big trip, especially if going solo and especially if it's their first time doing so (but even experienced travellers can feel nervous). The thing is, you may hate it, you may get lonely, but if you don't go you won't know. You may love it, you may have the time of your life, hell it may change your life completely. If you don't go you'll never know.
I have met people who've thrown in the towel, who discovered that long term travel just isn't for them. Fine, but they gave it a shot. I know a lot more people, and I mean a hell of a lot more people, who went and embraced the experience and loved it and got the bug and end up going off, again, and again, and again.
Oct 9, 2012 4:49 AM
5I was in a similar position about 5 years ago when I first started travelling... I've only just returned from my third major trip within that time frame, having lived in Canada twice, for 18 months in total, and UK/Europe for a year... My best advice would be to just go for it, I found that the hardest part was getting your foot in the plane in the first place... You'll meet a wonderful bunch of people who are probably all in the same position as yourself and it will open many doors for you.
Another hint, don't plan everything as there will be many chances for you to not just learn about yourself but also about the world we live in!
Oct 9, 2012 7:07 AM
6LOL - the same thoughts are going through my head as the year long world tour I had talked about for ages seems to finally become reality. I've been having flashbacks to all the lonely times in my travels and the ugly places Ive visited in passing. I think its good to remind oneself that travelling is not always fun and that travelling solo can be quite lonely and stressful at times. My experience is to remember that everything is temporary.and that the lonely and stressful times will pass and in the end the entire experience will make you a more well rounded, versatile and probably stronger person.
For my upcoming trip Im looking at enrolling in language, music and cultural classes, maybe volunteer on an organic farm (WHOOF) and the occasional organized group outing for more organized interactions with people. In the past when I was travelling with a deadline I had avoided places like Goa but for an open ended trip Ill probably head to more touristy destinations for a little break and to be around more westerners.
Oct 9, 2012 9:28 PM
Oct 10, 2012 8:17 AM
8As everyone has said above its a natural feeling, leaving a safe and comfortable life into the unknown can be scarey. Even as someone who has travelled quite alot i got similar feelings before i set off on another big trip last week... you quickly get into the groove and in no time you wont know what you were worried about.
Have a great trip
Oct 10, 2012 8:46 AM
9Bigfrog, I note your comment re WWOOFing. Make sure it is legal for you to do so in whatever country you plan to do it in. In many countries you must have a work permit to WWOOF, not something that WWOOF tends to emphasize when you buy your membership.
A search here for WWOOF will provide more info if you need it. The same applies of course to similar organizations such as Workaway and HelpX.
Oct 10, 2012 9:07 AM
10I'm so glad you are going for it. Just be ready that the first few days will a little scary but you will get the feel for it. Go to a couple of backpacker hangouts (almost anything listed in Lonely Planet books) to meet some people. But don't only hang out at those places like many people do.
Come back and report about how things are going.
Oct 10, 2012 11:31 AM
11A long trip can drive you crazy...thinking about all the "what ifs"....
What I do is first...tone it down a bit...tell yourself that you can always "abort" the trip and be home in about 12 hours on a plane... Remember that everyone is human where you are going...there are no monsters there... It's all just tourism...and there are plenty of support facilities "if something happens"...
But the best thing is my "Five Minutes at a Time" notion... I will often tell myself... I don't know if I can survive this trip...but I pretty much know I can survive the "Next 5 Minutes...!"
My emails home...say...I'm taking it "5 minutes at a time"... That becomes the motto for the whole trip...
Think small...not about the cosmic risks that might happen...
Once the trip gets going...mostly this anxiety abates...and things just go along nicely...you are used to travel now...you have your "road head"...and home is no longer a big deal...you start to forget about "back there"...and focus on the "here and now"....
Five minutes at a time...!
Oct 10, 2012 1:32 PM
12perfectly natural - so reassure yourself with some practical measures.
make sure you have all the boring stuff sorted; insurance, visas, backup access to cash, contact details, all your medication available and so on.
do you have enough cash not to worry? Not saying you need enough to go five star, but this is a HOLIDAY and should be fun. you do not travel to make or save money.
book the first few nights somewhere comfortable - the 'soft landing' technique. Works wonders.
if you don't like somewhere - move on. I enjoyed some countries more than others, but found it wasn't related to familiarity; had some occasional why-did-we-come-here 'wobbles' in Australia but loved more exotic locales. It all worked out ok in the end.
slow down sometimes, settle in a place and make it familiar, blob out for a while. It's allowed. :-)
and finally, one or two creature comforts; small bottle of your favourite toiletries, music you love on your MP3, a lightweight copy of a book you love, a tiny photo of loved ones, whatever it is.
good luck, long holidays are not always 100% perfect because life isn't, and nerves are quite natural before crossing the planet.
Oct 11, 2012 4:23 PM
I feel very reassured to know Im not the only one who has got a bit nervous prior to a big trip like this. Thank you for all of your useful suggestions. I especially like the "will I survive the next 5 minutes" idea!
I will keep you updated, hopefully in a few weeks Ill be raving on about what a great time Im having and how nice everyone is!
Oct 17, 2012 6:01 AM
14I get it, and often feel this way myself. I go away a lot on my own so when I have any doubt I refer to this...."All the places you'll go" by Dr Seuss - enjoy :)
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.
You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.
And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.
It's opener there
in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.
And then things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.
THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!
You'll be on y our way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.
You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.
I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
can happen to you.
You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.
You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.
And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...
...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!
Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don't
Because, sometimes they won't.
I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.
And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.
But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike,
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.
You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
You're off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!"
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