The reality of things....

As I’m sat at the kitchen table, the warmth from the radiator enveloping me in comfort, the frequent sound of rain on the conservatory roof, I’m staring blankly at the page before me and a wave of emotion overcomes me.

In less than 2 months I'll be on my way to the yearlong adventure of a lifetime. I'm excited, of course I am, but amidst this exhilaration another feeling wakes, something a little less positive. It hits me like a brick wall square in the face - I am terrified but I know what I need to do. I step back, give my nose a little tender rub better, apologise to the wall (I mean I don't think this inanimate object meant any harm this time!), and jump over it. Easy right?

Not quite. 

The wall is still there. 

Every turn in the road it's there. The endless list of things I need to do before flying off on my little trip. The list of clothes I need to get, the extra flights I need to book, the hostels, the trips, the transport, money, money, money. Then, what about the insurance as aforementioned, the diving, the bus pass for Australia, more money. This wall is starting to look a little over grown, the list of things I need to do is starting to get pretty overwhelming, at some point I won't be able to climb over it and then what am I supposed to do? Old Rach would’ve stuck to her old avoidance tactics and just ignored it, walked away, pretended it didn’t exist until it reared its ugly head weeks later. New Rach, well, what would she do? 

She’d take that overgrown wall of worry on. Big time. Grab it by the horns and pole vault over the thing.

Unfortunately I can’t vault myself over this, but let’s talk figuratively. Realising that I can’t simply ‘walk away’ and leave the mess for someone else is pretty frightening. It’s not that I’ve never taken responsibility, but I’ve always been in the position where if something was to go wrong there was another person there to help me fix it. Here, well, I’m all alone. Yes I’ve got ounces of support here but once I leave Manchester, Bangkok bound, it’s just going to be me, myself, and I. That in itself scares me. 

I don’t want to fall into the trap of over preparing but I feel that for Thailand especially I want to plan out as much as I can. Limited time, limited money, limited choices, I’m going to have to get from A to B as quickly as possible (without breaking the bank). I have no problem with getting a however-long train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, nor do I have a problem getting back, or even getting a night boat from Koh Tao to Surat Thani, but I do have a problem with having to get a million and one different buses in an unfamiliar place. If I was with someone I would have no problem whatsoever, if we got lost we’d get lost – that’s the beauty of it – but I really don’t want to put myself in that position when I have no one to consult.

I can’t let myself get worked up over this. It isn’t worth it, what happens will happen, what’s meant to be will occur, nothing is set in stone and, whilst that’s what I like about this whole trip, I do want some certainty. I’m not very good at loosening the strings I guess, I try but… Must try harder.

Whilst I try and put that worry to rest I’m going to think about the lovely little things I’ve done today to make me feel better. I rolled out the yoga mat, didn’t actually do any yoga but managed a wonderful cup of green tea and some arm exercises. I may return later. I also treated myself so my first ever juice – carrot and ginger. It was incredible and made just over ½ pint. It used 350g carrots (about 2.5 6” ones), 1cm of ginger, and 1 apple. Perfecto.

If anyone reading has any relaxation techniques then please do let me know – I feel I need to chill out a little bit, calm down, restore some inner peace. 


  1. I know how you feel sweetie, even thinking about going travelling for a year by myself brings up all of the same feelings and thoughts you are describing...its like we are literally exactly the same :)

    Have you tried alternative nostril breathing or meditation? That and yoga is how I find my inner calm.. it always immediately helps calm my nervous system.. xxx

  2. What a fantastic blog you have here! I love your writing style and visually the site is very impressive!

    To offer a little bit of reassurance, don't be scared. That wall will disappear the second you get on the plane, trust me. Yes there are things you will need to prepare beforehand, but they are easily done one step at a time, and if it helps Thailand is perhaps on of the best places in the world for a first time backpacker to turn up without a plan and wing it, because the traveller/backpacker infrastructure is so good and so used to inexperienced travellers that you feel like the country is holding your hand a little sometimes. (In a nice way, of course). So if there is something that you haven't planned, forgotten or maybe if things just change on the road, don't worry, you will be absolutely fine sorting it out on the ground.

    As for the relaxation techniques, I have a few. Personally I do a lot of martial arts, and find the kata and the meditation techniques extremely relaxing. Since you don't have the time to learn that then yoga is absolutely perfect! (You do have to actually practice it though I'm afraid, it doesn't work if you just stare at the mat with a cup of tea!) Alternatively do you have a gym? Do they do Tai Chi classes? Out of the two I personally find Tai Chi the more relaxing art over Yoga. Why not take a class or two? Or find a punchbag and beat the living hell out of it! That always relaxes me when I'm stressed too!



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