Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Vacation Anticipation

From as far back as I can remember, my primary reaction to news that we're going on vacation has been WILD EXCITEMENT. I capitalize that because there is nothing small about the way I react to the news or the the thought of traveling. I really do love hitting the road, or the skies, and seeing something that I don't see every day.

When I was a kid, this was 95% pure joy. The only negatives to travel for me were carsickness and not always enjoying the trip as much as the arrival and the new things to do. We drove LOTS of miles for vacations, sometimes (often) through monotonous landscape on two-lane roads in cars that my dad picked out for his comfort and/or practical use, and he rarely stopped for any reason. Flying places was much more fun--motion sickness didn't bother on planes and there was the whole fun and bustle of the airport on either side of the trip.

Now that I'm grownup, I still get VERY EXCITED, but every trip I take has an added edge of anxiety. Sometimes, that builds to the point of complete and utter panic. I'm about, oh, 10 deep breaths away from panic right now. I remember one vacation we went on about 13 years ago--no idea where we were going, that time--where I fully broke down in sobs in the living room of our prior house the morning we were due to leave. Why? Because I wasn't going to get the house cleaned up. Beast was confused about the whole scenario, and realistically, the house was ONLY going to get dusty again while we were gone, so why did it have to be spotless when we left?

I don't know.

I still don't know.

Except my mom always did the same thing, and you have to admit that the last thing you want to see when you walk into your home after two weeks away is dirty dishes, laundry piled everywhere, and no sheets on the bed. Right?

This trip has a lot of other stressors beyond the usual travel hassles--yeah, airports? Not at all fun anymore, although at least we get to be in the Red Carpet Club today for our wait--and the obsession I tend to have about getting from place to place once we land, etc. For one thing, the last time I flew overseas was last August for my sister's funeral, which was too quick of a trip to get overly obsessed about anything, but which has left a certain bizarre dead feeling about the airport experience; by 'dead' I mean I don't remember much about the airports OR flight, like I totally zombied out.

Another stress is that this is the first trip we've taken that has left Sparky behind at home. He has left us behind twice as he has traveled overseas, but for some reason I'm wigging out much more than I did on those trips. He won't be alone, which would have been fine from the taking care of himself standpoint, but now that we're on the verge of leaving, I know I'd have been DefCon5 for at least a week now about it. I cried when he left for school this morning. I'm tearing up like mad now. I expect I will cry when we leave for the airport, AND when we liftoff later this afternoon.

More stress is that we will not reach our final stop at the hotel till about this time tomorrow. We have a 6-hour layover in London--not worrying about that--and we will be T I R E D when we finally land in Rome and then have to go through customs, again, and find our suitcase and then a cab. I worry because I picked the hotels in Rome and Florence, and what if they suck?

Once we're there, I know I'll be fine. Hell, once we're over the Atlantic I'll be fine, back to excited-only.

So. That's where I am.

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