Monday, June 8, 2009

For a second, I couldn't remember what font I've chosen. How mortifying.

Okay, completely beside the point.

What I was going to write about was the sort of dual nature of preparing to travel, which I love, because I love anything that is more than one thing simultaneously. I love things that shouldn't be able to be two (or more) things simultaneously and still exist / not combust into insanity. What I mean is, we're preparing to travel and there's excitement, utter panic, anticipation and mundane nerves. It's like the part in Half Blood Prince when Hermione's explaining all of the things that might go through a girl's head in a single given moment.

The excitement and the anticipation are easy enough to handle, and I'm always dealing with mundane nerves. Will we have enough money? What happens next? Can my heart explode from worry? I know it's silly, considering I'm practical and smart with finances, and also because I don't particularly need or want too much money laying around while I'm young. If I had money, I'd be tempted to spend it on dumb things... like cabinet knobs from Restoration Hardware, for example. (I really do want them someday.) It's the utter panic that's hard. Duh, I know. It's panic: of course it's not easy to deal with! But there it is, coming and going. It's not neat like waves of panic flinging to the shore and then getting sucked back out to sea. It's just chaotic, thinking so many crazy things at once, like, "What if I'm so out of shape I can't do the walking tour? What if there's nothing at all to do in Belfast? What if it's not warm enough to enjoy the beach in Italy? What if Matt doesn't love Europe? What if I'm not enchanted by Europe this time? What if it's more a chore than an adventure?"

A quote aimed tongue-in-cheek at Matt:
"A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent (which I cannot deny myself to be without being impious) will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place." —

I wanted to find a rather poetic quote about traveling to put in here, but instead, I came across a great one from Daniel Boorstin, who I read a lot while writing my thesis. (Highly recommend him.) "The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes 'sight-seeing.'"

Less than a week! We bought our packs today. Mine feels wonderful on my back, but it has so many sodding straps that I want to cut them all off. But I won't. Worse, I have to get used to flipping back the top pouchy thingy to open the backpack to shove my hand down into its abyss to find anything. What if I just need some chapstick?

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