Fears and doubts before spending one year on the road
What would you feel before setting off into the unknown; giving up your job and your flat, selling all your possessions and planning to live a minimalistic day-to-day life for a year? Would you feel uneasy about visiting some of Asia most oppressive dictatorships? Or would it be that getting entering strangers’ cars and houses would make you feel cowed? Here at HitchHikersHandbook we are not superheroes either and in this very personal post I would like to share with you all my recent fears and doubts…
Final trip preparations and last goodbyes
The last four months have been truly hectic and stressful. First, trying to film and edit our promotional video, then contacting travel magazines and news desks that might have been interested in covering our travel project and now looking for sponsors who would provide some free travel gear or insurance for an already very expensive trip. And of course, we have been busy keeping in touch with people here in Barcelona, who we will soon have to say our last goodbyes to.
Our last four years in this amazing and cosmopolitan place have been sheer magic. Living far away from home, learning a new language and earning a living by doing something I had never done before have been the biggest milestones for me. And so, the decision to leave Barcelona didn’t come easily and we had been postponing it every year since we had moved in.
But the time has come when we realised that we can’t live this life forever. Being English teachers in Barcelona is an extremely easy and pleasant life but we would eventually like to open our own business (be it a hostel or a language school) and it would be nigh on impossible to do it here. Therefore we have decided to move on and have one more epic trip before we settle down a bit.
The trip will finally start in January and we will be leaving Barcelona before Christmas, so in a month’s time. Last week we both handed in our notices and I was surprised how hard it was. I mean, not the conversation itself but the feeling of leaving everything behind. In a month’s time we will be officially unemployed and homeless, and nearly all our earthly possessions will be reduced to two 10 km rucksacks. Our health insurance will expire in four months. From the end of January onwards we will be living day-by-day existence, not worrying about work and pension plans, about planting roots and having kids, about end of term reports and electricity bills. We will have to focus on simpler and more down to earth things like covering around 200-300 kilometers per day, finding accommodation, food and internet, and learning something new every day.
It is all very exciting but very scary at the same time. I’m not worried that someone might rob or murder us, as hitchhiking has often proved to us that there are good people everywhere and there are more chances of being fed and sheltered than getting mugged or raped. What scares me, and this is a completely new thing for me, is the fact of being somehow outside of the secure, predictable and mundane middle-class existence, of not being your regular member of society, of not having a home to go back to after a tiring day and not having a job for nearly a year.
But hey, travelling is good, right? And experiencing reisefieber is also perfectly normal. As the president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, once said:
“the size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity of achieving them. If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough”.
And what are your biggest fears when you’re travelling? Share your experience in the comments.
written by: Ania