Mounting anxiety

tense_dog

I’m not profiting from this blog, so I hope the genius who took this photo will forgive me…

It’s only a few days to go until my mega-holiday in the USA, and I’m on the verge of total panic.  Admittedly, it’s not the kind of horror I felt in January 2012 when I faced the prospect of being homeless due to my own stupidity, but I’m still very nervous and apprehensive about my two weeks of camping in America.  But why, I hear you ask?  Why am I not delightedly looking forward to it?  Well, I am, as it happens, because even if I don’t meet any girls, I’ll still see some remarkable places that I’ve never visited before.

But let’s look at the aspects that intimidate me, because going into it will help me see just how ridiculous I’m being (remember, this blog is for me, not for you, peasant):

  1. Apart from a day trip to Paris last September (which doesn’t count), it’s the first time I’ll have been out of the country since going to Turkey in 2008 with my friends, a holiday I had no part in arranging.  Yeah, it’s high time I got out of my comfort zone, but it’s still a daunting prospect.  It’s also the first time I’ll have been out of the country for longer than a week since 2003, when I visited my friends in Michigan for two weeks.  I visited them again in 2006 and 2007, but only for a week each time…
  2. Having not visited the USA since 2007, and never the west coast, I can’t help but wonder how things will be, especially for a vegetarian like me — to some Americans, I’m nothing but a no-good pinko Commie who needs to get normal…
  3. So many things can go wrong along the way, like not getting to the airport on time, or being turned away by the US border agency…
  4. My landlord just died, and although supposedly nothing has the potential to happen until October (like, his widow selling the house instead of letting us continue renting), it’s just another excuse to worry…
spock_eyebrow

“To fret over an exciting holiday is not logical”

But don’t worry, maybe it won’t be so bad — see, every problem has a solution:

  1. In 1998 I managed to face a journey to the USA that would last eight months — admittedly it wasn’t certain to be going ahead, and really I was surprised that final weekend when my mother and grandfather came bounding into my room to tell me my visa had been approved, and that I was going to travel the next day!
  2. Since we’re cooking for ourselves on this camping trip, there should be no problem other than availability of ingredients — I don’t know whether there’s a freezer on the tour bus, but if there is, presumably I can buy vegetarian “fake meat” in LA or Frisco for the journey ahead.
  3. My newest friend has agreed to drive me to Heathrow on Saturday (yes, I’ll pay for his petrol), and I’ve printed out all my necessary documents, including my “visa waiver” and itinerary.  That reminds me, better look up the ZIP code of the hotel I go to first, as I’ve been warned by a friend at work that I’ll need this specific information… he also advised me not to try to be funny with US customs (well, duh), but hey, if I got past them before, I can do so again, because I’m not a terrorist, I’m a tourist!
  4. Although it’s sad that my landlord died, since he was better than the past two by far (and a rather more approachable individual to boot), there’s no way we could be evicted on such short notice, so all I have to worry about is the house getting burgaled or burned down, or nuclear war breaking out while I’m gone.  See?  No problem!

Ahh, that was therapeutic — see, nothing to get upset about, I’ll have an amazing adventure etc. etc.  Maybe I should worry more about the possibility that I’ll come back exactly the same person I am now, who gets anxious about stupid little things instead of embracing life’s surprises…

And yes, I will be listening to Gwar during this holiday (something familiar to keep me calm if I get anxious again), as well as other music; I’ve spent ages trying to figure out how to get “gapless playback” on my smartphone, and have settled for WMA files and Poweramp (though I wasted most of Sunday ripping everything as “WMA lossless”, only to discover it doesn’t work with that particular format yet).  In fact, I predict this will become our anthem as we roll along the blacktop…

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