Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Dealing with pre trip anxiety and excitement

Before our trip to Marrakech in February, I was so excited that I had trouble sleeping for the whole month running up to it. All I could think of and dream of was Marrakech. I read books and blogs and travel advice and gazed at images on google and pinterest and imagined all the things I would see, the colours, the patterns, the spices and oranges and narrow streets. My only anxiety was that it wouldn't live up to my dreams, that I was so excited I could only be let down.

But no, I loved it there. It was all I dreamed and more. I was so overjoyed, anything negative drifted into unimportance. (Even while there I had trouble sleeping because I was too excited.) I just didn't have time to do and see and learn all I wanted (I will never have enough time).

The big thing I didn't get to do but longed to was hiking in the Atlas Mountains and the opportunity to do it came up (more on this here) so I'm going, just 4 months later. And the overexcitement is back, along with lots of little worries.

I'm coping with my emotions much better this time around, probably in part because the February trip was our first trip abroad together in about 5 years and my first time just deciding to go ahead and book a bucket list trip to a place I've longed to go to since I was 8 and went to pretend Morocco at the Epcot Center. 

The Atlas Mountains from a car window

I'm super excited to be going up to the top of a mountain (Toubkal) for the very first time.

I'm excited to be hiking through the Atlas Mountains.

I'm excited for the challenge and hopeful that this will be a huge fitness achievement for me.

I'm excited to be outdoors, to be in the sun, to see clear skies full of stars.

I'm excited to return to Marrakech (previous blog posts here and here), see places I loved, maybe explore places I didn't see before, perhaps buy a blanket with pompom edges.

I'm excited to spend time with my friend Hobs, who I'm just getting to know and really like.

I'm excited to meet the other people on the trip.

Me and Stu peeping into a pond at the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech

I'm anxious at being apart from Stu for a whole week. I'll miss him so much. I also have flashes of fear that something will happen to him and I won't be there for him. Or that something will happen to me and I'll never see him again. These are things I shove down, it's not something that should be indulged or it becomes overwhelming but it comes in moments. I intend to record as much of this trip as possible - journal, photographs, drawings - so I can share it all with him.

I'm anxious that I won't be fit enough, I'll hold the group back or I won't make it or at the very least be so miserable I won't enjoy it. - I won't know if I'm fit enough or how I'll handle altitude till I'm there doing it but I've been walking regularly (flat walks, not many hills in London) and doing strength and cardio and yoga and I'm fitter than I've ever been, so at least I know I've made as much effort as I can!

I'm anxious about using a toilet tent while camping (what the fuck is a toilet tent? I envision a portaloo shape tent with a bucket or a hole...) and I'm anxious about needing to wee during long hikes. - I will just have to deal with this as it comes, but I am now the proud owner of a shewee for if I need to wee while hiking. I've practised 4 or 5 times now with no issues (I still need to practice with trousers on though!)

I'm anxious that my period will be late and I'll have to deal with it while camping. Mess and fatigue and pain! - If it doesn't come in time, I think I'll find and sterilize my mooncup, which I've not used for a very long time but it will probably be better than using tampons or pads as there will be no waste and can be used for longer without changes.

I'm anxious that I won't be able to handle the heat of Morocco in July. I live in England and work in a cold basement office where I have no idea what the day looks like! - I've got a hideous sunhat, sunscreen and a big bladder to drink water from and I'm planning healthy energy snacks to bring.

I'm anxious about flying because I always am, especially if I'm flying without Stu.

Beautiful cushion and view from Café de epice, Marrakech

But overall, I'm excited. I feel as prepared as I can be. Even the things I'm worried about, I've mentally prepared for, the little things anyway. (What if someone comes into the toilet tent while I'm trying to use it!!?! Argghh.)

I think that focussing on my fitness has helped me with calming my overexcitement. Also, having so many worries has calmed my overexcitement! But my worries aren't overwhelming me. I'm hopeful that this will be an amazing trip too.

My advice to myself has been to research the trip, prepare for the trip, focus on fitness (lots of walking and yoga) and keep busy. (I may have been keeping a bit too busy!) And I'm allowing myself to feel excited and to analyse my worries. Last time I was so excited but kept trying not to be. Pfffff.

So far so good - at least I'm managing to sleep at night. But omg I can't wait!

Do you get overexcited/anxious about trips/events? How does it affect you and how do you cope?

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