People are always admiring my bravery and although I know that even brave people possess fear, I am hesitant to write about the fact that I am afraid.
Maybe it’s more the fact that I have fear of the very same things people wonder/warn about; the very same stuff people think I’m so brave for paying no worry to.
The truth is, for the last couple of weeks, I don’t think I’ve ever been this scared. I’ve been reading a plethora of other travelers’ blogs and I am feeling very unprepared! We are going in Tom’s Liberty with 144,000 miles on it with only oil changes to brag about. I’m reading blog after blog touting beefed up suspensions, brush guards, dual batteries, jerry cans, spare parts, external lighting, and everything else you could not even think of!
How do I know what we will need?! Tom’s already cautious of any suggestions I make as I am the type to be prepared for anything.
Funny side story; I remember in Sayulita Tom was constantly (pleasantly) surprised at my offering of whatever he thought he could use at any given time. He made a comment about how awesome my preparedness was and I remember laughing and replying, “Yeah, you say that now”, as I have found most people don’t appreciate the effort that goes into being so prepared, and he was only experiencing the result of such effort.
Well, fast forward through 6 months of prep and it seems to me that Tom feels I am a little ridiculous when it comes to imagining all possible scenarios. I do understand you cannot be prepared for everything but I do believe that with some careful consideration you can be prepared for most anything and it is almost always cheaper and more convenient to have what you need when you need it. However, I also know first-hand that needing something, and the pursuit of it, can lead to a more engaging experience.
Some thoughts that go through my head:
Do we have enough clearance to cross all the flooded-out roads we’re sure to come upon? Will we need to inflate tires while ITMON (I seem to write the phrase ‘in the middle of nowhere’ an awful lot so I made up an acronym for it), what about change a fuse, belt, hose, etc. (both of us have absolutely NO mechanical ability!)? Is a jerry can of gas necessary? And then there are the things I just wish the Jeep had for a more comfortable ride, like leather seats, sunroof, better wind reduction with the windows open, better lumbar support, better speakers. Shouldn’t we have a locking gas cap? Luckily Tom has become quite fond of the Life Remotely crew, making some requests easier to get approved, like the lock box and fridge.
I also worry about how time is running out and we are living as if we are rich. I made rules when I decided to travel but since moving in with Tom, all those rules have been abandoned. We have this false sense of financial security and it’s making me nervous for 2 reasons; we could be saving more money, and I think we could use some practice pinching pennies. Maybe that’s easier for me than Tom but I am really hoping we tighten the reigns once we’re underway (or more appropriately, I really hope Tom doesn’t feel too restricted when I tighten the reigns LOL).
Then there’s all the other stuff, like will we get malaria or get bite by a rabid bat while sleeping and not know it? Will the tarp be enough to protect the tent floor? How will we fair when it’s raining? I could list shit for days but it doesn’t help.
I have to remember, I am brave.
I know I am capable of anything once in the thick of it.
I know that the universe unfolds how it should.
I trust Tom and I to continue our positive feedback loop that we discovered in Sayulita – no matter what went wrong, at least one of us would be in high enough spirits to bring the other back around.
I have to remember that I am super resourceful and am also capable of picking myself up by the bootstraps (and have demonstrated enough times to know it is true).
I know there are plenty of work-exchanges and free camping out there.
I know this will work and I know we will enjoy the journey, no matter how bumpy the ride.
No, I don’t know how far we’ll make it or what we’ll do when we’re ‘done’.
I don’t know how long it will take or if it will ever end.
All I know is what I know; this life I’ve been living doesn’t work for me. I’ve had an unanswered call to exploration for as far back as I can remember.
Lastly, and most importantly, I have the most supportive, charismatic, loving, intelligent and capable person with me and together we will conquer our fears and embrace the lives intended for us – even if we have to discover day by day what exactly those lives are meant to be.
As always, Tom had wise words for my nerves,
…the thought of life as we know it being something completely different can be ‘uneasy’ at times – but then again, that’s the juice of life!