It is nearly time for me to travel to Ubud, Indonesia to immerse myself in yoga with my foremost yogini. Whenever I prepare to travel I ride waves of exhilarating excitement. I plan and research and suspend myself in breathless anticipation. Then the date comes closer and I am struck down with that old friend of mine, fear and anxiety. When getting close to facing that separation from the known, safe, secure ‘home’ and facing the unknown my heart flutters and I experience a week of restricted breathing, overwhelming head chatter and worrying to the point of boredom. I have accepted that this is what I do. It does not stop me craving travel, experiencing new cultures. Travel for me is a liberation from that burdensome responsibility. My habit of doing too much, stretching too thin, putting too much pressure on myself to account for everyone’s needs. Travel is a pure sensory feast. The touch of different sun on my skin, the feeling of the cold air on my nose when I rise as early as possible so as to embrace whatever destination I am in. Going to bed early, not caring if I ‘should’ stay up. Hours walking, meandering, getting lost, finding treasures. That is what travel is for me. Given my nature, I am not what I would call an ‘adventurous’ traveller. I don’t stray terribly far from the beaten track. Little miss sensible still sticks around. But she is freer, less shackled and oh so much more relaxed.
That damn pre-trip fear though still haunts me before each trip. And this time, it is heightened. This trip marks the first overseas trip with Bella.
Each day we breathe air has the potential to be our last. Nonetheless the litany of reasons I should not take my daughter to Bali bombards my head with a shrill voice that is my greatest critic. It crows with glory about sanitation, Bellas food allergy, dengue fever, traffic, crowds, rabies, terrorism. Yes, these things exist. So do car accidents, illnesses and natural disasters. This was painfully apparent with the news last night of the tornado in America. It ripped though a school, killing an unthinkable number of children. Sending kids to school is not a risky venture. Bad things happen, and not generally when you think they will.
And when exactly do I think it is a good time to travel with Bella? Its not like I will stop being cconcerned about her when she is 10 – 15 – 20 … It is an inevitable part of my parenting that I will be a damn worry wart. I don’t think we can control these things. I do think we should continue to live as full a life as possible.
So here I sit, conflicted in heart. Getting deafened by my own mind chatter. I have taken every possible precaution into consideration. Now, I just have to go. That’s the only thing that helps. Arriving to the place, immersing myself in it. Living it. Embracing it. In the meantime, it is perhaps an indication of my restless mind and heart that I have gone into a painting frenzy. The house is dotted with paintings – all of them at various states of ‘drafts’. Till post Ubud (or perhaps during). May you also live your life to the full, despite any fears or worries you may have! J