Friday, February 24, 2006


Last night I went to our Zambia team meeting. (Have I mentioned on this blog that I'm going to Zambia in May with three other middle-aged women as part of a short-term missions trip to teach at a women's conference? If you're interested, I put a link to that blog in the sidebar on the left where you can read about it.) It was our third team meeting so far.

I came home scared.


It's not that I haven't been to Africa before; I taught in Kenya in 2001 as part of another short-term missions trip, that time at a conference for pastors and their wives.

It's not that I haven't traveled internationally; we lived in France for three months in 1996 because my husband was temporarily relocated there. We bopped around several European countries while we were there (did plenty of customs stuff). That experience plus our trip to Kenya should be enough to ease my mind.

It's not that I can't teach; I teach a two-hour class nearly every week from September to May (January 0ff). And I'm good at it (at least people tell me I am).

It's not that I don't know the people I'm going with; they're good friends, and to boot, one is my identical twin sister--we even get to room together. Yay!

It's not that I'll be gone that long; the trip is only two weeks start-to-finish, with direct flights and same airline both ways (easy travel).

It's not that I don't have my passport or current immunizations or travelers' insurance; all that's taken care of.

It's not that Don and the kids (canine and human) won't do just fine without me; they're more than self-sufficient.

So what's bugging me?

I think it's that I'm going without dear hubby. I've never traveled internationally without him. I've traveled some in the states (flown to Chicago or California or Florida) without him, but never overseas, and never where a passport and visa were required.

Harrumph. I don't like having this knot in my stomach; I feel like Ridge and Elsie both look in the picture above: neither is happy where she/he is because they're apart from each other.

I feel that way now, and we still have 76 days to go until we leave (but who's counting?).

That's probably it; I just don't want to go without my hubby and best friend. :o) We're so used to being partners in everything (except work) that doing this trip on my own feels threatening.

I think.

I'm not sure.

I just have this awful tightness in my throat and churning in my tummy.

Maybe I'm just nervous period, and last night's meeting (where we received confirmed flight info, teaching schedules, itineraries, etc.) made it all seem so real.

Now I understand a bit more about the canine kids' need for togetherness. It feels secure.

At least I'll be with my seeeeeester (and two other good friends). That will help.

Besides, if I took Don with me, the canine kids would have to be kennelled for a couple of weeks; something we don't want to do.

Oh well. I'm committed. It's Zambia in May or bust.

'Til next time,


Lost in Scotland said... a single woman living abroad now for 5.5 years, without a partner, or family, travel anxiety is just a fear of the unknown. My anxiety is the plane ride; going up and coming down.

I savor the chance to venture out into the open without orientation and it is the only time I can come to know myself. And be a better person, because I can understand the duality of my life; body and soul. I'm not a religious person in the sense of organized religion anymore. god to me is just a way of explaining things for those that need to put a label to things (sorry, Joan, I've not wanted to say anything about my beliefs here, don't take it the wrong way) and I think we loose the 'power' of its essence by doing so. Traveling is about exploring; an inner and outward journey of finding answers and perhaps, finding more questions. Savor the interaction with a different culture. Savor the immersion into the place, the country side that is new and exciting. Listen to its spirit, its voice and let it wrap over you. Its the same for the journey out and the journey in returning. Separation is good for that purpose, listening and understanding. Revealing more of the layers of light and the dark. And our fear stems from that uncertainity. Will something be different when I return? Yes and no. The roads that take us away from familiarity are just as important as the roads that keep us at home.

Joan said...

You're absolutely right, LiS (can I call you that for short?).

It's the uncertainty.

Believe it or not, I really do enjoy how traveling challenges me and stretches me beyond my knowns; I'm better for it. MUCH better for it. And I do savor the experience, once I'm there. :o)

I think it's just the "not sure of what's coming" factor. Funny thing, though: I don't live the rest of my life that way. It's just travel.

I think you're absolutely right about the uncertainty factor.

BTY, Lis, do you happen to be a writer? You're always so artistic and lyrical in your comments. If you're not, you should be. You write well.

Thanks for the insight (and, of COURSE, I'm not offended; no reason for me to be; feel free to be honest any time).


Lost in Scotland said...

J...sure LiS is fine...I'm glad you are feeling better...half the fun of any journey is getting there.

Thank you for that wonderful comment about writing. :) I'm leaning towards that end of my career. I've decided I don't want to be in academia for the sheer purpose of that type of prestige. I want to write for the sake of writing. Not because I have something to say but because I thik I can tell a good story. But I have this albatross of a PhD to finish and at times I just want it to go away; I don't want to finish it. So you see I'm stuck. My heart and soul are passionate about something but I have obligations to do something else. So I trudge on.

Will you be posting from Zambia? I hope you get a chance to do some. It would be nice to hear and see what is going on.