Coming Out of the Hodophobic Closet

4 hours to go.

We are packed (mostly). The house is clean (almost). We are waiting impatiently for departure time.

But allow me to back up a little…

September:
I realized that if I was ever going fulfill my dream of family world travel then I would need a little help. That’s when Rob and I started collecting reward points from credit cards.

November:
Some incredible airfare sales to Europe opened up on the day after Thanksgiving. After a few hours of deliberation, Rob convincing me that he felt really good about it, sleeping on the idea, and waking up to more deliberation, we pulled the trigger.

October – April:
I saved up my pennies by writing 140 articles.

January – April:
I planned my hiney off in order to have the most memorable, convenient, and wonderful family trip yet (NYC, Paris, Luxembourg, part of Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium).

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Now, back to present day…

PANIC. ANXIETY. WORRY. STRESS. NERVOUSNESS.
Let’s see, what other synonyms can I use?
TREPIDATION. APPREHENSION. CONSTERNATION.

Hodophobia: The irrational and intense fear of travel. Hodophobia.

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The thing is, I LOVE to travel! I feel an energy to it that I don’t have toward anything else. But ever since I can remember I’ve always felt all of these scary things leading up to leaving. Every time.

Why??

  • Acts of terrorism
  • Acts of God
  • Fear of coming home without one of my kids
  • Fear of not coming home myself or in the very least, not all in one piece
  • Fear of a crashing plane, train, car, boat, or bike
  • Fear of coming home to a dead cat and devastated children
  • Sadness over leaving my other family behind
  • Guilt over the fact that not everyone can do this
  • Guilt over spending so much money on this rather than it going toward many other much more important and worthy things

  • Nervousness over leaving my comfortable bed and being in pain after waking up
  • Nervousness for not everything to go perfectly after I’ve spent so much time, effort, and energy bringing it to pass
  • Nervousness because my dream’s reality may not live up to the dream I’ve had in my head for more than a decade
Did I cover everything? Likely not. But you get the idea.
These fears and thoughts swim (more like, tread water) through my head for weeks and months before impending doom travel. I wish it wasn’t so. I wish I could be one of those people (ahem, Rob) who feel nothing but joy and excitement for leaving everything comfortable and routine behind…but I’m not. I work hard in my head to keep myself from backing out at any moment.
BUT THE THING IS… I DON’T!
I don’t let the anxiety overtake me. I don’t let the thoughts dictate my actions. I want to explore the world and, by golly, I decide that I will!
And then a magical thing happens. Every time.
I arrive at my destination and all the scariness sinks away, the dread dissipates, and I’m left feeling…well…DELIGHTFUL and terrific memories to last a lifetime.
When I’m out being curious and seeing new surroundings I feel more calm and more happy then I do at any other time. I feel like ME. 
And all the work, time, money, and worry that precedes is 100% unabashedly WORTH all of it!
Phew.
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Now since I haven’t actually landed anywhere yet, I’m still feeling all the bad feelings. However, I’m banking on my past experiences to get me through this unpleasant phase…because all I can think about right now is the fact that we will be in Paris during their election and I hope we don’t get caught in the middle of any infighting. Or that my c-diff will be triggered. Or that we will all catch a nasty cold. Or that I will have overwhelming fatigue from 4 overnight flights and jet lag. 
Or, or, or, or, or…