I have rented my casita in Tucson, Arizona, and completed my lengthy to-do list to prep for this extended expat exploration. With a place to stay in my first destination, Queretaro, Mexico, I am nearing a departure date.
Since I had my now-or-never epiphany to set off on a 6-12 month expat exploration, life has been a blur. Consumed with chores and checklists, I proceeded with a postpone-nothing mentality.
The Narrowing Window
If not now, when? One can create a multitude of barriers to postpone big endeavors. But let’s be real – the window is narrowing.
I have great health, resources, no constraints, and the spirit of an adventuress – Go Gwen and Go NOW!
An extension of my goal-oriented life kicks in: create the vision, set the mission, establish the goals, define the strategies and implement.
As I prepare to click “buy” plane ticket, I wake at night feeling anxious and unable to lull myself into a peaceful slumber. Thoughts rumble in my mind, “What am I doing? So much to do before I leave.”
Stress Creeps In
Trepidation of the unknown, loneliness, and the solo voyage edge out the excitement and euphoria of the adventure. Subtle signs of stress become present–stomach-churning, jaw clenching, mind talk that won’t quit, and feeling overwhelmed and edgy.
Let’s be honest, this excursion can intimidate and daunt anyone, and this bold, experienced traveler is feeling dis-ease.
This is how I am managing these uprooted feelings.
Accept the dis-ease. It’s OK and would be unusual if I were not experiencing some planning and trip stress. The strategies I used to override the angst and create a more balanced perspective include:
- Relax, this too, shall pass. Take a few deep breaths, stretch and ease into the to-do list.
- “Make peace with the present moment,” a reminder from Eckhart Tolle, is now the screen saver on my computer.
- Get out for a bike ride or a hike with friends.
- Create a list of wonderful possibilities for this adventure and the places I’d like to check out.
- Download a travel book and dig in with excitement.
- Talk with friends about these uncomfortable feelings. Yes, you will miss your friends and support groups!
- Drive to Mexico for a short beach fix. Nothing like a good margarita and some mañana time on la playa to decrease stress.
This, Too, Will Pass
It’s OK to feel stress and dis-ease about this lengthy adventure–with the right strategies and mindset; it will pass.
Once on the plane, I will settle in and be open to all this wonderful world offers. I will be thankful that I postponed nothing!
Do you ever have that “I am not sure if I am ready to do this” feeling?
Stroll around the TCI blogs and articles for inspiration, motivation, and to gain that “postpone nothing” vibe from expats and explorers who have been there.
Let us know how you’re feeling as you contemplate your move. We’re here to help.
by: Gwen Hyatt