Thursday, February 12, 2009

Antici... pation.

I have mentioned around the fringes of this blog that I am leaving for Vietnam on Saturday (well, late tonight I will catch the bus to the airport) for a little less than two weeks. However, what I've really wanted to do for the last two weeks was announce every single day all of the cool, interesting, awesome places I'll be going and the things I plan to do and all the neat little containers I found to reduce the size/weight of the stuff I'm taking in my amazing new backpack... etc. All the minute, nuanced detail of my every whim and pleasure and anxiety related to the plotting and revising of my trip plans.

I wanted to write this on my blog:

I AM GOING TO VIETNAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Notice the excessive number of exclamation points.)

But I have exercised restraint. Exceptional restraint, if you must know, because I am absolutely tittled about this. It's my first solo trip to another country (I did some solo traveling in the U.S., and I don't count Korea because moving to a country is different than visiting). My emotions have fluctuated every five minutes this last week: first super excited, then nervous, then overwhelmed, then blissful, then excited again. It's hard not to blog about things when they're some of the most important things on my mind. Why, beautiful people, have I exercised this restraint?

Well... it's for your benefit.

I love you--you read my writing. I don't want you to stop reading it. I know that the intricacies of vacation orchestration are less interesting to others than to myself, hence why I have not blogged about my plans ad nauseum. And I am fully aware you'd rather read about the exciting adventures I had (past tense) than the ones I will have (future tense). Therefore, I have not allowed my blog to devolve into following my whims of would-be traveling fortune.

I have resisted putting in a bid for advice from my readership about what to do/see in Vietnam (or worse still, a request for accompaniment to stave off the occasional moment of anxiety I have about traveling alone, which is quite natural, but of little consequence). Nor have I weighed you down with details of plans that may or may not happen, as I'm keeping pretty flexible about things (I have a rough outline of the things I want to do and hostel reservations for the first two nights, but beyond that, I'll be open to experiences--wherever the winds may take me). I hope you appreciate it when I am able to share my journeys with you afresh upon my return.

So why do I bring all this up now, on the eve of my departure?

Two reasons. First, to let you know why I might be sporadic in posting for a bit. Second, and more interesting, I wanted to remark on the feelings of preparations for a journey.

Nothing can compare to the amazing experiences you have (or as Min Gi described them the other day, "great intangible property you get") while traveling. But for the traveler, the planning of a trip is a great part of the fun. I actually think much of the experience of going somewhere new is planning for it. The anticipation. Not most... just a significant part. It's a little stressful, but generally the height of immersion in your trip before you actually take the leap.

So as the high from my Vietnam trip wears off in the coming months, I'll be looking for my next hit. Japan in May with Min Gi? Oh yes, my dears. This will happen.

1 comment:

  1. Soooooo excited for you!!! I know exactly how you've been feeling as I was planning a solo trip to vietnam and cambodia for a month. Things changed and I had to give up part of the trip but I'll still be spending about 9 days in Vietnam!!! I get there on Sunday.

    Hope you have a fantastic time!



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