Around two weeks remain until I get to pack my backpack again and wander off. This time it is to Mozambique – and for all of the excitement and impatience I feel, it could just as well be Thailand and Laos again, that is how strong the feeling is. Years ago, when I first went overseas, it was very different.
Yes, the sense of excitement was there, but so was a good deal of trepidation about all the risks and dangers. The fact that I would be in a foreign city, and be terribly, fantastically far away from the people who could help me if i was in trouble. So much that I didn’t know, which resulted in a fair amount of fear about the trip and whether it would be safe and enjoyable, or if it would be an inescapable mistake. The memory of that time was brought back to me the other day when my better half – currently exploring in Namibia – had to meet up with some new-to-travel friends before crossing the border, because the idea of border-crossing scared them.
It is daft, with the benefit of hindsight, to be afraid of such things – but you never know that at the time. Once you understand the basic protocol of booking into and using a backpackers, traversing a customs queue and the general flow of traffic in and out of airports, local transport and information systems, there is little to fear from the unknown. I am no seasoned traveller, but have done these things enough times that, in contrast to the trepidation this group felt about Namibia, I have nothing but excitement and a single night’s accommodation booked (vs their entire itinerary) for the Mozambique trip.
And I am not worried. Not worried because that first, scary foray into the new experience of travelling has taught me the basics to get by. And given me a stream of memories to remind me that things are never that bad. That there are always options, and that I have the ability to get by and organise my travels a day ahead and spend less time worrying and more time going wherever the journey takes me.
I can’t wait.