Picture of little boy in a coat and hat, walking on a path in the fall.

The Not-So-Smooth Road of Traveling

As a travel blogger, I write about a lot of the glossy and glorious times travel has gone swimmingly well. While I often include mishaps that occurred while traveling, I’ve completely left out the stories of the drama happening back home. Some of my trips had awful things happen while I was away.

I’ve posted several throwback vacation stories, like the time I visited Seattle on Skybus and the epic road trip that included a stop in New Orleans. Those trips were smooth sailing, as far as travel goes. If you completely ignore the drama at home.


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Guilt! Anxiety!

In fact, there were some problems back home during both those trips. When I visited New Orleans, I asked my parents to watch my animals. One of my cats died during my trip. My mom was really upset. The cat was sick and I don’t believe staying home or even boarding the kitty at the vet would’ve saved her life. I do carry some guilt about the situation.

In addition, a friend was staying at my house because they had an interview in my area. They broke the toilet. It turned out to not be a big deal at all and it was easily fixed (by me) when I returned home. It’s actually one of two times I declared myself to be a master plumber, but really, I’m not!

And Drama!

While I was visiting Seattle and Bellingham, Washington, I had boyfriend (actually, mostly ex-boyfriend) drama back home. This is much lamer than it sounds (doesn’t ex-boyfriend drama always sound so juicy?) However, it was unexpected. Things were fine before I left on that trip. Luckily, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of Seattle or Bellingham.

Picture of little boy in a coat and hat, walking on a path in the fall. No drama here!

If only the road was always smooth. And cute.

On another trip, a friend of mine broke the screen door at another place I lived, when caring for my dog. It’s minor and I’d rather come home to a happy and healthy dog than the alternative.

I’ve had a lot of this kind of stuff happen while I’ve been traveling.

Where it all began

It started back when I went of my first big, international trip. I was about 11 when I visited France. My great uncle had been quite ill, but was rebounding, so my mom and I decided to go on our trip. My father called my mother on our first day in France to let her know that my great uncle, her beloved uncle, had passed away.

This happened, too

During my sister’s first semester of college, she was in a play. My family went to visit her and watch the play. My uncle was driving down from Michigan to stay at our house. His line rang  busy whenever my mom tried calling him. She was worried and had a bad feeling about things. However, this was back in landline times. We all thought he must’ve accidentally left the phone off the hook before he left for our place. We went ahead with our plans and left. The trip to my sister’s college was around a 6 hour drive.

“His line is still busy,” my mom said, after trying to call her brother from a rest area. “And there’s no answer at our house.”

“He’ll be there soon,” my dad would reply, trying to soothe her worry.

My mom repeated this the whole weekend and was sure something was wrong. My dad ran out of excuses to give her.

Yes, this story ends how you are expecting. My beloved uncle had passed away from a massive heart attack, while trying to dial 911 (the American emergency number).

I guess these situations explain where a lot of my travel anxiety comes from.

Me at a New Year's Eve party, wearing a mask from New Orleans. The feathers make it look like a butterfly.

A mask from New Orleans came in handy on New Years, probably a decade ago.

No excuses

Before traveling, I always have that wave of anxiety. I wonder if anything “bad” will happen. I remind myself that bad or sad things can happen while I’m at home, too.  It isn’t a good enough reason to glue myself to my home base and never travel. If anything, all these experiences are a further reason to get travel insurance (though that wouldn’t have helped with ex-boyfriend drama, eh?) in case of trip interruption.

Do you ever have anxiety while traveling? Does it stop or slow down your travels? What have you done to conquer any travel fears?

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